Thursday, April 16, 2015

Formatting for Kindle Direct Publishing

When I first published Buddy, here's what I did:

I copied and pasted the whole thing from OpenOffice to Microsoft Word.  Then I made whatever adjustments I need to make.  This included things like hyperlinks and page breaks.  When I had it the way I wanted it, I uploaded that .doc to Amazon.

And then I used the "preview" function to check it out.  To my surprise and dismay, the last paragraph was in a different font from the rest of the story.  So I went into Word again, highlighted the problem section, selected the proper font, saved, and re-uploaded the file.

Same problem.

I eventually got it fixed, but it took a few tries.  It drove me nuts.  I basically had to backspace the whole last part of the story and then re-type it. 

The problem, as I later discovered, is that Microsoft Word likes to insert a lot of "junk html" into the file, and that stuff doesn't play well with Amazon's file converter.  So, for Mr. Wilson, I decided on a different tactic.

OpenOffice allows you to save your file as a .doc if you want, so I figured I'd do that.  That way, I wouldn't have to open Microsoft Word at all.

And it worked.  Flawless conversion.

So, for novice users of KDP, my recommendation  is to write in OpenOffice.  The program is a free download, so there's no reason not to at least have it on your computer.  Then, when your file is ready for uploading, save it as a .doc file.  Then upload that .doc.  DO NOT use Microsoft Word to make any changes to the file.

This will save you some headaches.  Trust me.

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