Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kindle Direct Publishing

If Amazon did not allow self-publishing on the Kindle format, part of me believes I may not have begun writing the Miscorrection series. Once I saw that they allowed for it, I had my first motivation to write.

More importantly, Amazon made it easy to self-publish. If a person was compelled to write something, they can use Kindle Direct Publishing to get that work out there for others to see and purchase.

You can upload your printed work to the service in a number of formats, but I find that saving it in an HTML format works the best. If you upload from Microsoft Word, the files have a tendency to get a little messed up. The great thing is you can save your written works to HTML from within Word. So, you don’t need to know all kinds of coding just to make it work.

After your HTML file is made, put it and any linked graphics into a folder. After that, compress it and save it as a ZIP file. Then it is ready to be uploaded through the Kindle Direct Publishing web site. Fortunately, you will be able to look at a preview of the file as it will appear on a Kindle to see if everything uploaded without a problem. If you do find problems, just go back to your original file, fix them, and go through the above processes again.

To get the best results, make sure to setup your paragraph settings and page breaks in your word processing program before saving to HTML. This will save you the headache of trying to get the word formatting consistent throughout your entire published book. Also, I ran into problems with my cover graphics not showing up in the final Kindle file. There was a weird linking issue to the graphics that went wrong in the HTML. This is an easy fix though. Just right click your HTML file and click to open it with Notepad. This will bring up the HTML code. Browse to where it lists the graphic in the HTML. You can see what the file is named by looking in the folder where you placed your files. Most likely, the image names were changed to ‘0001.jpg’, ‘0002.jpg’, and so forth. A quicker way to find the image link in the HTML code is by clicking ‘Edit’ along the top menu bar and then clicking ‘Find’ in the submenu. Then you can type in the image name easily. My images were showing as being in a folder like this: images001.jpg. All I did was delete the ‘images\’ part of the code. This told it that the image was within the folder where the HTML file was. After this, my front and back cover images showed up in the preview window properly.

This is very basic information on using the Kindle Direct Publishing. For deeper information, they do have a support section along with community forums. With those tools you should be able to find the answer to any question or problem.

So what are you waiting for? You know you have a great idea or story to write about. Make it happen!