Monday, March 21, 2011

Kindle Publishing

Publishing a book on Kindle is so darn hard isn't it? Actually, no.

I set up an account for myself on Amazon to publish via kindle and then created a book worthy (I hope) of being sold and read. Here is what I've learnt.

Software needed

MobiPocket creator. This is a free download and can be obtained very easily.
Kindle Previewer. Available from Amazon, another free piece of software.
MS Word or Open Office Writer. Open Office is free, MS Word isn't. You also need a fairly new version of MS Word as you will need to save the document as an HTML file. If your copy of word is over ten years old, you might need to replace it.

A useful piece of software would be a text editor such as windows notepad so you can edit some of the html code...I'll tell what and why later.

What you need to do

First of all type your masterpiece, edit it and spellcheck it. Make sure that you have your paragraphs formatted in your chosen style and all other formatting instructions done.
TIP: Don't use more than one font. I used Times New Roman and it translates very well onto the electronic page. Fancy and non-standard fonts may not translate so well.

Once you've done that, save the document as an html page. This is done by selecting 'save as' from the file menu. Then open MobiPocket creator.
TIP: When installing the creator, choose the 'easy' option...unless you feel adventurous.

On the MobiPocket homepage you'll see a link 'import from existing file'. Select the 'html' option and follow the instructions that follow. You build the book by selecting 'build' at the top right.
TIP: You could try to use the 'word document' instead of 'html' but I have no idea how that will turn out.

Once the book has been created, open the kindle previewer, open your new book (a 'prc' file) and check it.

HTML code

I mentioned html code earlier well this is the part where you may need it.

When you insert the 'copyright' (©) symbol in Word, it may not translate correctly and come out as a Scandinavian or Old English symbol. If this is the case, open notepad, then open the html file in notepad. Your copyright symbol will usually be near the start of the book, so look for the text near the symbol, probably your name, and you will see some code that begins with &# and is followed by three numbers. To get the copyright symbol you need &# followed by 169.

Save it, close notepad and return to MobiPocket creator. Go to the 'home' page, select your book from the list in the bottom right under 'open recent publication', select the html item, delete it and then select the 'add file' button on the far left. Insert your new html file, rebuild the book and look at it again in the kindle previewer. You should now see the copyright symbol.


Once you have completed this, upload it to your kindle account on Amazon and wait for the money to roll in...or not.

It took me a few hours to get the hang of this, but even if it takes a day, you get to upload your work direct to Amazon without paying anyone and have another market for your writing.

I haven't uploaded my book yet as I want to get a good cover picture (only black and white allowed at the mo for some reason), but when I do, you'll be the first to know. Well, maybe the second after I've told my family and my writer's group.

See you on Wednesday.


1 comment:

Cindy R. Wilson said...

Wow, I didn't even know this was possible. I thought you had to be published with a certain kind of publisher to have a book available on Kindle. Let us know how it all works out!