Formatting and Publishing Resources for Kindle

Posted February 13, 2014 by Amanda Shofner in Editing / 0 Comments

kindle-formattingFormatting and publishing turned out to be one of the easiest parts of the process for me. Which I thought was kinda crazy.

(When I say formatting here, I’m talking about ebook formatting only; paperback is another ballgame.)

But here’s what I used:


Microsoft Word

MS Word isn’t necessary. As long as your word processing program can convert to .htm or .html, you’re okay. But the formatting book I downloaded (below) had instructions for Microsoft Word. It’s also what I used to write my books, so it makes sense to keep it in the same program.

If you don’t have Word or you hate Word with a fiery passion, try OpenOffice. It’s a free alternative similar to Word, so it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out. I’ve used it.

Building Your Book for Kindle by Kindle Direct Publishing

If you have a lot of images or tables, it’s going to be more difficult to format. The biggest trouble I had were bullet points. A fiction book with chapters will be easier.

Formatting tip: Alt + 7 on a PC gives you the non-indented bullet point.

Building Your Books for Kindle is a short, basic book about how to deal with the front matter, table of contents, a cover (I won’t touch on covers here, but don’t neglect on this part of the process; covers count), uploading, and changes after publishing.

Formatting tip: To avoid blank pages, make sure your page break immediately follows the last word/punctuation mark of your chapter. If your page break is on the line below, you get a blank page. (Choose to show formatting marks.)


Calibre lets you convert files and upload them to your ereader. Amazon does have an ereader viewer option, but if you have a Kindle (or know someone who does), do it yourself. If only for the thrill of seeing your book on the Kindle. It feels REAL.

After converting to .mobi with Calibre, I used the opportunity to check my formatting and do a final proofread, making any necessary adjustments. Because reading on a device is a different experience, you’re more likely to pick up any remaining typos or problems.

And yes, having them at this stage is natural. Don’t get annoyed or upset if you find something.

Tip: If you’re planning on sending out ARCs or give away review copies to international reviewers, you can use your converted file.

Publish on Amazon Kindle with Kindle Direct Publishing by Kindle Direct Publishing 

Like the other book put out by KDP, Publish on Amazon Kindle is simple and straightforward. It walks you through the steps to publishing.

Tip: Just hit publish. It’s the most daunting part, but just do it. Or get a trusted friend to hit publish for you.

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