Formatting for Kindle. I know I said this would be a better post than the one before it, but I was lying. It's gonna be so much wor...

My First eBook: Part 5

Formatting for Kindle.

I know I said this would be a better post than the one before it, but I was lying. It's gonna be so much worse. Deal with it, dickhead.

Also, this isn't to say I'm definitely opting for Kindle over, say, Smashwords. It's just to say that KDP is a bit of a prettier site, so it held my attention for longer and I ended up experimenting with the advice given by this booklet, and eventually creating a proper .mobi file, like what real authors have. Now that I've linked to that book, in fact, I don't really need to write any more blog post. Everything you need to know is in there. As long as you follow that advice word for word (except for a couple of points below), you'll be fine. But in case you've missed something along the way, here are my tips:

  • Remember to work on your book as .doc. I'm on Word 2013 and so will a lot of you be, but most people are probably on Word 2007 or 2010 I reckon. Either way, you'll be saving as .docx by default, and the new format will mess with your formatting, so just hit File > Save As, and shut up moaning, alright?
  • My only issues with Building Your Book for Kindle are that it advises you to set 1.27cm indents and 10pt paragraph breaks. This is completely your choice, and you might like those settings, but I thought they were both way too high. When I viewed it in the previewer, I thought it looked terrible. I think I ended up using 0.8cm and 7pt. Deal with it.
  • I centre-aligned all of my headings. I just think that looks so much better. But you can do what you want.
  • It's so important that you use the previewer to view your .mobi file on every device possible - each of the e-inks, each of the Kindle Fires, and each of the iOSes. What looks fine on e-ink might not look good at all on Kindle Fire. For me, this was because e-ink devices were using the default font for their system (which I liked), but the Kindle Fire devices had the sans serif font that I had used to create the file, and it looked terrible. I changed it all to Garamond, and now it looks better on those devices, while remaining the way I like it on e-ink. I'd still rather it was a bit prettier on all those shiny screens, but I don't know what that pretty font is that the e-ink screens use. Or do I? I do. I wrote it down somewhere actually. Let me get back to you on this one.
I wish I had more to say, but that book really does explain it all. God, I feel so useless. At least I still have my looks.

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