You're not alone in the land of the lost. Because these forums have us chasing our own tails, today I went to find help with Kindle instruction books. I purchased 4 books, and hope something will help. Two of the books I found are: KINDLE FORMATTING:THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO FORMATTING BOOKS FOR AMAZON KINDLE by Joshua Tallent ($19.95, with 11 five star reviews) and PUBLISH YOUR BOOK ON THE AMAZON KINDLE: A PRACTICAL GUIDE by Michael R. Hicks ($7.95, with 8 five star reviews).
When I started doing this back in March, I thought it would be a piece of cake. However, around July 26, 2009, I started checking the forums and I've noticed how Amazon provides little to zero support in this area. I simply want to write; now I'd like to stop searching for a pink sock in the dark, so I'm going to take the time to study the books.
I offer these suggestions, depending on your economic situation:
1. Send e-mail to email@example.com and ask your question for free.
2. If that doesn't work, I will check my books when they arrive next week and see if I find an answer for you. (Free)
3. Purchase the correct help book (Maybe you can find a physical copy at Borders where you can thumb through it, or library)
4. I believe Booksurge does convert to Kindle format for a price, so check with them. For $809, they will convert my tome into paperback (without editing services), and it includes cover design and a Kindle format. They may be willing to quote you a price for the format alone, and it can save you some headaches. You may wish to consider other formatting services.
5. There is a $500 program available from Nuance (makers of DRAGON SPEAKS) called Omnipage which can be found for as little as $99 if you shop around. I attempted to use their PDF format. It was slow and too technical. I faired better with the free Microsoft version. Omnipage claims to convert into any format (including Kindle) while keeping every entry in its original format. That's important because with graphics you can sometimes end up with a blank frame or page. And, with text that contains special symbols, foreign language or calculus equations you can sometimes end up with something totally meaningless, like $*(!%^.
When I first sent my work to Kindle, I didn't know I had to first convert to HTML, so the computer was on for 9+ hours without accomplishing anything. The only jpeg window that I saw on the Kindle publishing page was for the book's cover, where you can upload more than one image similar to what merchants do when they are trying to sell you a GameBoy or other product.
I hope I've given you some help or hope. Good luck!
Stupid me! After writing you such a long reply, I remembered I converted a word.docx which contained a graphic into html. The convertion caused the graphic to shift location, and I simply moved it back to its original space. So, you can probably save your file in html format, edit it, upload it to Kindle, and preview it so you can see what it looks like before you hit the publish button. Before you start, however, I caution you to read "Modify Converted Content" by DTP Admin, created on My 11, 2007. It's available at http://forums.digitaltextplatform.com/dtpforums/entry.jspa?externalID=17&categoryID=7
If you have trouble finding it, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org OR ask the dtp administrator on the forum page for a direct link to that document. Print it out; it's only one page. Once the document is published, you can still make changes using the info in that document. You should also read up on making price changes or other modifications you may need to make in the future. Good luck!
Yes, if I were doing a graphic novel, I'd put each page into jpegs. Make the images 550 pixels x 450 pixels (the kindle 2 screen size). Write a simple html page that loads each picture in order. You probably should use the kindle specific page break command between each image ( <mbp:pagebreak />). This last part really shouldn't be necessary, but I'd do it anyway. It makes sure that each image is on a separate page.
I've been trying to put my comics on Kindle ever since the device first came out. I had no success, until recently. During my first attempts, after uploading, whenever I tried to view the pages in preview mode, the images were always really tiny. I followed all the specs for images, I tried pasting bits of a picture--but they all seemed to preview as really tiny images, and nothing I did fixed this. I eventually gave up. But a few days ago, I renewed my attempts, and--lo and behold, it now looks okay in preview mode. I haven't done anything differently than my first attempts, so maybe they fixed a glitch in the dtp preview or something.
Anyway, what I'm doing now: rather than trying to make the Kindle display a whole comic page, I'm cropping each panel from the whole page. I think if you try to put the whole page on Kindle, the text and images will be too small to be legible. So I'm making each panel into a Kindle page. If the panel is basically square-shaped, I'm making sure its dimensions are <450 x 550, and that the file size is < 64 KB. If the panel is wider than it is tall, I'm rotating it 90 degrees so that it's taller than it is wide. I'm then putting all the panels in a PDF file and uploading that. NOT Word, just Photoshop and Acrobat Pro, then upload to Amazon. Forget Word, since everything in a comic book, text included, is a graphic. To me, Word and HTML just seem to complicate the process.
So, in summary: 1 comic book PANEL per Kindle page, greyscale, 450x550 pixels or less at 300 dpi, in a PDF.
This is just my system. There may be better ways of doing it, but this is the only one I've managed to get working in preview, to the point where I feel comfortable offering it for sale. I'm just happy I'm finally getting the darn things up. Any advice from a more qualified source is welcome.
So far, the comics are looking okay in preview. I don't have a Kindle myself to test what it actually looks like on the device, so if anyone happens to buy a copy, I wouldn't mind feedback on how it looks. Not criticism of the artwork itself (the art is pretty crappy, if I say so myself, so I don't need any browbeating about that), but of how it displays on Kindle.
My comics can be found by searching for "Varuk," "The Adventure of Captain Bob," or "Snowybrook Inn" (the latter is forthcoming).
my last post was cut off at the end for some reason.
Anyway, my comics can be found by searching Amazon for "Varuk," "The Adventures of Captain Bob," or "Snowybrook Inn." I'm not posting this for publicity, so please don't buy any just to give me feedback. I'd like to know that any sales are from people who legitimately want to read the comics. I'm just trying to give a little support to fellow self-publishers struggling with this whole DTP process.
Hope this helps, and good luck with your graphic novel.
This is just a quick clarification of something I wrote in my last post. When I said, "The artwork is pretty crappy, if I say so myself," I was referring to the artwork in my "Captain Bob" titles, NOT to the artwork in "Varuk" or "Snowybrook Inn." I did the "Captain Bob" artwork myself, so I was saying that I'M a crappy artist. "Varuk" and "Snowybrook Inn" were drawn by professional artists, and it looks fantastic. I just didn't want to leave the impression that I was insulting their artwork. I was referring to my own artwork. Just wanted to clear that up.
Phillip60 and future Kindle authors
HOW TO PUBLISH ANYTHING ON AMAZON'S KINDLE by Randy Benjamin is an easy to read 34 page pamphlet for the technically challenged that gives simple step by step instructions for working graphics into your text file for Kindle. Randy explains why you need to convert to grey scale, the tools you'll need, and how to do it. He also suggests you use the Web filtered HTML format. This little pamphlet is great for graphics and non-graphics. It also includes suggestions for promoting your book and the importance of an eye-catching cover. Placing a book on Kindle doesn't automatically translate into royalties, so promotion, discussion, and strategies are important.
On another thread, someone suggested Kindle's THE INDIE AUTHOR'S TWO-STEP GUIDE TO PUBLISHING IN THE KINDLE STORE. Both of these books are inexpensive and easy reading. I have no affiliation with either author, and can honestly say that Randy Benjamin's pamphlet is excellent. His website is www.randybenjamin.com. Good luck, folks!