Today on Mystery Mondays we have Lyn Horner here to give us an in-depth lesson on how to format and publish your book on Amazon. This is a great resource if you’re about to embark on a self-publishing journey. Thanks Lyn!
Over to Lyn…
Formatting & Publishing Your Book on Amazon
by Lyn Horner
Many thanks to Kristina for having me on her awesome site. I’m a self-published author with 15 books on Amazon. Some authors hire a service to format and upload their books to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), Amazon’s self-publishing platform, but I do it myself. Today I’ll share what I’ve learned about the process.
Then prepare your manuscript:
- Back-up your book file onto an external drive or one of the cloud backup sites (or both.) Copies can be a life saver if anything goes wrong during formatting.
- Combine your chapters. If you normally save chapters separately, you need to combine them into one document. Insert a page break at the end of each chapter to prevent them from running together in the uploaded book.
- Remove page numbers. Kindle books are reflowable (viewable in different font sizes). Page numbers would cause problems. Also remove any headers with the book title, your name, etc.
- Your font style must change sizes easily on a variety of devices. Times New Roman 12 pt. works well. Enlarge font for chapter headings.
- Remove paragraph indent tabs to avoid uneven indents in your ebook. To remove, type one tab at the top of your document, select and copy it. Open Find in the Edit menu. Paste the tab you copied into the Find box. (Word won’t let you type in the tab.) Open Replace in the Edit menu but leave the box empty; click Replace All. This will remove all tabs from your document.
To replace indents, select one whole chapter at a time, except the chapter title. Go to Indents and Spacing in your Paragraph drop-down. Set your first line indent at 0.5″ (default width) or smaller if preferred. Click okay. WORD will indent each paragraph for you. This does not cause problems with the Kindle conversion.
- Do not double space, no double line spacing and no double spaces after each sentence.
- Do not underline to indicate italics. Just italicize the word. Be sure to italicize foreign word. They will be underlined in red by the Word spell checker, but those lines will not show in your uploaded file.
- Indicate scene breaks within a chapter by centering three or four asterisks, pound signs or other symbol on a line between scenes. For point of view changes in a chapter, I simply insert a blank line. I want readers to know which character’s POV they’re in.
- Front and Back matter: Create a title page at the start of your book. See published books for style ideas. Add a copyright page after the title page. Again, see examples in published books. Next, add a dedication page and/or preface if you wish.
End your book by thanking your reader for purchasing it and include live links to your Amazon author page, website, social sites, etc. Then add a brief author bio and review snippets if you have them. Place a page break at the end of each page in your front and back matter.
- Amazon wants a table of contents (TOC) even in fiction ebooks, allowing readers to navigate easily. Some authors don’t include one, but I do. Each chapter title in the TOC must link to that chapter in your book. I also include links to my front and back matter pages. Find instructions for creating a TOC in your Word program.
- Create an HTML copy. You can upload your book as a doc or docx file, or in html format. To do that, first save your formatted book as a Word document first, in case you need it later. Then hit “Save As” and choose “Web Page, Filtered” as the file type. This converts it to an HTML file.
Another option is to have your book converted to mobi, the Kindle format, by a professional service, but it’s not necessary in most cases.
Okay, your book is ready to upload. Now what?
–Use your Amazon account to sign in to KDP or create a new one.
–Make sure your browser is updated.
–Go to your KDP Bookshelf. In the “Create a New Title” section, click +Kindle eBook and
enter your information for each section:
Kindle eBook Details: Enter title, description, keywords, categories, etc.
Kindel eBook Content: Upload manuscript and create your cover. (That’s a whole different post.) Preview your eBook to make sure everything looks good.
Kindle eBook Pricing: Select the territories where you hold distribution rights. (In most cases you should select Worldwide.) Select a royalty plan and set your list price.
- Click Publish Your eBook. Wait ’til your book is live on Amazon, then celebrate!
WHO IS LYN HORNER?
Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas, with her husband and several very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. She loves crafting passionate, action packed love stories, both historical and contemporary. Her Texas Devlins series blends Old West settings, steamy romance and a glimmer of the mysterious. This series has won multiple awards and nominations.
Lyn is now writing book 7 in her Romancing the Guardians series. These books combine her trademark psychic phenomena with chilling apocalyptic prophesies and sizzling romance. All feature suspense and adventure in settings ranging from Ireland to Texas, the Navajo Nation and other exotic sites.
Nathan Maguire just wants to make a living inking tattoos in steamy Tampa, Florida, but a serial killer is murdering young women near his shop. Latino gangbangers are giving him trouble. On top of all that, he’s a covert Guardian of Danu sworn to protect one of seven ancient scrolls containing apocalyptic prophesies.
When sexy FBI profiler Talia Werner delivers a message from one of the other Guardians, Nate instantly distrusts her. No one outside the top-secret group is supposed to know they exist, but despite his suspicions, a fiery attraction ensnares the pair. Then, to save Talia’s pretty neck, Nate must help catch the murderer. His psychic gift may come in handy.
Five Star Review from mystery author Craig A. Hart
Lyn Horner doesn’t waste any time getting into the meat of the story with this book. One thing that bothers me about a lot of writers is that they take forever to get to the actual story–not an issue here!
I also enjoyed the characters. Nathan Maguire, a psychic tattoo artist, and Talia Werner, a sexy FBI profiler are both larger than life and help move the story along.
The story itself is a good mix of romance and murder mystery, so there’s something for everyone! Horner also does a good job of creating some great Florida atmosphere, although early on in the book, I got hungry for a Cuban sandwich and had to stop reading to eat something!
A great read!
Profiling Nathan buy links:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/Y3aotC
Lyn’s Romance Gazette: (http://eepurl.com/bMYkeX
Lyn Horner’s Corner: (http://lynhorner.com)