How I self published: Part 3. Formatting

How I self published: Part 3. Formatting

Getting your document formatted and ready for Publication

So, I completed my novel (finally) and now had to look at getting it formatted correctly for the marketplace(s) that I intended to use to sell it. My preferred option are; Amazon (duh), Smashwords (after I use Kindle select for 90 days), and Goodreads (easy Pdf file, hooha!).

The formatting process was surprisingly simple for kindle, as I’d kept my document pretty simple, with no fancy-pants fonts or characters throughout. NB: You can look inside my novel on Amazon using the “look inside” feature to see my fonts here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bobbys-Boy-ebook/dp/B007SGTHVC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334745095&sr=8-1

I read lots of different manuals, forums and guides on how to prepare the manuscript and all served to terrify me. Being hard as nails, I ignored my fear and pushed on. Each document suggested that however much time and effort I spent prepping the document, that the kindle transfer would say ”sorry big man, that’s shite, try again” and spit it back at me endless times. Not so it turned out.

The main formatting techniques I paid heed to worked for me and my manuscript slipped on through the fearsome KDP beast, perfectly, first time.

Here’s my top tips:​
1. Indent paragraphs, first line, 0 space before an 0 space after.
2. When inserting a new paragraph, hit enter key once.
3. when looking for a gap between paragraphs, for a change of scene or something else, hit the enter key twice.
4. I used Cambria at size 12, with 1.15 spacing.
5. Use ctrl/enter to insert page breaks.
6. Use insert pic, to put in pics rather than cut/paste them.
7. Do not use the tab, instead, use your left/centr/right align buttons for titles or chapter headings.
8. Keep it simple.

By doing this, it was incredibly easy to save the file as a HTML doc, pop it through Mobi- create and then onto Kindle Direct. Job done.

I used a great series of videos as instructions for this part and found them spot-on. Part 2 especially was a great help: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU2kprKRrGY&feature=plcp&context=C42a1a04VDvjVQa1PpcFOy9rGaVLvKBbYZbjQsRV5-yKgO8N6FG0I=

I will be going through the formatting guide a step at a time for Smashwords in two months (when my kindle select 90 sentence is served). It’s possible and fairly inexpensive to hire someone to do this for you, but I’m Scottish and therefore too cheap and convinced I can do better on my own, so I’ll be learning how to myself. This strategy did not work out well for me on my last DIY project, and I “got a man in”. I‘ll pass along what I learn at a later date (or advise you to hire someone).

Bit of a boring, “how to” blog today I’m afraid. Normal, cantankerous self will return for my next post.

Bobby’s Boy available now on Amazon

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