Kindle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone tell me where I can find easy instructions for formatting my manuscripts before uploading them?  I mean easy as in "even a really stupid 10 year old who doesn't know what HTML is can do it."  Maybe there's a website with free instructions?  I know Smashwords has some kind of style guide, but does that work for Amazon if I'm submitting to Amazon separately?

I want to try to do this myself, to save money and also for the satisfaction of learning how to do it.  But I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree when it comes to computers.  :-[



 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,688 Posts
I learned that I had been making a hash of my Word files for the last thirty years by clicking on ad hoc formatting commands whenever I needed one. It never mattered because I was either printing or emailing the files.

So I had a mess on my hands when I first encountered a situation where all those random clicks mattered. Formatting for eBook upload became a formidable challenge.

The solution was to go back and learn what I should have learned about Word many years ago. So I learned how to create, save, manage, and use STYLES. That made all the difference. I now have only six STYLES, have banished all the other formatting icons from the Word screen, and dumped the ribbons at the top of the Word screen. I only use my STYLES to format. Never anything else. Always.

After I figured this out, I copy/pasted to NotePad, copy /pasted back into my new Word configuration, and applied my six STYLES as needed. It was easy.

Now there is no formatting step. A Word HTML file goes into Mobi, I ID a cover file, ID the TOC tag, and produce a prc file that can be directly uploaded to Amazon. Prior to that upload, I USB copy to my personal Kindle to make sure it looks right . If it does, it gets uploaded. If not, i fix it in Word and repeat until I like it.

I then input the prc file to Calibre and upload the ePub output to B&N.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,614 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
399 Posts
Terrence OBrien said:
Now there is no formatting step. A Word HTML file goes into Mobi, I ID a cover file, ID the TOC tag, and produce a prc file that can be directly uploaded to Amazon. Prior to that upload, I USB copy to my personal Kindle to make sure it looks right . If it does, it gets uploaded. If not, i fix it in Word and repeat until I like it.

I then input the prc file to Calibre and upload the ePub output to B&N.
Does the .prc and the ePub files load faster onto KDP and B&N? I just upload my Word file, doing everything you said minus the Mobipocket Creator and Calibre steps. The files generally take two to three days before they go live.

Also, what about loading up on Smashwords first. They are very fast most of the time. Take the .mobi file and the epub file they generate and uploading them to Amazon and B&N?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,688 Posts
Amazon takes about 48 hours. B&N 12 hours.

I tried SmashWords before I learned how to properly deploy Word, but the output didn't look very good. I decided to go direct to vendors without finishing the SW procedure, so I can't comment on how it would have worked if I had taken the time to do it right.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Hey Juliet, I recently formatted my book for uploading (3 nights ago) using the Smashwords formatting guide. Took me about two hours and is fairly simple enough. You can download the quide for free from smashwords here,

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52

I would highly recommend it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,813 Posts
I've produced a free guide with Word pics to make it easy. I am not computer literate and it worked for me on kindle and smashwords I have 13 titles approved in the smashords premium catalogue with no rejections. My guide will hopefully assist those like me that are baffled by computer speak. It may not be the only way to format, but it worked for me. There is also a section on adding Logos and pictures.

http://declanconner.com/kindle-formatting/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
38 Posts
I work with computers all day long. I also hate Microsoft Word.  I spent $130 to have someone format for Kindle, B&N, Smashwords and paperback - I think he charges about $25 per format. There is no way that I would have been able to figure out how to do all of that for $130. The results are tremendous - even my father, who hasn't had one positive word to say yet about my book, keeps commenting on how professional the Kindle layout is (and he's the kind of guy who just downloads books that look interesting to him, so he's buying stuff from 99 cent specials to books from the big houses).

The best part was, when I found one small problem (I had the copyright set up differently than the way Smashwords likes it), I sent it back to the formatter and let him fix it.

I really applaud people who want to learn how to format and maybe someday I will spend the time (and I think that some day, our software will do this for us - I am going to try the Scrivener epub output with my next ms) but I'm so happy with the work that my formatter did that I would be delighted to give him my business again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
Those look like great links, I'm going to try them too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you everyone for the links.  It was nice to have a list of choices to choose from.

Anne Marie, your list looks awesome!  It didn't even look like a foreign language to me!  ;D  I think I might be able to actually figure it out.

Terrence mentioned using styles in Word to avoid the formatting problem from the get-go in the future.  Does anyone know of a tutorial for how to set your style up in Word so it formats the document properly?

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
266 Posts
TWGallier said:
Also, what about loading up on Smashwords first. They are very fast most of the time. Take the .mobi file and the epub file they generate and uploading them to Amazon and B&N?
If you do, you'll have the "Smashwords Edition" info on your copyright page for your Amazon and B&N versions. Just keep that in mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
450 Posts
Terry Mixon said:
If you do, you'll have the "Smashwords Edition" info on your copyright page for your Amazon and B&N versions. Just keep that in mind.
Terri, out of curiosity, is there really any problem with this? Is it jusat a personal taste issue with the Author?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
I haven't produced a totally crappily formatted book yet using the Smashwords Guide and necessary tweaks for Kindle & B&N, but what I upload to Kindle is the filtered htm page, not a .doc. But I've done 2 short stories, so the projects weren't as big as a novel might be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top