Hello SErs! Harmony here. Do you struggle to convert your manuscript into a Kindle file? Are you spending lots of money on conversion? Then read on.
As some of you will know already, Kindle have brought out new free software to help its KDP authors convert their manuscripts into mobi files for Kindle. Today, I thought I’d take a quick run through of what it does and doesn’t do.
[Note: I have the Mac version, so screenshots may look a little different if you have a PC version]
Here’s a quick 4 minute video showing how to use the basics …
You can import your Word file and make it look pretty with ease. You can add chapter title and first line fonts, styles, etc. You can also import a PDF and work from that to preserve text and image placement, etc. For novels, I would recommend working from your original Word document.
Scrivener users already have all the tools they need using the compile settings. This is for Word users who have a basic raw manuscript to convert.
Upload your manuscript:
Once you click open, KC imports your book and gives you the following …
Click on ‘Get Started’. KC now gives you a list of detected chapters. Untick any that you don’t want including, such as your copyright page, etc, if it has highlighted those.
Now you’re ready to work on your elements, such as chapter titles, first line styles, etc. …
Highlight your chapter title as above, and then click on the formatting tab to get your different elements. You can also click on the ‘theme’ button above, next to your ‘save’, ‘preview’, and ‘publish’ buttons …
I chose ‘Amour’, which gave me this …
You can do the same for your first line settings ….
Kindle Create is so easy to use and play with, so don’t be afraid to experiment.
When you select a title, subtitle, paragraph, or line of text, you can apply a number of ready-made templates on it using the menu to the right of the page. A set of Elements exists for the book body, the book start and end pages, the book title page, the chapter start pages, etc.
You can even format individual sections of text as well as inserting images, page breaks, and new chapters.
Kindle create lets you set up your table of contents too.
I won’t share too much here as KC has an excellent in-built tutorial the first time you use it, as well as online videos and help.
You can secure your original manuscript by doing a ‘save as’ from KC, so any changes you make will not overwrite your original file. I would strongly recommend the ‘save as’ option.
WHAT IT DOESN’T DO
Me being me, I wasn’t happy being locked in to just a Kindle file. I have used a free conversion program for years now, called Calibre. One of the kind contributors, John Howell, has produced a free plugin to let you convert the proprietary file format that KC exports into ePub, etc. You can find this great tool HERE. I wouldn’t be without it. Even though I live and breathe in Scrivener these days, I do convert for other people sometimes, and Calibre is so awesome.
The alternative, of course, if you have Scrivener, is to import your Word doc into that and then compile/convert … really simple once you know how.
Amazon are continually adding updates to Kindle Create. Just in December, they added new image and Table Of Contents formatting.
Have any of you published from Kindle Create yet? What was your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.