My first publishing to Kindle

I had some “fun” last week since we were publishing an Amazon Kindle book. Those of you who have done that most probably just smiling because it is so easy. It looks easy from where I am now but a week ago – I was in pain.

RTFM

Everyone with some software or IT background know this old acronym. The others can look it up on Wikipedia, because I am not promoting this language here (even if I spill some off  line).

I am not a great manual reader, but this time – learning from my late SEO  findings – I started on Kindle Direct Publishing Help site. Since I wanted to prepare a book I went through most of the Prepare Your Book section.  We had the manuscript formatted in MS Word, but the help was talking so much about html, that I thought I export from Word and clean up the code to have a nicely formatted html source. Yea, sure…

If you ever tried to clean html code exported from Word, not to forget that a source .doc file had been edited on four five different machine with different style settings, you know how it feels. I was a bit burned out after 2 hours of cleaning, but I felt I am getting close.

I downloaded the Mobipocket Creator to convert the soon ready book to Kindle format. The only problem was that I could not get the TOC generator working with my <h1> and <h2> tags. It turned out that Mobipocket has some deep, concealed antipathy towards IE9, and refuse to convert TOC if IE9 is present at the same computer.  That was the point   I called it a day…

Fresh start

Next day my first task was to get rid of the unfavored IE9 version. Unless you are an MS expert this task starts on google because IE9 is not listed in Programs and Features – nice isn’t it.

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The following instructions apply to both Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

  1. Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, type Programs and Features in the search box, and then click View installed updates in the left pane.
  2. Under Uninstall an update, scroll down to the Microsoft Windows section.
  3. Right-click Windows Internet Explorer 9, click Uninstall, and then, when prompted, click Yes.
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I almost cried with joy when I finally converted the book with perfect TOC file and cover image. But when I previewed it in Kindle, it was off. No page brakes, mixed styles etc.

Ok, back to square one

RTFM, I mean let’s go back to KDP Help.

Somehow I scrolled down to Modify Converted Content, and on the middle of the page I found this:    Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines. Ooops! What a surprise! A nicely formatted, logically structured 78 page manual in pdf format. Wow! Written in clear English using word like mandatory, must, only supported.

[content_box_light_blue width=”75%”]“…The “normal” text in a Kindle book must be “all defaults.” We encourage content creators to use creative styles for headings, special paragraphs, footnotes, tables of contents, and so on, but not “normal” text…

…..

The Kindle platform currently offers a very basic support for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). If you do not obtain the desired behavior using CSS, try using inline HTML tags instead.”

Amazon Kindle Publishing Guide

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After reading the document I went back to the original MS Word source switched to HTML view mode, edited my styles, entered force page brake where needed saved as Word 97-2003  document, imported into Mobipocket creator, added TOC and cover image, filled in some more data, and hit  Build. Voilà!

Filling up the book details and uploading the book was piece of cake after these.

(K)ILL THEM OR HEAL THEM

If you had the feeling that I wrote this post to promote the book, you are right in some extent. But my main purpose was to expose a well written  but somewhat hidden document to those who want to do self publishing on Amazon. I think, that this guide will make some of those 20$-40$ e-books, which teach how to publish in Amazon Kindle format, obsolete.

On the other hand, even if I have published some paper and electronic books in Hungarian from different authors this is the first in English. And every first is special.

So if you are interested reading about what kind of parenting is needed for the next generation of babies, please check:

Amazon.com : (K)ILL THEM OR HEAL THEM

Amazon.co.uk: (K)ILL THEM OR HEAL THEM

Amazon.de: (K)ILL THEM OR HEAL THEM

Amazon.it: (K)ILL THEM OR HEAL THEM