Publishing To AmazonPublished: 25-Jul-2018
Well, I finished it, and now I'm attempting to get it published on Amazon as a Kindle eBook.
What I Have Learned
Amazon are creating a bunch of free downloadable tools for the budding self-publisher. Which is great.
Not so great: the software is not perfect (yet).
I had the least success with Kindle Textbook Creator. My book is reasonably long, and whilst I was able to convert it to PDF (Adobe Acrobat format) easily enough, importing into Kindle Textbook Creator really did not seem to want to happen.
That said, Kindle Create, using Microsoft Word's DOCX format to draft the manuscript, worked quite well. The version I am using is v188.8.131.52.
Creating a Kindle Book with Kindle Create is essentially a three part process:
- create the manuscript in Microsoft Word, using the DOCX file format
- import the DOCX file into Kindle Create, and tweak the formatting
- export the document from Kindle Create to KPF format
I could not get hyperlinking within the document to work. I could get hyperlinking to external sites to work as expected.
Image 'alt' text was interpreted correctly. Setting an image to be ignored by screen readers in DOCX did not translate into Kindle Create.
All images required special attention in Kindle Create, but, inserting alternative text in DOCX saved some time.
Table content cannot be edited within Kindle Create!
One other thing that I found difficult to get accustomed to is the Kindle format does not seem to like content title styles beyond Header 1. Headers 2 to 6 are ignored. That forced a rethink of how to structure my book contents. Even Header 1 did not consistently get imported properly in Kindle Create.
Gripes aside, it is straightforward to create a Kindle Book with Kindle Create.
I would also suggest the following for Fonts: Arial for all text. Body text at size 10. Table content at size 8 (works for me because I am publishing a lot of computer code). I haven't yet decided on font sizes for headings. My Header 1 was being detected by Kindle Create when I had it set to size 16. But not when it was set to size 10. So, perhaps size is important when it comes to Headers.
I used Google search to look up the best cover size. I then used Google Drive's Drawing application to create cover art for my book. I then downloaded that as as a JPEG file, and then uploaded it into the publishing tool on Amazon.
Amazon's publishing tool is pretty awesome. It's pretty easy to figure out, and if you have questions you can turn to Quora!
My manuscript is currently under review. It's supposed to take 72 hours to publish.
Wish me luck!