Learn a basic step-by-step with tips for bookmarks, hyperlinks, chapter starts, metadata, and export settings.
- [Instructor] Most writers start with their manuscript in Microsoft Word or some of them in Apache's Open Office, the free alternative to Microsoft Office Suite. And the point of this video is, is it possible to move your Word document directly to a Kindle format document? Can you convert Word to a mobi file? You can't do it from within Word, as I think I mentioned this earlier, but there's no way to save out to epub or mobi from Word, though why they haven't figured that out, I don't know.
But you can't do a Save As and you can't export. But Kindle understands that. The Amazon people understand that most writers who want to publish on the Kindle platform are using Word, and they don't have InDesign or QuarkXPress or anything like that. So how do you get your Word document to the Kindle? The answer is, first of all, hie thee to the Kindle Direct Publishing, KDP, for short, portal. And log in. You can log in with your existing Amazon account or you might want to create a separate Amazon account with a different email just for your KDP exploits.
This is the portal that you'll be coming to over and over again to find resources, to download guidelines, to access their forums, and actually to upload your eBooks and to see how they're doing. So you need a KDP account. This is what all authors and small publishers use. The big publishers, they have a completely different system. Now, after you've signed in, and I've already signed in here, you can go to Getting Started - How to Publish Your Book on KDP. You can publish an eBook, or, this is new, publish a paperback.
So if you say publish your eBook, it has the instructions here. Format your manuscript, for formatting help, make sure your manuscript meets our content and quality guidelines, and so on. So like, if you go to Format Your Manuscript, it brings you here to the Simplified eBook Formatting Guide, and a link to this page will be in the PDF of all the eBook resources that you can download from the exercise files. But essentially, you follow these instructions for building your book in Microsoft Word. Notice it's going to use KF8, so it's going to be a high-quality eBook.
And they have things like what a hard return is, and they're just making sure that you don't hit a return after every line, it should only be between paragraphs, and how to add extra space, because a lot of people don't quite know how to use Microsoft Word and it won't work if you follow their step by step instructions and then upload your Word file. One interesting thing is they want you to have a page break to define different chapters, and to have an active table of contents. So follow all these instructions for how to do so, and then Save As Filtered HTML.
That's the important thing, in the end, is that once you've inserted your page breaks and you're confident with your layout, save your Word file, and then save it as Web Page Filtered on Windows or Web Page on the Mac. I think these are a little out of date, because we also have filtered for Mac. And if I jump over to Microsoft Word and I go to File, Save As, and we're going to choose to save it as Web Page, Filtered. What that means by Filtered is that they remove a lot, not all, but a lot of the Microsoft Word proprietary codes that really have no use at all in an eBook.
And I'm going to save it to the desktop and click Save, and it says are you sure, yes, yes, yes, that's fine. Okay, and let's look at what we have on our desktop. We have the HTML file, and we have this folder that has any images that were in the HTML file. Then, following the instructions from Amazon is that you upload your book for sale. Once you're satisfied, upload your file to the bookshelf, and that's about it. So you upload the HTML file and the folder of images and then Amazon will turn it into a Kindle book.
You won't be able to see a preview of the Kindle book at this point, because you're just uploading this HTML file, but when I get to the video about actually publishing to the KDP platform, you'll see how you can go ahead and upload this file and then download a preview before it actually goes for sale. And one other thing I want to mention here, and I'll see if I can just touch on this briefly, but at this moment when I'm recording, Amazon just came out with this neat new application called Kindle Create, and it runs on Mac and Windows, and it is for creating eBooks, either fixed layout or reflowable, from Microsoft Word for from a PDF.
I have it running right now, Kindle Create, and let me hide these other applications. I can choose to create a new project from a file, so you see if you have a novel or an essay it's going to do a reflowable, or you can do textbooks, travel guides. Though we're going to create a reflowable epub for our English cottage gardens book, so I'll select this, it says choose the file, and there is our ECGardens. Notice that it won't take an Open Office document. So if you have a book written in Open Office, you're going to have to do a Save As a Microsoft Word doc, and then do it from there.
And I'll click Open, and it's converting it, and making sure that it's perfectly set up for your documents, and the import was successful. Hit Continue, and now it says it's going to look for where the chapter titles are. And so it's all automated, and you can say, no, that's not a chapter, that is a chapter. And these are the headings over here. That looks fine to me, I'll click OK. And now we have converted this to a Kindle Create document. And if you need to do further editing, you would do it in the Kindle Create document itself.
Like, for example, I don't like the centered headlines, I want them to be left-aligned. So I'm clicking here and looking at text properties, and I want to go to Formatting, and this should be left-aligned. See that? So it's looking kind of strange, I want this paragraph here, could be a different size and different indents. There's a limited amount of reformatting that you can do. See, it is having its own indents, that's pretty good. And then when you're done, you can preview what it's going to look like in the Kindle Previewer, which I showed in a previous video, or you can package it, which actually creates a editable Kindle Create version on your hard drive if you want to continue updating it, as well as a package that you upload to the KDP portal to publish.
So I'll say go ahead and save my changes, I'll save it as ECGardens-create, and I want to save it on my desktop. And then it saves the package project that you upload to KDP. And I'll save that also on my desktop. And it's been packaged, and it says just upload it to KDP to publish this book. Click OK, and now later, let me go to the Finder, Hide Others. On my desktop, so now this file here, the KPF file, this is the package that I would upload to KDP.
If I want to edit the book some more and then create an updated KPF file, I go to my folder here, and this is the actual Kindle Create file, KCB. So I hope that you've been keeping track of all these extensions for file names, 'cause it will be on the test at the end. Now, it is pretty neat that they came up with a completely new app for people who want to publish to Kindle either reflowable or fixed layout directly from their Word or PDF files. Keep an eye on this beta. Hopefully it'll be improved and enhanced in months to come.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author