Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 2: Word Formatting Part 1 | Brian Jackson | Skillshare

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 2: Word Formatting Part 1

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 2: Word Formatting Part 1

Brian Jackson, Author/Publisher/Educator

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5 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Why Use Microsoft Word?

    • 2. Displaying Formatting Characters

    • 3. Displaying Formatting Characters

    • 4. Formatting the Document Pt. 1: Modifying the Normal and Header 1 Styles

    • 5. Formatting the Document Pt. 2: Applying the Styles

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About This Class

Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon KDP 2: Word Formatting Part 1

In this, the second class in the Self-publishing Kindle eBooks on Amazon series, you'll learn how to format your manuscript using Microsoft Word for publication on Amazon Kindle. This is the first of a pair of classes dealing with formatting for publishing on Amazon Kindle, the final half of the class series  being how to actually publish your book through the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) web based interface.

I'd recommend that you pause the class after each lesson in order to perform the task just described using your own manuscript. By the time you finish the class series you'll have a formatted manuscript.

Ask questions in the Community if you get stuck.

Best of luck and I'll see you in the classroom,


Meet Your Teacher

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Brian Jackson



Born in Los Angeles in the middle of the last century, I have always wanted to be a writer. After twenty-five some odd years spent working in the computer industry in the heart of the Silicon Valley, first for Lockheed as a Systems Programmer and later for Cisco Systems as a test tool developer, I managed to retire early and begin my next career as a self-published author.

Along with writing and publishing my own novels I also publish the works of my wife, Melanie Jackson. During the past four years I've published well over 100 books in paperback and eBook formats. Oddly enough this includes eBooks on how to self-publish books and how to create professional looking book covers using the GIMP. I've also recorded and distributed a pair of audiobooks available for purchase on Amazon... See full profile

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1. Why Use Microsoft Word?: Hello. We're gonna been begin this tutorial by entering word, which is an environment that we're going toe work in to format are document before submitting it for publication. Now one of the questions may have is why use word or can I use another word processor? One of the reasons to use word is that the k F p or the KDP interface rather, the Kindle direct publishing interface at Amazon accepts word format. Now, if you have another word processor that generates word format, doc files, then that's fine. You could use that. However, you're gonna have a hard time translating the specifics of what I go over in this course will, which will be word to your word processor. I've had others on Mac that have used what is it I book or some other word processor and have had problems making the translation. So I recommended you get word. It's really a a good word processor, a good text editor, and it'll help you to follow these courses. Now, the first thing I'm gonna dio it's good to talk about Oh, why? Or rather we're gonna open an existing document and formatted now one of the things that will help you with formatting When it comes to viewing. Lets do view one page page with. There we go. Now we've got it big enough that you ought to be able to see what I'm going to do here. Um, you know, while I'm at it, notices navigation pane over on the left. That shows you Ah, quick link to all of the chapter heads. If you're not displaying that now, the way to display that is to go to the view menu and check this little navigation pane here that'll turn it on and off. And it's a quick way to move around your document. It's a little aside. 2. Displaying Formatting Characters: now the first thing that we're going to do before we start added a because we're going to turn on formatting characters. Now, this is gonna make your document look odd. It's this weird, backward looking p here on the home menu of word. If we click it suddenly, all the spaces between words become little dots and we see the paragraph symbols for the ends of paragraphs. This will help us find blank lines and things that you see here is a blank line right here . They don't really show up in normal word without formatting characters on. So when you get down to the details of formatting, that's a good idea to turn down. Sometimes I even write accidentally with formatting characters on It doesn't matter. They they're here in the document. It doesn't add additional information. I just forget that they're on and get so used to them seeing them that I I forget that I left it on. Now that handles the introduction of formatting. The next thing that we're going to go into is how to make a template 3. Displaying Formatting Characters: hello. Before we get too involved into formatting a document I want to talk about two global modifications that you should make in your document before you start formatting. Well, I guess, actually, we have started formatting by doing this. Let's go over here on the home menu. We're gonna go over to the far right to replace. And here Find what? The first thing that we're gonna look for his tabs. We don't want any tabs in this document at all. OK, so we're going to go down to Mawr here, so we have more things here. We can insert a special character notice special down here at the bottom of the dialog window. We pop that up in here's tab character. Now, notice we could have gotten there just by typing a carrot t that short hand for the tab character. What are we gonna replace it with? Nothing. And we're gonna replace all of them. And this document has already almost been properly formatted. So there was zero tabs replaced, and we should say okay. And close this one now. Oh, actually, before we close it, let's let's do one other important replacement. My wife, Melanie Jackson who's a published author, uh tends to use em dashes a great deal in her writing and in word, you type dash dash, and it replaces it with a long em dash. Uh, sometimes sometimes it doesn't. So what? We want to replace his dash dash any of those that occur in the document with Let's get a special character again, notice here, right in the middle. We have em dash and that we could have said Carrot Plus in here with the replace with text . Let's go ahead and replace all of those. They're zero. Those were caught that as well. So those air two major replacements that you should make before formatting the documents. 4. Formatting the Document Pt. 1: Modifying the Normal and Header 1 Styles: Now we're going to begin formatting documented Ernest. One of the things that we want to do is make sure that this text, the base text that's being used is correct. I noticed when we click down here in a paragraph, normal is highlighted in the style section of the home menu. Make sure that home is being displayed. What this is indicating to us is that the base or normal style is being applied to this paragraph. Now we want to. Although this is correct, it's already formatted correctly. We're gonna go in and format it again. What we're gonna do is going to right click while our mouse is hovering over this style and a pops a menu specific to this button, and the second item on that menu is modify. Let's left click on that. Up comes the modify the normal style window. It's telling us the name is normal. It's not based on anything else. This is the based style it is times new Roman's, the fine. You might have to pull down the find here and scroll through to pick the correct font. We want times New Roman That's my favorite. Fined for publishing in and under here is for a size. We want 12 pitch now. Do not pick bold italics or underscore for your base spot that would look ugly. We want this left justified and we wanted single spaced. That's what else is here on this screen. Now we're satisfied with this formatting, but let's go down to the lower left hand corner where there's a format button that will pop up a menu from which we can pick paragraph. So let's further format this. We want paragraphs in this ah document to be left justified. And then down here under indentation, we have a special click the little area next to it and you'll see First line is a selection here on the first line. We want to in Dent. Now, by default, it'll be 0.5, so I have to change this 2.33 That's a closer in debt to what we really want. Every first line of a paragraph we want to end and 0.33 inches. Now when we're done with that, we click OK, and OK here. Now the base font is configured, and it's going to end up looking like this. Have you done correctly based off of the basement is the header font. Now I noticed that we hover over it. It's going toe. Show us what it's gonna look like if we turn the paragraph into a header fund. Let's go instead to an actual header. See that header is highlighted up here in the styles. Once again, we want to modify Header. Let's right. Click will come down to modify and here we can see that the name is it's a header one. It's a style of parent rap that's interesting. It's based on normal, so it's going to inherit whatever we just did with configuring normal, although it right overrides everything. So once again we have times New Roman set as the type. But we've gone up two point in the size. We've also made it bold. Okay, that's the basic styles once again left justified in single spaced. So we're actually going to put a blank line after ahead one. We're not going to have additional space after it. Let's go here to format paragraph once again, notice here to the spacing before and after. We have zero on this header. So we're gonna actually use a blank line a paragraph of its own here to put space between the header and the first paragraph in the chapter, We will make the paragraphs left line now notice. Here we went under special, and we change the first line of normal to none. We don't want head ones indebted. It would have inherited that from our normal style, single line spacing and so on. This is all good. Now notice here there's a another tab under here under paragraph called Line and page Breaks. What we want to do is check the page break before this way, there will always be a blank page finishing out the existing chapter before the next chapter begins at the top of a brand new page. This will take effect on the Kindle, as it will also inward, so let's make sure that this is checked. You can uncheck it, check it again and we'll say, OK, we've just begun formatting. Our chapter for publication on Kindle in the next section will continue that formatting by applying this style to the document 5. Formatting the Document Pt. 2: Applying the Styles: now that we've discussed how to change the styles of both the normal and the heading one tags, which are the only two tags as far a style that we're going to use throughout the document , we may as well talk about how to imply them. Now, sometimes when it comes to formatting and existing document is we're doing here, the formatting is really awful. And there's only one thing you could do. But there's no other thing you could do but dropped the atomic bomb off formatting everything to normal. Now this document happens to be formatted correctly. But I'm going to prove that you can recover from the atomic bomb approach by beginning at scratch and showing you how to format this document. Now, before we replace the characters that need to be replaced. Now what we're going to do is drop the bomb on this document. We go to the home menu, go over to the fire, right, select all now we've selected everything in science. It's document. Everything is going to be turned into normal. Oh, everything is indebted, including our chapter headings. And our chapters noticed that are a Talibanization has not been affected. This is a character thing. That style does not effect. And it's one of the two character formatting things that are valid in a document of your formatting for kindle, one being italics, the other being bowled. Well, actually, I guess you could use underscore, and you could use cross out if you want, but try not to use color. We're not quite to the color world yet eso you're not going to see it on black and white kindles and so on. You'll see it on the Kindle fire and on any other device that runs the Kindle reader. But I try to shy away from that for now and just use italics bold and underscore if you'd like. Now we've nuked our document down to the point that it is just character formatting things . Now what we're going to do is show you how to format. Apply the formats that we have configured in this style. Here's the first chapter we're going to turned it into a chapter, heading one by clicking chapter, heading one on How do we find the next one? I like the replace rather than the find way of searching for text. So here on the home menu. I'm gonna click on replace. I won't actually be replacing anything and let's get rid of that just to make sure we don't do that. But I'll be looking for Chapter. Let's find the next one. Whoa, Let's match case to make sure that we end up and whole words so that we end up with just the chapters. Let's find next. Here's the next chapter. We go to it, you have to click twice to actually go to it in here and you hit Click heading one. Now Notice how we got that page break that we configured in for chapters I need Let's go find Next Click Once twice were there making a chapter heading that does sound the chapter headings beginning to accumulate over here in the navigation window on the left. This shows you everything that's configured as a chapter or a heading 123 through five. Okay, let's find next, like twice heading one and so on all the way through the document. You know, I was thinking of making you suffer through this since you made me un configured my document in the first place. But I think I'll break here and resume with the next formatting chapter after this is complete