Formatting Your Documents for the Kindle in 8 Steps

Guest: Nicole Rodgers

Learning the tricks to formatting your documents for the Kindle can help you push your writing career to the next level. The publishing industry has seen a large number of changes with the advancement of technology. Electronic publishing has made it easier and more acceptable for authors to self-publish. Understanding the 8 steps for formatting will help you in your endeavor.

Simple Steps to Format for the Kindle

• Recognize the publishing format. Publishing with Kindle works best when you go through the Kindle Direct Publishing service. It sets the content up specifically for use with the Kindle.

• Understand the language of Kindle. Although the Kindle books are published using Html and CSS there are some codes that are unique to the Kindle format.

• Invest in an Html guide. You can purchase a book for the purpose or do your research online. The use of Html will keep you from trying to utilize a “What You See Is What You Get” program.

• Get a clean start. Copying your content into Notepad or some other similar software. This program will strip your content of miscellaneous code and help to avoid any barriers that may exist between the word processing software and the Kindle Direct Publishing service.

• Being placing code into your content using an Html editor. This will be the time when a “Dummies Guide to Html” or similar book will make laying out the content a little easier.
o Use the code <head> <title> Name of Book </title> </head> to put the title of your book on the top of the page.
o Use similar basic code to create a title page with the information centered.
o Continue to add in the necessary code to create the look that you envisioned for your online book.

• Avoid inserting artificial white space such as hitting the enter key to move the content to the next page. All white space will be ignored by Kindle. Any skipped pages or new pages need to be started with a special Html tag. <mbp:pagebreak />. Indents can be created with the <p> code.

• Remember that books need more than just a single space between lines. This will help the reader follow the print easier. The same follows over to ePublishing as well. Put a double space (or at least 1 ½ spaces) between each line and use the indent code for new paragraphs.

• Keep it simple. You can still use coding for making print bold or putting it in italics, but limit the coding as much as you can. Readers are looking for great words that are joined together in attention grabbing sentences and not so much the fancy formatting.

Once you have the book or product formatted you can upload it into the Kindle Direct Publishing. Be sure to take some time to preview the book before you hit print. The more time you spend on creating a clean book that is easy to read the more likely you will be to sell the work you create through Kindle.

Writing a book can be hard work. It is important that you have as many avenues as possible to present that creation. Learning the steps to publish on Kindle will give you one more tool to help make your book launch a success.

The first step to being successfully published on Kindle starts with completing your book. Once you have that under your belt you can move on to the formatting. Take some time to learn Html and you will discover that converting your content to Kindle material is not that difficult. The investment in learning the language will help the process run smoother. You can learn all about formatting your documents for the Kindle in 8 steps if you are willing to invest the time.

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging about the tech industry for 3 years; she currently blogs about heatmapping software and the best ways to go about online stock investing.


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  1.'Maryan Pelland

    Thanks for the helpful tips. I’d like to add that there is better html info free online. We use – from the people who watch over the invention of html coding. a tag only indents if style sheets specify indent. My p-tags set up block paragraphs, for example. A good WYSIWYG editor like Coffee Cup isn’t a bad thing, in fact, it can help you visualize what you are coding.

    HTML isn’t simple, but it is straight-forward and can be used by most people after just a little practice. When you finish coding, it’s essential to run the HTML document through Amazon’s KindleGen8 or a program like SIGIL to validate your code so you can be sure it will convert to .mobi, Kindle’s format. Once you have that html document, you can learn how to convert it to other formats and sell your book in other venues, as well. Best luck to all dedicated writers!