Kindle Formatting Woes

Nearly there with the book, trying to format into kindle is proving very tricky and time-consuming.

I want to get this boxed off before I start writing again.

I will get there eventually.


3 thoughts on “Kindle Formatting Woes

  1. Manuscript formatting is indeed a challenge for most authors Charlie; time-consuming to say the least and very stressful. That kind of pre-submission stress and fatigue can lead to errors, omissions, and content development issues, not to mention missed re-formatting where necessary. I have been handed client files that were riddled with format errors to the extent that their content was displaced terribly. Formatting errors are NOT visible to the eye when reading back content in a Word document. The problems only become visible when reviewing your content in the publisher’s ‘Previewer’ tool pre-submission. Then you have to go back to your source Word file to blindly resolve format issues. Help! My clients have sometimes written their manuscript without following the publisher guidelines at all and when you have hired an editor/proofreader, the cleanup of such discrepancies can get costly.

    You know how powerful emotions become as excitement builds when you are closing in on your manuscript completion. To discover a host of format errors just prior to submission is hugely disheartening, especially if you have established a ‘hard launch date’ for your book. Make sure you always maintain a backup for each file generated before you attempt any wholesale formatting corrections. Highlight one chapter at a time in this instance of formatting after the manuscript completion. After highlighting the chapter content, click on ‘remove formatting’, then set the prescribed formatting and save. That process will be fairly seamless when completed in small segments i.e. one chapter at a time. Your time spent on the format corrections will thereby be minimized.

    For future publications, may I suggest that you review the Kindle Content and Formatting Guidelines and create a pre-set MS Word document in accordance with the publisher specifications? Save that pre-formatted template as “My Publishing Template” or the like. You will be ready to write your content with a clean, properly formatted Word template specifically tailored to those publishing specs. Before beginning to write your content in that template, first save that template with your book title and any pertinent extension such as “First Draft” and “First Edit”, “Final Edit” etc. for any subsequent manuscript file work. That way your template is not compromised, necessitating the creation of a new pre-formatted template for later publications.

    Beware that if in subsequent publications you go to a new publisher, always read their own Content and Formatting Guidelines because there are often some degree of variations in their respective publishing specs. Their conversion software may differ than their competitors. Those Guidelines should be re-read for subsequent publications even if you are staying with the same publisher as publishers tend to update/modify their Guidelines periodically and without that advance scrutiny of the Guidelines for every one of your publishing projects, you could miss critical format changes (or other guideline specs) that have been implemented. Incorrect formatting will result in direct content conflicts with the publisher’s conversion software during the submission upload process.

    If you can follow the preceding document template steps your experience going into the ‘Previewer’ process prior to submission for publication will be so much more streamlined. You will go like a pro and relatively stress free!

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