How to make an eBook, Part Two

Now that I have my writing and eBook cover ready (or so I think… more on that later), it’s time for the next step.

(Steps one to three were covered earlier.)

Step four: Install the software and learn how to use it.

Fortunately, Kindle Create has an online tutorial, so I’m going to use that. Allegedly:

In this tutorial, you’ll use Kindle Create to prepare the interior of a sample book, Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice. You’ll start with an unformatted manuscript and finish with a file that’s ready to be uploaded to KDP. We’ve provided starting materials and will walk you through each step.

By the end of the tutorial, you’ll understand what you can do with Kindle Create and how to use it to prepare your own books.

I’ve already downloaded Kindle Create, so now it’s time to install it. I know how to do this part (but if you don’t, and need help with it, leave a comment and I’ll do what I can).

… There, that’s done: Kindle Create is installed, and is up and running.

Kindle Create main screen

So far, so good…

Rather than describe every step in this tutorial, which would take a long time and probably bore us both to tears, I’ll go away, do it, and come back with my thoughts.

Well, that was much easier than I expected. I stumbled a few times, such as when trying to locate what was referred to as the ‘formatting tab’ (it’s not actually a ‘tab’ as I’m used to seeing them in other applications, like browsers) but the linked help page was (mostly) helpful. There are a limited number of options you have to play with, which simplifies things considerably; for instance, you can’t specify the typeface you want to use (that’s determined by the Reader — which makes sense). After importing the text, it’s mostly a case of a lot of clicking to format chapter headings and insert ‘front matter’ and ‘back matter’.

I think I’ll have to revisit ‘step three’ (create a cover), however. Neither Kindle Create itself nor the tutorial mention anything about how to put a cover on the book. You can import an image into a page (it has to be a .JPG) but so far at least I haven’t figured out how to make the image cover the entire page — I have a big white border around the image I made earlier. I think I need to fiddle with something called ‘bleed’ to do this, which is a beta feature in Kindle Create… going to leave that for the time being as it’s another complication I can do without. I found a reference in the help to a free ‘Cover Creator‘ application; I may have to investigate that.

The tutorial doesn’t cover importing extra material from additional files, which ideally I want to do as my content is a few short stories and some poems, all in separate files. I tried to use the help at https://kdp.amazon.com to ask the question, but I hit another road block: apparently my account wasn’t up to scratch. I had to pass over a shedload of personal information to get through… which, I gather, is necessary anyway if I want to eventually get paid for any copies of this eBook I eventually sell (if any). Having passed that hurdle, I was still unable to find an answer to the question. I enquired further, and it turns out that the answer is ‘no’; it’s (currently) necessary to create a single Word file containing all the content for the book (except, perhaps, images), and import that into a Kindle Create project.

Step five: get an International Standard Book Number (ISBN).

From the Kindle Direct Publishing website:

An ISBN isn’t required to publish an eBook with KDP. Once your content is published on KDP, Amazon will assign it a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), which is unique to the eBook, and is an identification number for the Kindle Book on Amazon.com.

If you already have an ISBN for your eBook, you’ll be able to enter it during the publishing process. Do not use an ISBN from a print version of your book; eBook ISBNs must be unique to eBook versions. You can purchase an ISBN from multiple sources on the Web, including the official ISBN body.

It’s good news that an eBook doesn’t need an ISBN: I followed that link to ‘the official ISBN body’ and it turns out that they cost $125 each. I very much doubt my puny offering will ever gross in total anything like that princely sum! :)

OK, I think that’s enough for this episode. Signing off till next time….

About peNdantry

Phlyarologist (part-time) and pendant. Campaigner for action against anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and injustice in all its forms. Humanist, atheist, notoftenpist. Wannabe poet, writer and astronaut.
This entry was posted in art, Communication, Computers and Internet, Education, Tech tips and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to How to make an eBook, Part Two

  1. All of this is making me nervous. How many mistakes have you made so far?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How to make an eBook, Part Three | Wibble

  3. Pingback: How to make an eBook, Part One | Wibble

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