Sunday, March 18, 2012

Formatting For Kindle; The Slightly Uncoventoinal Way

    We have all been there as self published authors in the Noob stage. Screaming at our computer, pulling out chunks of hair, and wondering for the hundredth time why it was we decided to do this self publishing thing. Any new self publisher that is more than a little clueless when it comes to HTML dreads this part of publishing. Formatting for Kindle.

photo courtesy of Phaitoon
   If you go through smashwords to upload your book to Amazon you are gold. But what if you want to utilize KDP Select? This means uploading directly to the Amazon website. This means for the best looking eBook you need to format. This was my monster under the bed when it came to getting close to the end of a book. I could sail through revisions and editing, because I knew in the end I would get the results I wanted. Formatting however was another story.

   My revelation came one day when I was converting a book I had in Calibre for my mom's Nook. She's one of my beta readers so I have to take exception for her B&N loyalty. It was so easy to filter my book as a webpage and convert it through Calibre for the Nook. So I tried one of my latest manuscripts for Kindle. It was almost but not quit there.

   Now I don't know if I am the only one who has had issues with Mobi Pocket Creator. But I could never get them to build right. Always coming up with errors and the like, but i figured if it was really already converted with Calibre, maybe it would run through Mobi. I can't say how my mind works, just that it eventually comes up with something weird that ends up brilliant. It went through Mobi with out a hitch, and looked wonderful!

   Even my Word created TOC was just as it should be. I was so happy I literally got up and danced around the room for a minute. Ten minutes and my manuscript was formatted. It sure beat the days on end of trying to figure out why I couldn't get it to work, or emailing my friend Damien and begging him for his HTML knowledge. I could do it myself and do it quickly, all with free programs I already own.

   I've looked the web over and found no one that has used Calibre in this way and thought it would be a nice thing to share. I sure know I could have used it a year ago. I do have to mention in a shameless plug that if you still don't want to mess with it, will format your manuscript for you, you name the price. He does beautiful work. So now that I've plugged a fellow author,I must say, Til next time. May your writing be your light and you muse be at your side always,


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