Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kindle Author's Pre-Publishing Checklist

I’ve just published my third Kindle book (this is the second novel in my ‘1980s New Romantic Murders’ series) and, once again, I realised that I had forgotten all the niggly little things I needed to do in order to get my manuscript ready for publication. To help me (and other Kindle authors!) remember in future, I decided to jot down some notes – and here they are...

I’m assuming here that you will be using Microsoft Word and that you’ve done all the obvious things such as proof-read your manuscript, fixed any grammar errors, spellchecked the text etc. I’m, also assuming that you’ve read Amazon’s Kindle Formatting guide in the Help section of their KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) site.

Right, so what next?

1) Check that the formatting is correct (for example, that there are no funny fonts that shouldn’t be there).

2) If Track Changes is on (in Word’s Review panel), make sure that all changes are accepted (Changes/Accept all Changes in Document). Forget to do this and you may end up with text that you thought you’d altered or deleted being included in your published book!

3) Add Page Breaks. After every chapter, make sure there is a Page Break (keyboard shortcut is CTRL+ENTER). You can verify the breaks are where they are supposed to be by viewing hidden formatting (either click the Show/Hide icon in the Home/Paragraph panel of the Word ribbon or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT-* being sure to use the * on the 8 key at the top of your keyboard).

4) Add a Table of Contents (see HERE for guidance).

5) Add start and toc bookmarks so that Kindle will be able to find the start of the text and the Table Of Contents.

6) Create a cover image – 600 pixels wide, 800 pixels height in JPG format.

7) Save as Filtered HTML, and create Kindle-format book using Mobipocket Creator. See: Kindle Publishing, First Steps. Being sure to add the cover image and guides to go to the start and toc bookmarks (see Step 4 above).

8) Prepare all the Book details you’ll need to enter when you upload the book to Amazon. These include:

Book Name
Serial Title (if there is one) and Volume Number (if this is a series)
Description – the ‘blurb’ that will be shown under your book on Amazon.
Categories (the sections of the virtual bookstore into which the book naturally ‘fits’ – e.g. Humorous, Crime, Espionage)
Search keywords: Up to 7 keywords or phrases separated by commas that may help potential readers to find your book: e.g. murder, mystery, crime, detective, thriller, romance, British murder mystery

9) Go to the Bookshelf area of Amazon’s KPD site. Upload eBook (Amazon’s KDP Help area has guidance on this) – Amazon states that the cover image for the Amazon site should optimally be 500 x 1200 at 72 dpi. However, that results in a weirdly long and thin image. I use the cover image that’s in the book itself- a JPEG at 600x800 and that works just fine. Fill out the title, description, search words and other information which you should have prepared in Step 8.

And that’s it.... (unless I’ve forgotten anything?)

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