Lessons Learned in Direct Publication: Kindle Format

Kindle format. or ebook if you will requires a little different skill than what we’ve learned for print publication.

I’ve noticed or should say that I believe that my publisher uses a pdf for submission to ebook formats. So far I’ve only stuck my toe in the waters of Kindle. There may be more blogs as I branch out…later. LOL

So I chose the option of transferring the book from print to Kindle. Not surprising that didn’t work very well. The main reason is there are different format components required for Kindle. Like a table of contents.

So start with your final word document. Re-name it something immediately so you don’t accidentally save over your print formatted copy.

FRONT MATTER:  This stays pretty much the same as the print document. However, I remove any empty pages. You needed them in print form to make sure your work was positioned on the correct page of the leaves of the book.  E-books scroll so you don’t need the empty pages.

Table of Contents: Now, you will also need a table of contents so that readers can advance through the document with links to the various chapters.

Make sure to place your curser on the page in your document where you want your “Table of Contents” to be placed. I put mine right after Disclaimer / Copyright page.

To insert this look at your word tabs and click on “References”. At the far left you will see “Table of Contents” Click on that. Choose the option “Insert Table of Contents” at the bottom. Then, unclick the option on the middle left for “Show Page Numbers” you don’t need them. Make sure the box for “Use hyperlinks instead of page numbers” is clicked. It is at the middle right side of the pop up box. The next thing is how many levels to show. That is found at the bottom under general. I chose one level because I only want the chapter heading to show.

You don’t have to name your chapters. It can be simple as “Chapter One” just be sure you follow the same style for each chapter.

To finish this up you can “Modify” by clicking that and “Modify” again so you can choose font, size, and line spacings between all your components of the table of contents.

Once you ok, ok all the way out the program will insert your table of contents where you placed your curser at the beginning of this instruction.

Blurb: Something else to consider. Since you don’t have a full cover like print. You might want to work the back cover blurb into the front matter.


E-books don’t have headers or page number footers so strip those out.

BODY: You also loose your pretty formatting for the beginnings of chapters and at the scene breaks. It automatically converts the small caps at the beginning of each scene into caps.

So, for reader convenience I run through using the “Navigation” tab and reinsert symbols at the change of scene.  Some people use four bold asterisks **** I chose a symbol that fits into the story line.

To navigate the document in Windows, you can find the bar by clicking find to bring up that panel on the far left. The tab on the far left is the Headings in your document tab. If you used the styles function as discussed earlier you will see all your sections and scene breaks to navigate your document easily. I pop to each scene and paste that symbol to break the scenes.

END MATTER: The End matter gives you some pretty exciting options in an E-book. Remember not to get carried away with how much stuff you put back there. Folks don’t want to have 30 pages of “junk” at the end of their ebook that inflates the page count any more than they want it in a print book.

However, I did choose to put a brief blurb of my next book coming out in the series. Where you have a back list of work is the place that the party happens. I listed my past back list of work and hot linked each title to the sales page at Amazon for that work. As I use other publishers for the e-book I will link to the books that are for sale at their cites. I also hot linked book trailers for each work.

What this mean in application?  Okay, I just finished reading my ebook from the famous (infamous – LOL) Eden Glenn. I liked it (I HOPE) and I see she has another menage story. Without having to go get on my computer I can click and immediately watch the trailer on the book. I like what I see!!! so I can click the purchase link and buy that puppy. Immediately….almost automatically.

Then, because I don’t have the benefit of the back cover. I make sure I have my About the Author page in the back and again, I made a hot link to my website for the reader’s convenience.

Now the whole thing is read to go. Save it as a “Web Page” It is in the drop down box  under the “Save as” down at the bottom. That makes the document into HTML code. It doesn’t look as pretty to the “Naked” eye this way but it uploads beautifully and is one of the suggested formats from Kindle.

That’s about it for the internal workings of formatting for Kindle. I’d love to hear your comments on this series. Have I missed anything? any questions?

Check out my other articles on formatting in print:

Front Matter; Body; Scene Breaks; Headers/Footers; End Matter; Value of Advanced Reader’s Copy