If you haven’t done so already download Kindle Create now. Click Here. Once you have downloaded it you should see the icon below and now you are ready to get started.
Once you open the program the first screen that will appear will be the one pictured below. This option is pretty easy and straightforward since this is probably your first time exploring the Kindle Create program. Click on “New Project From File”. For the sake of completeness- if you need to get back into an existing book or project you will just need to click on “Resume Existing Project”.
This next section will be one of your first big choices. What kind of book are you going to publish?
You will notice that, depending on the option that you choose, your original document will need to be in specific original formats (.pdf, .doc or .docx). You may be wondering why there aren’t options for children’s books, comic or manga. Those categories each have their own specific programs supplied by Amazon. If you would like to check them out Click Here.
Once you have uploaded your manuscript it is time to actually get started.
Soooo… Click on “Get Started” as seen in the graphic below.
One of the first things that you will notice once the program loads will be the “suggested chapter title” box. This is the easiest way to select or deselect the pre-chosen chapter titles. Pro Tip- This is an easy way to jump between chapters while you are working on formatting your book.
DO NOT press “Accept Selected” until you are sure that all of your chapter titles are listed and your non titles are not listed. If you inadvertently do so you can “fix it” but it is much easier if you accept the chapter titles at the end of the process.
As you can see in the sample shots above and below the fonts of the chapter title will change depending on if you have it selected as a chapter title or not. If you have a page start selected as a chapter title it will automatically be changed to the format of the chapter title that you have selected.
There are two main areas that will help you to edit, adjust and format your book. We will split them between the left and right hand side. The left side deals primarily with the content of your book. The right hand side deals primarily with how your book will look when it is formatted.
Left Hand Side
In the next three sections we will be going through the frontmatter, body and back matter options available in Kindle Create. None of these options are mandatory to choose to have in your book.
Under the front matter tab you will have access to 10 different parts of a standard book. You don’t have to use every or even any of them but they are there for you to use if you choose to do so. If, like me, you aren’t a literary professional you might not even know exactly what some of these options are. That being said; see below for definitions of each option.
Title Page- The title page of a book, thesis or other written work is the page at or near the front which displays its title, subtitle, author, publisher, and edition.
Copyright- The copyright is the right to copy a work. Copyright prevents bookstores from buying one book from the author, making copies and then selling them to its customers. The customers are not just buying the book; they are buying the author’s intellectual property: the story, the characters and the setting.
Dedication- A book dedication is a way for authors to bestow a high honor on a person (or small group of people) they want to praise or otherwise spotlight. The dedication usually goes on the dedication page, which is in the very front of the book, after the Title page.
Epigraph- An epigraph is a quote, paragraph, or short excerpt typically found at the beginning of a book.
Table of Contents- A table of contents page lists out what the book includes. This can be section topics, chapter titles, and discussions. In fiction (novels), the table of contents lists the chapter titles and the pages they’re found on.
Preface- A preface is an introductory passage written about a book by its author. The preface presents the opportunity to introduce yourself, the book, and any previous projects or experiences that might have informed it. Prefaces are your chance to tell the book’s story — the story of how it went from a thought in your head to a book in our hands.
Introduction- An introduction (also known as a prolegomenon) is a beginning section which states the purpose and goals of the following writing.
Prologue- A prologue is used to give readers extra information that advances the plot. Authors use them for various purposes, including things like giving background information about the story.
Foreward- A foreword is a piece of writing that serves to introduce the reader to the author and the book, usually written by someone who is not the author or an editor of the book. Forewords can also serve as a sort of endorsement for the book.
Standard Page (Front Matter)- This page generally just has the title of the book in plain text on it.
As you can see above there are two options available in the “Body” section.
Part Page- This is how you will most easily be able to add parts to your book. As in “Part 1”, “Part 2”… ect. There are other ways to add “parts” into your book but this is by far the easiest way.
Chapter Page- As with the “part page” option this is the easiest way to add a chapter into your book should you have forgotten to add it into the original manuscript upload or if you decide to update your book post publication.
Books By This Author- This option is a great way to let the readers know about other books that you may have available for them to read. Pro Tip- You can always go back and update prior published manuscripts with more “books by this author”.
About The Author- Here is where you can tell your reader a little about yourself.
Books In This Series- Is this book part of a series? If so, this is where you get to tell your readers. Pro Tip- Just like the “books by this author” section you can go back and add this to your original manuscript if you decide to expand on your book and make it the first in a series of books.
Praise For Author- This is where you get to “toot your own horn” so to say. If you have received accolades or letters of endorsements this is where you should tell your readers about them.
Epilogue- This is the final chapter at the end of a story that often serves to reveal the fates of the characters. Some epilogues may feature scenes only tangentially related to the subject of the story. They can be used to hint at a sequel or wrap up all the loose ends.
Afterword- It generally covers the story of how the book came into being, or of how the idea for the book was developed.
Acknowledgement- The book acknowledgments section is where you recognize and thank everyone who helped you with your book. It’s a way to display your appreciation to them in a public and permanent forum
Standard Page (Back Matter)- When this option is chosen it is often the same as the standard page (front matter). It is normally just the title of the book in plain text.
Right Hand Side
Now for the options on the right hand side of the page. This is the side of the page that you will decide how your book and elements therein will look.
The checkbox at the top of this section “Cascade formatting changes for elements” will allow your changes to affect or not affect all of the applicable sections within your book.
~Elements on Page~
Chapter Title/ Chapter Subtitles- This is where you can add chapter titles and subtitles (these will also show up in the floating “suggested chapter title” box that we discussed earlier) that did not show up in the suggested section.
Chapter first paragraph- Have you ever noticed how the first letter in each chapter is in some (many?) books are much larger of a type? Well this is where you can quickly and easily make it happen.
Subheading, block quote, poem, *** (separator), opening quote and opening quote credit are the elements available to format in this section. Below are the definitions of the elements available in this section.
Subheading- A subheading appears at the beginning of a page or section and briefly describes the content that follows.
Block Quote- A block quotation is a direct quotation that is not placed inside quotation marks but instead is set off from the rest of the text by starting it on a new line and indenting it from the left margin.
Poem- This is pretty self explanatory. If you have a poem that is going to be part of your book then select this option. It will automatically format the poem to be centered on your pages and formatted correctly for poems.
*** (Separator)- This is used to add a separation or a change within a chapter.
Opening Quote and Opening Quote Credit- This option is used in conjunction with the Epigraph option discussed above.
The formatting options (see above) in the right hand section are all of the basic and advanced options that a user of google docs, microsoft word or other such programs will be very familiar with using. As such, and since they are not exclusive to KC, we will not spend much time defining what the various options are for.
The last set of options/ settings that we will go over are available at the right top of the page (and pictured above).
Print Settings- This is where you can choose how your book will look when it is in print.
Theme- As seen above the various options of the themes will change the way that your book will look. Different themes are better fits for different kinds of books or subject matter.
When you click on “save” you will be prompted to save your manuscript to your designated device. It will prompt you to save your manuscript as xxxx_KC with the type .kcb. When you upload your manuscript in to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) it will generally need to be in this format or a PDF.
The previewer option will allow you to see how your book will look on a tablet, phone and/ or E-reader. This option is very important to pay close attention to. Just because your manuscript looks correct on your computer screen does not mean that it will look correct on other devices. Take the time to ensure that your book is formatted correctly to read correctly on all available devices.
Once you are happy with the way that your manuscript looks you are ready to click publish. This will save your manuscript into a publishable packet for ease of upload into the KDP system.
(This chart will help you to decide which of Amazon’s publishing/ formatting programs that will be a best fit for your book)
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