If you have ever tried formatting your Ebook for kindle you know that it’s not an easy task.
Formatting an Ebook for kindle publishing requires various critical steps.
So in this blog post, I will show you clearly how to format an ebook for kindle.
So let’s get started.
How to Format an Ebook in Word
1. Write And Type Clean
Whatever app or software you are using for your writing always go for the default setting.
This helps to prevent adding junk or metadata into your document.
As an example, these things are like entering “enter” twice to add an extra space between sentences, using tabs multiple times to add spaces, etc.
You can customize this setting later when you do the final editing.
But first, you have to write your story or novel completely clean.
At first don’t try to style the sentences, add quotes, headings, and subheadings.
Just write the draft first neat and clean so that styling can be easily added at a later stage. This is the first step of ebook formatting for kindle.
2. Set Paragraph Indentation and Line Spacing
Indentation and Line Spacing
As tab spacing doesn’t convert into Kindle format, you have to indent your paragraphs.
This is important to ensure your text displays consistently across any kindle devices. To automatically apply the formatting and to ensure consistency you can modify Normal style.
To do so :
- Click on Home then right-click on Normal. Then click on Modify to modify the setting.
- Choose Format option from the drop-down dialog box and then choose Paragraph.
- Then a new dialog box will open. Choose Indentation and then select special. Now set First Line indent to 0.2″ (5mm).
- Now under Spacing set Before and After to 0 pt and Line Spacing to Single.
- Finally, Click OK to apply the same formatting.
Add Page Breaks
Adding Page Breaks will make sure that your text displays as intended.
Page Break is added wherever you want to end one page and begin from the next page.
To add Page Break start from the top of your manuscript.
Place the cursor from where you want to end the page and press “Ctrl + Enter” or “Command + Return”.
You can also add Page Break in MS Word by:
Place the cursor from where you want to add Page Break, click on Insert then click on “Page Break”.
3. Complete Your Manuscript
Now you need to tidy up the document and format it as follows to get the best result for your kindle ebook.
Chapters Title Formatting
Apply Heading 1 to all your chapters title.
This is important when you create your table of content for your ebook. This will help you to generate an automatic table of contents if the formatting is done correctly.
Irrespective of what text editor you are using follow the same pattern.
To set headings in MS Word:
- Place your cursor next to the first chapter title.
- And on Home tab click on Heading 1.
- Now set the alignment to Center.
- Do this for all the remaining chapters in your ebook.
You can add as many as external links in your kindle ebook as long as you are not distracting the readers from the original content.
These external links can be to any resources you want to share or to the Author’s website/blog, or forthcoming books, or link to a series (if any).
You are not limited to the number of links you can add. So add links where you think will help your readers.
To add links/hyperlinks :
- Select the text you want to link.
- Click on Insert Tab
- Click on Hyperlink. Then a new dialog box will appear.
- In Address bar add the link you want to add. Then click on OK.
A footnote is added in between the ebook chapters for indicating references if you have any.
And footnotes help the reader go to and from chapter to reference and vice versa.
To add a footnote:
- Place the cursor where you want your footnote to appear.
- Click on Reference tab and then click on Insert Footnote, as shown below.
- The cursor will automatically jump to the Footnote section at the bottom of your page.
- Now enter Footnote here.
The Footnotes will automatically convert into endnotes when you upload your ebook on Amazon.
Things to consider while adding an image:
- Insert the image into your document and don’t just copy and paste.
- Insert image at their original size and make sure your image has the maximum resolution.
- Don’t enlarge the image after adding.
- Add a single line of space before and after image
Here’s the step for adding images in Kindle ebook using Word.
- Click on the Insert tab.
- Click on Pictures.
- Browse the image you want to add and then click on Insert.
- Now set the alignment to Center.
4 Create Table Of Contents (TOC)
Creating Table Of Contents in Kindle Create is easy as it can automatically detect the heading tag and other subheadings.
But you can create your own Table of Content in MS Word by:
- Place your cursor at the beginning of blank page which you have reserved for the table of contents.
- Click on Reference tab and click Table Of Contents.
- Now select Automatic Table 1.
- Now again click Table of Contents, but this time you have to choose Custom Table of Contents.
- Then clear the Show Page Number Box and set Show Level to 1. After that click OK.
- It will ask you to replace the table of contents. Click on Yes to continue.
- Now highlight the table of contents title Contents.
- Again go to Insert tab and then click on Links. Then click on Bookmark.
- In the Bookmark Name field enter toc and then click on Add.
- Make sure to add a page break after your table of contents.
5. Adding Front And Back Pages
Pages like ebook title, copyright page, dedication page are grouped in front pages.
And pages like “About the Author “, references, etc are grouped in back pages.
Every ebook should include an ebook title page with ebook name and author name.
You can also add as many front and back pages as required according to your genre. But these are the minimum front and back pages for any ebook.
Remember, the back pages of your book is a great way to promote your other books or your author website.
Now, if you are little stuck as to what to include in your front or back pages, you can get ideas by browsing some kindle ebooks and seeing how they set up these pages.
You can preview any ebook on Amazon to get an idea.
How To Format Ebook For Kindle In Kindle Create
You can format your DOC/DOCX file (manuscript) using Kindle Create also.
As this Kindle Create is exclusive for formatting eBooks for kindle, it will somehow streamline the process for you.
To format eBooks in Kindle Create follow the process below:
- Download and install Kindle Create for your PC or Mac.
- Now open Kindle Create and click on New Project from File.
- Choose the type of book you’re making and click on Choose File.
- Select the DOC/DOCX (manuscript) and click on Open.
- Wait for the import process to complete. Now click OK to Continue.
- Kindle Create will automatically start finding your chapters titles.
- Now click on Get Started.
If you have formatted chapter titles correctly in your Word document then it will display here correctly, if not then you can edit here as well.
Setting Table of Contents
Kindle Create will automatically generate Table of Contents when you import your manuscript.
As all Kindle devices and Kindle apps have two types of table of contents, you can add these also in Kindle Create.
The two types of table of contents are the TOC page and the Kindle Interactive TOC.
The TOC is the page at the beginning of your eBook which contains the links to each chapter in the eBook. Whereas Kindle Interactive TOC is the menu which you can see on your Kindle devices and Kindle App and can be accessed from anywhere in the eBook.
To Add TOC page in Kindle Create:
- Click the thumbnail of your first chapter in the Contents pane and select the Insert option.
- Then Table of Contents.
- The list of detected chapter titles will be displayed.
- Select OK to apply.
- The table of the content page will be added in your eBook.
To Add Kindle Interactive TOC:
It can automatically detect the chapters during DOC/DOCX import.
You can also add Kindle Interactive TOC manually by selecting the thumbnail in the Contents pane and then selecting the Include in Table of Contents checkbox in the Properties Pane.
Finalizing Frontpage and Other Pages
Place your cursor next to your eBook title and then click on the BOOK TITLE button in the Text Properties panel.
This will help you to format your eBook title properly.
Follow the same procedure for Author name, Copyright, Dedication, etc.
You can add a drop cap to the first letter of the first word in a chapter by placing your cursor next to the first paragraph and click Chapter First Paragraph.
You can do the same for each chapter.
Kindle Create recommends JPG formatted images with at least 100*300 pixel per inch (100 pixels on the longest side).
To add an image using Kindle Create:
- Right-click where you want to add an image and select Insert Image from the pop-up menu.
- Select the image you want to add and click on Open.
- Under Image Properties displayed in the Properties Pane choose the required size. You can also change the image position.
Quality Check Your eBook Formatting
After you are done with the above formatting its time for you to recheck your work for final submission.
These are some of the things that you should always check for when creating the perfect eBook formatting.
- Spelling and Grammar – You can use Word’s in-built spellcheck and grammar tools to find minor errors. Though I would recommend you use tools like Grammarly for Proofreading your manuscript before you start formatting your eBook.
- Check for Hard Returns – A hard return is anywhere you press Enter key while typing. You should only hit Enter when you want to change a paragraph or add a space between lines and not after writing each line.
- Don’t Add Cover Image – When you publish your eBook on Amazon it will automatically add a cover image for you. So there is no need to add a cover image in your completed manuscript.
- Make Sure You Don’t Have Any Text Box and Shapes – These will not be formatted during the conversion process. Even if you have to add some diagrams or special symbols and shapes, add them as an image format.
Preview Your Ebook
Saving The File
You should save your file in DOC or DOCX format only if you used MS Word for editing your eBook.
If you have used MS Word along with Kindle Create then follow the process :
- Prepare your file by clicking Publish in the top right corner.
- You will get a KPF file.
You can either upload the KPF file or the DOC/DOCX file whichever has the formatting according to your needs.
Always check how your eBook looks after formatting. You can use Kindle Previewer (free desktop application) to preview your eBook if you did the formatting in Word.
If you use Kindle Create to format your eBook then you can preview it by clicking the Preview button.
Select the different devices and check how your eBook looks on Tablet, Kindle devices, and in Kindle app.
Even after uploading your file in KDP you can check using Online Previewer to get a final overview.
The above-mentioned steps will help you to format your eBook perfectly for kindle devices.
This eBook formatting can be applied to almost all major eBook publishing platforms as well.
Though you can always tweak it for a more perfect outcome.
Hope these steps help you get your eBook out into the world!
2 thoughts on “How to Format An Ebook For Kindle”
This was interesting & really useful for a beginner like myself, however….. When you say,
“Don’t Add Cover Image – When you publish your ebook on Amazon it will automatically add a cover image for you. So there is no need to add a cover image in your completed manuscript.”
What do you mean by that..? I’ve designed a cover & want to use that, not some random one given to my by Amazon. Could you explain this please.? Thank you.
You don’t need to upload the cover in the completed manuscript.
Though you need to upload the cover separately during upload time. Here’s the link for that post. http://writersxp.com/guide-to-publish-ebook-on-amazon/