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How To eFormat Your Novel For Amazon’s Kindle and Upload it to their site.

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I’ve put together a How-To on eformatting your novel for kindle, which some of you might find helpful.

I needed something myself that didn’t spread the basic instructions through an entire book, interspersed with personal anecdotes, etc.

This list is what I’ve managed to cobble together from various sources. No personal anecdotes included, just straightforward ‘Do this’, then ‘Do  that’.  I’ve written it as clearly as I can so that even my fellow techno-thickies can follow it,  though I won’t claim that it’s geek-perfect!


MY INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONVERTING FOR MICROSOFT WORD (I UNDERSTAND IT’S PRETTY SIMILAR FOR OTHER WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE, THOUGH IF YOU USE A MAC, YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN! (See end where I recommend a few books for formatting, marketing and more advanced presentation techniques, some of which, I seem to recall, add in additional instructions for formatting with Mac).

Or if you’ve mastered Scrivener (impressed!), you can do your formatting on that.

  • The first thing to do is to clear out all the Word formatting and coding, headers, footers and page numbers (ebooks do not use page numbers/headers/footers). To do this:


  • Then go to START / NOTEPAD (Or any other text editing software).

  • PASTE the document into Notepad. 

This gives you a document with all formatting and Word coding etc removed. (This can muck up your kindle book if allowed to remain.).


  • OPEN


  • PASTE your document into it.  


Before we start, A WARNING!





Go to top of your TITLE PAGE. Go up to the top where  the STYLES BOXES are


Microsoft Styles Box


(select HOME if you’re not already in that) .

  • Select NO INDENT to get past the left-hand margin.

  • Then go back up to STYLES and select CENTRE.

  • TYPE IN YOUR CENTRED TITLE PAGE the title of your book. Then press CARRIAGE RETURN. SELECT ‘NO INDENT’ again, then CENTRE and type your author series name if the book’s part of a series. Then do the same again for your author name.


  • MICROSOFT Select Page Break


  •  CREATE A COPYRIGHT PAGE (Examples at end of this post).


NOW YOU ARE GOING TO SET YOUR PARAGRAPH STYLE FOR THE ENTIRE BOOK (This will also affect your title and copyright pages, so you will have to go back and correct these):



  • Microsoft Select Paragraph


  • Alignment: Select LEFT

  • SPECIAL: select FIRST LINE and adjust size of indent. I make mine 0.01 indent, because if I select NONE, if often doesn’t put the first line at the margin, where first paragraphs are meant to be.

  • LINE SPACING: Select 1.5. 

Click on  the backwards facing P (pilcrow, I think it’s called. You’ll find it at the top to the left of the Styles Boxes).


This will show up all your new formatting marks, so you can adjust, if necessary

  • ALL CHAPTER TITLES – in STYLES select 0.01, then select HEADING 1.


Microsoft Styes Box Heading 1

Microsoft Styes Box Heading 1

  • This is the STYLE you will use for EVERY chapter heading, not just Chapter One. This will mark your CHAPTER out for Kindle. You’ll note that your Chapter appears in the left-hand NAVIGATION PANE when you click on the L/H/S word NAVIGATION.

Microsoft Navigation Pane

Microsoft Navigation Pane


  • ALL FIRST PARAGRAPHSThe first paragraph in your novel does NOT require an indent.

  • All following paras select STYLE NORMAL and the paragraphs will automatically indent.

  • For scene breaks, select CARRIAGE RETURN. Select 0.01 in STYLES then select CENTRE. I type three asterisks to make the scene break more obvious (just in case!).


  • Start your new para with STYLE 0.01 or NO INDENT.

  • At the end of the first and all subsequent chapters: Select INSERT / NEXT PAGE 

  •   SAVE.

Go through the book and each time you come to a new scene / chapter head, repeat the instructions above.


By selecting HEADING 1 each time, rather than Headings 2/3/4 (which are used for sub-headings – if you’ve got sub-headings, by all means use them), you are giving the instruction which will be used to create your TABLE OF CONTENTS (TOC). When you follow the  instructions I will describe at the end, the TOC will be created automatically.

  • Create an ABOUT THE AUTHOR PAGE. Using the same HEADING 1 style you used for the chapter heads. Then type your author bio.

  • Type your website address, if you have one.

  • To create the hyperlink to your site, highlight the website address and copy. Then right-click and select HYPERLINK and PASTE YOUR WEBSITE ADDRESS INTO THE BOTTOM BAR

    Microsoft Insert Hyperlink

    Microsoft Insert Hyperlink

  • IF YOU WANT TO BE FANCY, YOU CAN TYPE IN THE WORDS ‘JOE BLOGG’S WEBSITE’ (the URL of YOUR website) INTO THE TOP BAR (This doesn’t always show up. I don’t know why. It doesn’t matter. The address is the thing (probably better, anyway, as older kindles don’t, I think, have the facility to go to the fancy version. If you provide the actual address they can, if necessary, write it out and go to it later).

  • Do the same for any other website addresses.

  • If required, create a page for OTHER WORKS, using the same HEADING 1 style as above.

  • To set up for your TABLE OF CONTENTS. CNTL + HOME to get back to the beginning of your document. Create a PAGE BREAK after your title page.

  • Type TABLE OF CONTENTS. Centred Looks best, I  think.

  • Select REFERENCES (at top, to the  right of ‘Page Layout’).

  • Table of Contents

  • Select ‘Table of Contents’ (top left). Go to bottom and select INSERT TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  • Remove ticks from SHOW PAGE NUMBERS (two boxes, one above the other in Word).

  • Select ONE for level (I’m presuming you only have a Chapter Number for each chapter. If you also have a sub-heading, select TWO levels of headings), and so on).

  • SAVE.

If you haven’t already done so, insert Your Copyright page after the TOC page (see below for example of this). Insert your Dedication if you have one.


  • SAVE AS AGAIN, so you’ve got another copy.

NEXT: DOWNLOAD Calibre software (free)

  • This will convert your Word doc to MOBI (for Kindle or EPUB (everybody else.) It’s not strictly necessary nowadays because the retailers can convert from Word. But it’s a handy piece of software to have to send to anyone on your mailing list.

  • Alternatively, if you use Draft2Digital, they will produce a MOBI, EPUB and PDF, which you can use where you like.

  • Open Calibre.

  • Select ‘Add Books’.

  • Find your book and add it.

  • HIghlight your book.

  • Select ‘Convert Books.

  • Select ‘Convert individually’.

  • Select (at top left) ‘zip’.

  • Select (at top right) ‘mobi’.

Wait till the little wheel at bottom right stops spinning. When it does, you will see that your html doc has been converted to mobi for kindle (or, if you prefer, and want to format for a publisher that requires epub, you can convert to that (and other formats) also).

  • Select ‘Save to disc’.

  • Select ‘Save mobi format to disc.

Save the mobi file wherever you find convenient. The mobi file will show up as a little blue book and will say ‘kindle content’ (if they haven’t changed it again!). I save mine in a folder with the book’s name (because you’ll probably produce a lot more versions of your book over time).

  • Upload your cover.

Select ‘Edit metadata’. Add your metadata (your name, book title, genre, book setting and anything else that you  think will help with Search Engine Optimisation (helps search engines find you when readers type these words in the amazon address bar).

  • Save.


  • I’ve used several covers designers, so I won’t name one, but if you google ‘ebook pre-designed book covers’ or ‘ebook custom covers’, you will find lots more.

  • Just make sure the covers supplied are for your sole use.

You’ll probably have to pay between $40-$70, though you might get it cheaper if the artist is having a sale. If you’re feeling flush, you could also have a custom-designed cover made for a lot more money.

Many of  these graphic designers also do covers for print books.

Talking of print books — if you decide you would also like to publish your book as a print version, the following firms provide them:

  • Amazon’s KDP (used to be (free)

  • (costs)

  • Also, will provide templates for formatting both print and ebooks.

  • If you prefer not to do your own formatting,, as well as providing a Free Formatting Style Guide, can also give you a list of formatters/cover artists they are happy to recommend.

  • Otherwise, I can heartily recommend Kimberley Hitchens ( If you use hitch, you will have advice, hand-holding and they will do all the formatting. They also have a range of cover artists they use.

  • Obviously, as I can now format my own books, I no longer use hitch, but she’s there if you need her services (I know I did when I switched from trad-pub to indie). She charged me $250 for formatting (but I started doing this in 2010. It’s more now. And if, after you’ve checked the proof copy, you find other things that need amending that you failed to notice and mention on the proof sheet and thus require additional changes, you’ll be charged accordingly. So take care with this. If you’re slapdash it will cost you. With this, you will be sent instructions on how to use the Kindle Previewer so you can check for any amendments and see how your formatted book will look.


I’m presuming you already have an amazon account. If not, it’s a simple matter to join.

  • Type kdp amazon into your address bar.

  • Sign in with your account email and password.

  •  Select ‘ADD NEW BOOK’

  • Work your way through, filling in your title and BOOK DESCRIPTION (this is something you should prepare separately, making it as zingy and enticing to the reader as possible. This, along with your book cover, are your major selling points on kindle. But you’re only allowed 4,000 characters (including spaces). Don’t waste them.

  • But don’t worry too much as you can always make alterations. Nothing’s set in stone. 4,000 characters might seem like a lot, but you soon use them up.

  • Amazon will delete your description from the bottom if you go over. So, if you do, check that the bottom part of your Description is still there. If it’s not, you’ll have to go back and edit your Description, losing however many words it takes

  •  It’s best to do this separately in a doc and copy and paste it into the book description box. That way, you can edit beforehand and check and amend your character count.

  •   Select your book’s CATEGORIES. This is an art in itself. You don’t want to be in too large a Category as you’re liable to get lost among all the big hitters.

  • For instance, my Categories are ‘Police Procedurals’ and ‘British Detectives Traditional’. While they’re both fairly sizable Categories (about 2,000 in each, last time I checked, there’ll be more now), they’re neither of them as enormous as say, Thrillers. But again, don’t worry too much as you can always change them later once you’ve had time to do a bit of Category research. You’re now only allowed to select TWO CATEGORIES (used to be more).

  • Type in your 7 KEYWORDS. ie: british police procedurals, forensic mysteries, historical romance, etc.. You can use long-tail keywords, too.

  • Again, Keywords is something you would be well advised to research into using Google’s Adwords.

  • Alternatively, there is AKReport, which is a nifty piece of software for finding Keywords. It does a number of other things, too.

  • Once you’ve done your Keyword research, test your selected keywords on amazon’s kindle page.

  • For example, if you type British Mysteries into the Search bar after selecting ‘Books’ ‘Kindle eBooks’, amazon actually selects different possibilities for you before you’ve finished typing the words. These are pretty generally taken as good indicators of reader search choices and the higher the selection, the more readers will have employed it.

  • UPLOAD YOUR BOOK. Browse through your documents till you find your mobi doc.

    UPLOAD YOUR COVER. Browsing as above till you find it.

  • DRM (Digital Rights Management).

  • If you select this, it’s theoretically, supposed to protect your book from piracy. Though, from my understanding, pirates find it gives them little trouble.

  • Also, if you DO select it, it means your readers are unable  to transfer the book to another ereader, which they might find a bit annoying.

  • Once you’ve decided to go with DRM you cannot change it back, so BE WARNED! (Though I seem  to recall that someone on suggested that if you unpublish it’s possible to change the DRM. I’m not certain about this, so be warned that your decision on this really might be final.).


    Select your RIGHTS. I’m presuming you own all the rights to your work. If this is  the case, select WORLDWIDE. If not, you’ll have to select the territories yourself.

  • SET YOUR PRICE.  Remember if you price your book below $2.99 or above $9.99 you will only receive 35% of the sale price, rather than 70%. NOT GOOD!

  • Set $2.99 / $3.99 whatever. But don’t set too high. Most indie novels are in the $2.99 / $4.99 range. Though, if you’re happy to lose money on an introductory offer at 0.99c, that can sometimes be a good move.

  • Or you can immediately choose to join Select and set your (up to five) free days in your 90-day Select period. Though in order to make the most of this you need to get the word out. I used the services of for this. For around $40 they will notify about fifty free sites about your book. But they require about two weeks’ notice and they will also need the ASIN number that amazon assigns to your book, which you won’t know until the uploading process is complete and amazon has converted your book.

BE WARNED! You have to deselect Select from starting a further 3-month period. If you don’t, amazon automatically enters you for another 90 days. And Amazon’s requirement that you’re exclusive to them for the 90-day period, means you can’t have your book at any other retailer.

  •  PREVIEW YOUR BOOK.  This gives you a (reasonably) accurate idea of what your book will look like on the kindle. If happy, Tick the agreement box and SAVE AND PUBLISH.

  •  If you decide you want to work on the book a bit more, select SAVE AS DRAFT.

But, all being well, YOU’RE DONE! CONGRATULATIONS! You’re now officially an ‘Indie’ author.

  • Your book will usually take around twelve hours to show up on the site, depending on where in the world you are. To see it, just type (or .com, .ca,, .de, etc) whatever) into the address bar.

  • Select ‘Books’ / Kindle eBooks’ and type your name/book title into the search bar.

  •  The book will also show up on the Amazon French website (, German (, Italian, (, Spanish, (, Japan ( and Brazil (

  • Use your amazon account to add to/alter your Amazon Author Central page, which amazon provides for each published author (type’ amazon author central’ into address bar, along with your country designation.).

Here, you can add your bio, your covers, a picture of you, book trailers, your twitter feed, your blog feed. You can see where (US only) your book is selling and check sales graphs.

At the moment it’s only the US, UK, German and French sites that have an Author Central page. You access each of them separately.


  • Go to kdp amazon. Sign in. Click on REPORTS at top.

  • Click Month-to-Date Unit Sales. The first one to show up was always the American one,, but they’ve changed the site yet again, and now show ALL SITES, but you can still check out your individual country.

To check your sales figures for each country, just click in the box and select the appropriate country. Don’t be too disappointed if you see no/few sales. It takes time to build up  the sales figures (I think my first month’s sales came to the grand total of 7!).

You may well never make many sales in countries other than the US, UK or Canada. Though if you can afford it, you could always have your book translated and upload a foreign language version.

To check how much money you’ve made, you have to wait until about the 15th of each month (second month after upload). This is when amazon uploads its sales information.

Go to kdp amazon. Select REPORTS and select  Prior Month’s Royalties. This will bring up a list of previous months’ sales. You can save these into your own Excel document for totaling in Sterling amounts (each country’s sales income is given in their own currency and you have to convert to get Sterling, or whatever your currency is). You can download a converter by right-clicking on your desktop. Select Gadgets (I think) and you will see a converter. Just click on it. You can make it bigger by clicking on the appropriate little box on the right of the conversion box.

Type FREE CURRENCY CONVERTER into Google, and see what you can find.


Your Title

Your name

 Published by Your Name/Your Chosen Publisher Name if you have one

 Copyright 20?? Your Name

To discover more books by this author, go to:

 License Note: This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Publisher’s Note: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Cover Design by Whoever

All Rights Reserved.

You can insert your copyright page after the Table of Contents.

And that’s it. All finished. Well done!



Your Title

Your Name


Published by Your Name at Smashwords


Copyright 2013 Your Name


License Note: This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Publisher’s Note: This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


Cover Design by    of  http://www.

All Rights Reserved.


If you would like to learn more about this subject than you will get from my basic version, try these:


·         The Kindle Formatting Bible by Tom Corson-Knowles

 ·        The Smashwords Style Guide (free from

·         How to Publish an eBook – An Author’s Guide by Stephanie Zia

·         Publish Anything on Amazon’s Kindle (Plus Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad and iPhone, Personal Computers, Android, Smartphones) by Randy Benjamin.

 ·     Make a Killing on Kindle. The Guerrilla Marketer’s Guide to Selling Your Ebooks on Amazon by Michael Alvear.

 ·      Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide to Formatting Books for the Amazon Kindle by Joshua Tallent.

     Amazon themselves also offer several guides.

·        The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing (blog site and book) by Joe Konrath (American author, who’s an ebook evangelist. He’s made a pile on kindle, so who can blame him?!). Other blog sites I can recommend in order to educate yourself about the publishing world in general and ePublishing, in particular, are Dean Wesley Smith’s and that of his wife, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. You will find various links to other blogs on these sites, written by authors who are also knowledgeable in the subject.

 ·      There are loads of other books on the subject. If you type in ‘formatting ebooks for kindle’, you will get lots of them. I eat these books for breakfast as there’s always something else to learn. 

          Good luck!





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