More in this series: Part 1
In part 1, I listed my formatting goals, which were determined by a painful process of trial and error. Here’s a few of the problems I encountered along the way.
1) The cover image treated as a normal interior picture and given margins
2) More than one cover
3) Paragraph spacing normalized in the eBook (i.e. larger spaces between paragraphs ignored)
4) Next / Previous Chapter not working
5) Images sized weirdly (the only image I used was a little squiggle after each chapter header, and it was a pain)
6) Clickable table of contents not linked properly (actually, I headed this one off at the pass based on what I read from others’ experiences)
7) Page breaks at new chapters
8) Empty pages
There were more, but that gives an idea of what we are trying to overcome with our formatting goals. So, moving right along, let’s list out the tools of the (eBook) trade:
1) Microsoft Word
That’s about it, unless you want to count the web browser used to upload files to KDP and Pubit! You’ve probably heard of Microsoft Word. Calibre is a free, open source ebook manager, and it happens to do a better job of creating MOBI files than any other tool I found. MOBI is the file type used by Kindles. When you upload your ebook to KDP and you want to know for sure how it is going to display, your best option is to do all the converting ahead of time and upload a MOBI file. Calibre will also convert your files to EPUB for Pubit! publication to Nook.
Here was my work flow to publish to Amazon’s KDP (a nearly identical workflow can be used with Pubit! and the Nook)
1) tweak formatting of Word doc.
2) save word doc as filtered HTML
3) import HTML into Calibre
4) convert to MOBI (using some special settings)
5) tell Calibre to email the MOBI file to my Kindle
6) evaluate book on Kindle
7) repeat 1 – 6 as needed
8) upload finished MOBI to Amazon and publish
In the next installment in the series, we’ll discuss the specifics of formatting a Word document for ebook publication.