Writing an ebook in microsoft word
From Word to Kindle: Self Publishing Your Kindle Book with Microsoft Word, or Tips on Formatting Your Document So Your eBook Wont Look Terrible by Aaron ShepardNOTE: PLEASE VISIT AARONS PUBLISHING PAGE FOR ANY UPDATES TO THIS BOOK.
Its not hard to find instructions for converting from Word to Kindle -- but these instructions are usually less helpful than they could be. Many, for example, proclaim that Words HTML output requires extensive alteration and cleanup before submission.
This advice is misguided. Some who offer it have drawn their conclusions after simply choosing the wrong export option. Others fuss about a moderate amount of excess code, not realizing that it doesnt increase file size enough to matter or that the Kindle ignores it anyway.
Other instructions will imply the opposite: that conversion is straightforward and just what you would expect. Supposedly, as long as you start with a properly formatted Word document, youll wind up with a well-formatted ebook. Well, it doesnt really work that way -- not without a few techniques for tricking or bullying the Kindle into doing what you want.
In this book, Aaron Shepard offers his own tips for moving your document from Word to Kindle, with a focus on desktop Word versions from 2003/2004 to 2010/2011.
Aaron Shepard is a foremost proponent of the new business of profitable self publishing, which he has practiced and helped develop since 1998. He is the author of -Aiming at Amazon, - -POD for Profit, - and -Perfect Pages, - as well as two other books on Kindle formatting.
1 FIRST STEPS
Working with Word Document Setup Text Cleanup
2 KINDLE FORMATTING
Special Characters Font Formatting Paragraph Styles Paragraph Spacing Paragraph Justification Line Breaking Page Layout
3 SPECIAL ELEMENTS
Other Paragraphs Lists Tables Text Boxes and Sidebars Footnotes and Endnotes Pictures
Web Links Internal Links Tables of Contents Menu Items
5 FINAL STEPS
HTML Export Book Covers Book Data Submitting and Previewing
By default, Word will apply the Normal style to your paragraphs. Amazon knows this, so for some Kindles, it hijacks that style, changing its formatting to what Amazon prefers. This can lead, for example, to unwanted space above or below a paragraph.
If you want control of your own formatting, then, youll have to avoid the Normal style and apply something different. Theres no problem, though, with applying styles based on Normal, or even with applying a duplicate of Normal under a completely different name.
In regard to this, watch out for manual page breaks in recent versions of Word. Unless youre in Compatibility Mode, each break is now placed in a paragraph of its own, and the Normal style is assigned automatically. That in itself isnt a problem -- but if you then hit Return and start typing, your new paragraph will be in Normal as well. (This is another reason to stick to the paragraph format setting -Page break before- to start a new page.)
You can change all paragraphs already in Normal style to a different one by using the Format menu in the Find and Replace dialog. Dont enter any text, but place your cursor in first the Find box and then the Replace while choosing a style for each.
Writing A Book In Microsoft Word? Do This!
How to Use Microsoft Word to Create an Ebook
Microsoft Word has lots of features that make creating ebooks easy. You can use styles to format an ebook or update its formatting to work on a different platform. You can use the References tool to create a table of contents automatically. And you can produce a design template that's ready for repeated use, so you can spend more time creating content and less time futzing with layouts. Before you dive in, be aware that more than 20 common ebook formats exist today. Although some are readable on multiple devices, you'll find no single format that every device can read.
Using styles in Microsoft Word is the easiest way to perfectly format an ebook
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People have opinions. If you are a writer, this should come as no surprise. What may surprise you is that there is no one way to format an ebook. There are a number of ways and a number of people who will swear their way is best. I, unlike many people, like Word.
After sharing a variety of tutorials on how to create printables you can give away to your audience, we now move on to eBooks. EBooks make great freebies. Most people are proficient in using a word processor and the entire process is simple and hassle-free. Do make sure you keep saving the eBook as you write, to avoid losing your hard work. Your eBook cover has to be in the same layout as your eBook itself for obvious reasons.
It ensures that your document will be clean of background code that can affect fonts, paragraph styles and line spacing. For a full-length novel, the whole process to format an ebook should take no longer than an hour. Perhaps add the word ebook to your file name, so you know it is a fresh copy. Make sure you keep your original version safely filed and backed up. The first step is to remove all page numbers.