Kindle ebook conversion isn’t as simple as it used to be. Amazon has added Kindle Fire to its family of e-reader devices. By way of the Kindle format, ebook conversion has thus become more complicated. If you publish your ebook in different Kindle e-readers, you’ll find that it has different design and look formats. It’s these variations in the “looks” aspect that made Kindle ebook conversion more knotty. Self-published authors are often plagued by formatting issues in converting their ebooks in Kindle. At times, the ebook formatting result is so erratic although the hardcover version is beautifully formatted.
Publishing in KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
What software to use to produce the best Kindle-formatted ebook? Many self-publishers think otherwise, but people in the know advice against using KDP or Kindle Direct Publishing. You can easily convert your word document file to an ebook format via KDP, but the end result book product is not very satisfactory.
Although initially, some authors/publishers went by the route of converting a HTML text file via Calibre and then upload to Kindle, disappointing formatting issues come out. It’s not a recommended method because Calibre, as a third party conversion software, is no longer supported by the KDP platform. On the other hand, KDP requires the use of KindleGen, its specialized ebook conversion tool.
Getting more resourceful, you can Google for tips and tricks to sort out formatting issues. Create 4 documents for your ebook:
- Actual text in HTML
- Table of contents in HTML
- Table of contents ncx
- An opf
These are particular documents where a missing or extra semi-colon causes major problems in formatting. Combine the four documents with your preferred cover photo and work through in KindleGen. Check the Kindle Previewer to see how the resulting Kindle format ebook looks. Since your doc is in HTML format, you’ll have to go back and forth to fix formatting errors/issues. Do that while viewing your document in the Kindle Previewer.
There’s no safe and sure way to create a document that will look good on all Kindle e-readers, but here are some manuscript tips to make your ebook conversion better:
Word options that typically cause errors in ebook conversion-
- Single and double quotes quotation marks
- Dashes (or hyphens) in a sentence
The “find and replace” option can easily take care of these errors, but not all. At this point, the only choice is to go back and forth to rectify the mistakes and check the Kindle format result. Yes, it’s time consuming.
In your future ebook texts, you therefore have to be careful in using the above-mentioned Word options. You’ll want to reduce any formatting errors possible. Take into consideration how you use these Word options as well in relation to the genre of your ebook- whether fiction or non-fiction.
DIY ebook conversion is itself a painstaking and time- consuming process, and if you’re a novice, you can only limit yourself to publishing your ebook in 1 or 2 formats. Take the most practical option of outsourcing your ebook conversion if you want to create an attractive and truly saleable ebook. In the hands of an expert, you can publish your ebooks quickly and efficiently in several formats so that it is accessible in a bigger and more diverse platform of ebook readership.