tl;dr Writing an eBook is one thing. Publishing an eBook on Kindle through KDP is a challenge. Here are 6 essential eBook tips to make publishing your eBook on KDP easier.
6 Essential eBook to KDP Tips
Writing an eBook isn’t difficult. You open Microsoft Word or Google Docs and start writing. Maybe you have chapters, so you make chapter titles bigger and bold. Eventually, you’re done. What does it take to get an eBook to Kindle?
6 Essential eBook Tips #1 – Styles
Chances are you used several Word styles (maybe without even knowing it) and created several more (again, without knowing it). Getting an eBook to Kindle through KDP means that most of those styles won’t translate to your eBook. There’s also a big chance it will break the eBook and get rejected until you fix your errors. The first step is to eliminate ALL your styles except…
Essential eBook Tips #2 – H1 Chapter Headings & Normal
Almost all novels and non-fiction books have chapters. Make chapter titles H1 and don’t worry what they look like. The best thing about styles is that you can format them when you’re done and every chapter title will update. And if you change your mind (hate that font?), you can change the formatting before publishing. Everything else – EVERYTHING ELSE – should be in the “Normal” style. Offset text? It’s a blockquote…
Essential eBook Tips #3 – Text and Blockquotes
Normal style is what the majority of your copy should use. KDP doesn’t allow too many other styles for regular content. They offer a blockquote that you can style a bit, but not too many other options and certainly very few font choices. This isn’t a make-or-break situation, but we’re font-aholics at Get Me Online, so we understand your concern. You’ll be safe choosing either a serif font (like Times New Roman) or a sans-serif font (like Arial). “Fancy” fonts don’t work on KDP eBooks.
Essential eBook Tips #4 – Page Breaks
Generally, chapters start on the right side of a printed book and we read eBooks in the library program (Libby) and like the two-column layout.
Chapters should start on the right side so page breaks are important. The best choice is to not worry about it until you’re absolutely done editing and then start adding page breaks.
HINT: Always use a section break in Word and not a regular page break.
Essential eBook Tips #5 – The Extras – Dedication, Foreward et al
We provide our clients Word and Google Doc templates that include most eBooks sections. The hints say to “add your introduction here and if you don’t have one, we’ll remove it before publishing.” With the sections we include, authors see what they can include and choose what they may not have thought of when creating their manuscripts. You can use all/any of thise:
- And yes, there are more. Treat those options as chapters with H1 titles.
Essential eBook Tips #6 – Publishing Your eBook to KDP
If your manuscript is in Word and ready to publish, you can try uploading it to KDP but be prepared for some error reporting that you have to fix. There are dozens of fine points in publishing to KDP. Just a few examples:
- Small caps don’t work on KDP eBooks
- Long dashes don’t translate well (sometimes) to KDP eBooks
- Certain symbols won’t display correctly (like Word ‘wingdings’)
- eBooks need Tables of Content but printed novels generally don’t use them
Now that you know the 6 Essential eBook Tips, what’s the solution to publishing an eBook to KDP?
At Get Me Online, we’ve learned several ways to get a raw manuscript in perfect shape to publish to KDP. Although they offer a tool you can download and import your book into and then edit it there, it’s a serious amount of time to learn how to use it (especially if you’re not a bit of a “geek”). There are certain types of PDFs that upload well and recently, KDP dropped one of the accepted formats. If you’re willing to learn, go ahead and upload your book – read the error report – fix the errors – try again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Need help getting your eBook to Kindle through KDP? Contact us and we’ll get your eBook published and you can start on your next chef d’oeuvre!