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the Alchemy of Kindle-ization


January 22, 2010 by NewAlchemyPress

The journey from Word to Kindle

how to save hours of self-torture

  1. Convert your Word to Word 97-2003. Everyone seems to agree that this earlier version is here preferable.
  2. Remove headers &footers and page numbers.
  3. Adjust your images, to be JPGs of 96 dpi and 500 pixels in width. This is a standard format.
  4. I like the free-download image-program ‘IrfanView’ that will do this, also it has a neat button ‘sharpen’ that will take any blur out of your images. Its much smaller and easier to use than Photoshop.
  5. right-click on images, then select ‘format picture,’ then ‘layout’ then ‘in line with text.’ If you don’t do ‘in line with text’ your images will not be centred in Kindle. Just clicking a’centre’ button on the top ribbon may look fine in Word, but in Kindle your images will just be clunked against the left-hand margin or somewhere off-centre.
  6. All spacing between titles and images and text has to be done by entering ‘paragraph’ along top ribbon then selecting ‘spacing’ before and/or after. The paragraph-returns one normally uses for spacing will not work in the Kindle. Try maybe 12 points spacing before and 6 after, for a heading.
  7. Create a clickable Table of Contents, by placing a ‘bookmark’ by any heading you want to include then inserting a ‘hyperlink’ from each line of contents to link to these. I don’t need to describe how to do this, as many sites cover it. This will appear down left-hand-side of Kindle text. Thus Kindle does not really need an old-fashioned TOC at the start of the book.
  8. Save this master-text in Word 97, and make sure that all adjustments in the future are made on this and not anywhere else. you are going to go through a recycling process, maybe up to a dozen times, of making a kindle, seeing what’s wrong, then going back to this text to correct it.
  9. Save as ‘Web page, filtered’ text. Don’t look at what here appears! Just close it.
  10. Earlier, in the bad old days, I used to copy that saved text into Sigil, and make various adjustments to it in sigil. This is a free-dowload program that works with HTML text. Don’t do that!
  11. Using ‘my computer’ inspect this saved file, plus an adjacent file which holds the images. (the HTML file has no images in it, it just has links to them in this adjacent file). Select these two files, right-click and choose ‘send to’ and ‘compressed(zipped) folder’. That will create an adjacent zipped file, containing these two. Omitting this step can give you a no-image Kindle book.
  12. Open up Calibre, a free-download program, and use it to open up your zipped file. Calibre wil then convert the text into ‘MOBI’ which is the Kindle format. It will export the file and you tell it where you want it to go.
  13. Install a free-download Kindle viewer. Move your MOBI file, produced by Calibre, over to the kindle icon.
  14. Open up your Kindle book, see what’s wrong, then go back to the Word-97 text and adjust acordingly. That is the start of your recycling process.
  15. There is no front cover on what you’re now looking at – that is only added on at the end, when uploading on KDP (no 17)
  16. Footnotes: whenever you do ‘references’ and ‘insert footnote’ on Word, they’ll appear as clickable references in Kindle. But NB these cannot start anew at each chapter, Kindle just gives you a single sequence of footnotes.
  17. When finished, go to Kindle digital publishing and upload (This has ‘kdp’ in the URL, no other sites will do). The front cover has to be at least 1000 pixels in width, but it does not have to match the text PDF in size, Kindle will do that for you.





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