Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kindle Publishing and all it's quirky quirks. Tips for the indie author

Here's a ninja to help you understand this article. 

So, you want to publish with kindle publishing? Awesome! Except for one thing, it’s as picky as a three year old at dinner time. You have worked on your novel, polished it up as best as possible, and you’re super duper excited to shove it in the world's face. You go to kdp and you upload the book and preview it. It’s jacked. So, you sit there and read for the rest of your life how to fix your novel so that people don’t turn their noses up at you.

I have learned a few things being an indie author. You better make sure that book looks good or else people will sniff and walk away. I see so many books, including traditionally published books, that have things all screwy. I think kdp is sitting behind their desk and laughing like a fiendish fiend because we can’t figure out how to make our indents work.

Tricks of the trade

1. Indents are of the devil.

Just kidding, they really aren’t that bad. First off, make sure you have Microsoft word 2007 then what I’m saying will make sense. Make sure you are on the home tab. Now select your document with ctrl A. Go to the button that says “paragraph” there is a tiny box there. Select that and it will bring up another window. In that window it will say “special” select that and on the right it says the size of the indents. I’ve found 0.5 or 0.4 is the best. You may have to preview it to get it just right for the kindle. You don’t want your indents super massive. It’s really annoying to read that! Confused? Good! That is how you publish for the kindle. Make sure if you had any previous tabs or spaces that you get rid of those.

2. Page breaks

Use them! I’ve found when there are no page breaks in a book it can be annoying. Some books are novellas or novelettes and they don’t really need those, but anything else give it a break! The Kitkat song is running through my head right now. Don’t know what the heck I’m talking about? What’s a page break? Okay, let’s do this. After the end of each of your chapter you need a page break. Go to the insert tab and the third button over it says page break. Click that baby and you’re good to go! Having page breaks helps the reader go back and forth between chapters.

3. Justify it

Select your entire document ctrl A and go back to the home tab. 
Right above paragraph there are lines, you want to go all the way to the right. 
What this does is smooths out all the crazy edges in your story, so it doesn't look like a roller coaster ride.

4. Saving the day

Saving your doc is pretty important, especially with pictures. With kdp you want to save it as webpage filtered or html. Go to save your file, but do save as then under the options of what kind of doc to save it as, choose webpage filtered and save it. If it has no pictures you can easily upload it. If it has pictures it’s a little trickier. You have to zip the pictures and the doc together. You select both files and right click and then you hit zip. It should create another file for you, which you then upload. Are you really confused? Good! That’s how you publish for kdp. 

Just keep looking at the ninja and you'll understand it eventually. Good luck!

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