My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience: Part III Kindle Publication Basic Formatting Do’s And Don’ts
Writing My Manuscript For FATE STALKS A HERO I
I wrote a previous blog stating that I had to upgrade my MS WORD software from MS WORD 7 to MS WORD 10 or better because I could not use the Kindle Direct Publishing Add-In software to my WORD program unless I did so. So I upgraded to MS OFFICE 2019 by purchasing a download ‘KEY’ from a reliable vendor and got the whole package because I use MS EXCEL also.
This is a multi-part series entitled “My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience”. The first blog in the series “My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience: Part I _Starting From Scratch” shows how I took my first steps. I plan to transform all of the related blogs into an eBook and paperback on Amazon. These informational articles will be available as blog posts for a limited time only.
I had to go through a learning curve to understand how best to use the new software and I recommend anyone who plans to do this take the time to at least learn the basics. You can save yourself a lot of headaches if you do.
When I started writing my initial manuscript, I just started typing my ideas like a fool, depending on the basic WORD defaults to control my writing style. Don’t do that!
You need to take control, and to accomplish that feat, start with a STYLE on the sample STYLE SHEET or create your own (once you learn how to do that). The main reason for this decision is to keep your headings, sub-headings, first paragraph, and body paragraphs consistent. Very important if you wish to transfer your WORD document into publishable content.
Picking A Style
The easiest way for me to learn how to use styles was to piggyback onto the self help features of the KDP Add-In individual style sets. But to help my feeble brain morph into the proper mindset I looked for a learning shortcut. So I cheated! What?
I saw a neat little item on the KDP function icons that said “TEMPLATE”. All I had to do was click on that box and voila! I had just placed a complete SAMPLE TEMPLATE onto my WORD document. This Template included:
- Chapter Number (Pre-Formatted with type of font, sized font, spacing, etc.)
- Sub-Title (Pre-Formatted)
- First Paragraph (Pre-Formatted with Drop Cap info in place)
- Body Paragraph (Pre-Formatted With first sentence indent, line spacing, justification, and relationship to adjoining paragraphs pre-sets) This last item is VERY,VERY, VERY important. It automatically controls all of your body text functions as you begin to build your new document with no immediate formatting input required from you. (I had to learn this the hard way).
NOTE: If you manually indent the first line on each paragraph on your first draft, and then try to fix later, the paragraph style you choose later will still require yo to go back and remove the faulty indents one at a time before the auto indent feature stabilizes your paragraphs. Save yourself a major headache and start out with the correct style first.
So I selected the Chapter Title from my raw WORD document, hit the ‘Copy Function’ and then went to the TEMPLATE Chapter Title, selected it, then hit Paste and ‘voila’ once again. My Title replaced the Template Tile with CHAPTER ONE.
Formatting A Style Sheet
I then went to the template dialogue box and clicked on MODIFY. I changed the font and size to what I wanted. Then I renamed the style from KChapterTitle to KBChapterTitle to let me know it was my own style to be used throughout the manuscript. I left spacing pre-sets alone (Format/Paragraph) and accepted them because they were already formatted correctly for placement in a published book.
I did the same with the Sub-Title, First Paragraph, Body Text. When done, I had everything in place set up to meet KDP basic specifications to write my first draft that could be freely edited as I went along.
Later I would use the same KDP TEMPLATE to add:
- Book Title. (KBook Title To KBBook Title)
- Book Subtitle. (KBook Subtitle To KBBook Subtitle)
- Author (KAuthor Name to KBAuthor Name)
- Copyright Page. (KCopyright Text To KBCopyright Text)
- Dedication Page. (KDedication to KBDedication)
First Big Tip
The most important part of my whole document was the manipulation of the body text. Since I am not proficient in document creation procedures, I did all the wrong things when I created my first novel. The worst mistake was to hit the tab key 4 times to indent the first sentence of each paragraph. Huge mistake!
Since the book publishing requirements for paragraphs stipulate that all formatting be JUSTIFIED, the moment I did that to my document body text, I knew I was in big trouble. The justification setting immediately ‘skewed’ all of my tab-controlled indents to satisfy the new format and consistent spacing went right out the window. Crap!
So, Style Sheet to the rescue. I went over to the dialogue box and picked KNormal Paragraph setting and picked it for all my body text and instantly solved the following problems:
- Indent Inconsistency
- Spacing between lines issues
- Spacing between paragraphs issues
- Font Style Issues
- Font Size Issues
I dealt with setting up the First Paragraph Style later. I could now create my first draft with key parameters in place without having to go back later and fix all sorts of problems later. This one decision was a big time saver for me and eliminated frustration issues as well.
My Kindle Direct Publishing Experience: Part IV Kindle Publication Basic Formatting Do’s and Don’ts Continued.
I am requesting that my readers click on the links provided and download a sample read of each book and give a review on Amazon. You will have free access to the first four chapters of each book. My hope is that you will like the story lines enough to obtain either an eBook version or a paperback copy that you can put on your bookshelf when you are done.