Thursday, 8 November 2012

Fleeting Tales #14: Ebook Publishing Part 3


Uploading your correctly formatted manuscript to Kindle Direct Publishing is simple enough and can be completed in just a few minutes as long as everything has been properly prepared. But before you upload, you need to convert your manuscript to a suitable file format which the Kindle can recognise.

To perform this task, I highly recommend a free program called Mobipocket Creator. This simple, easy to use tool can transform your word .doc file into a Kindle ebook in seconds.

When I first created my ebook for Kinesis I had a little trouble with the table of contents which, although not essential, is a highly recommended inclusion in your book. I found the easiest way to create a table of contents is to make sure all your chapter headings in your Word manuscript are written using one of the 'heading' styles. You can then select 'Insert/Reference/Index and Tables' from the Word toolbar in order to automatically create your TOC.

When this is complete you can import your manuscript into Mobipocket Creator and go to the 'Guide' section. Select 'new guide item' and add the following details to the three fields:
  • Title - 'Table of Contents'
  • Type - 'toc'
  • Filename - 'Book title.html#toc' (replace Book title with the name of the Word .doc filename).
Then click 'update' and your Table of Contents will be generated for use on any Kindle device.

Once you have added your .jpg cover image and any relevant metadata then you're ready to hit the 'build' button and your Kindle novel will be created.

You can see how well it has turned out by downloading another free program called Kindle Previewer. You can make sure it appears how you want it to and make any relevant changes.

From here all that is left to do is upload the file to KDP and decide on the price you wish to charge.


Createspace can be a little bit more work to get right, but as long as you have followed the formatting guidelines on their website exactly then you shouldn't run into too many problems.

First of all you need to choose on the size of your book, paper colour etc, which is all easy enough. But then you get to the meat of your book.

Createspace now requires that you convert your manuscript to PDF format before uploading and this can be done easily (and free) from

You can also access an online cover creator on the Createspace website which allows you to upload .jpg images for both the front and back covers. Again, it is important to ensure that your image is in the correct format and resolution otherwise you will run into problems. All of these can be checked on the Createspace website before you upload.

Once you have successfully uploaded your .pdf interior file and your cover, you will then be required to submit your files for review. From here, Createspace check your documents and make sure that there are no glaring errors which could result in a poor quality paperback. As long as everything is okay, they will then send you an email to say that your proof can now be ordered.

Createspace offer an online digital proofing system to check that your book looks okay. It is very good and can give you a resonable idea of what to expect from the hard copy, but lets be honest, most people want to hold a copy of their book in their own two hands. You can therefore order a hard copy proof from the website (at a charge), which I highly recommend.

And you're finally done! You have now successfully published both a Kindle ebook and a paperback copy.

It has just occurred to me that although I have called this guide 'ebook publishing', I have also been describing my experiences of paperback publishing via Createspace as well. But no matter, it is what it is. All the best and good luck!

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