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Permlink Replies: 10 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Dec 26, 2017 2:48 PM Last Post By: booknookbiz
Donna Stites

Posts: 2
Registered: 12/24/17
Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 5:06 AM
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I have a study book on Biblical Proverbs which has been successful in Amazon published format but I am having difficulty converting it from Word to Kindle format using the "tool" Kindle provides.
Has anyone used another person's services to convert and is it cost effective? I really cannot invest another 20 hours trying to get it right! I just now withdrew my second attempt of publishing it on Kindle because I found errors in numbering my questions and pagination when the Word doc was correct.

Finally, is it better to start with PDF, or some other format, than with Word when converting to Kindle? Perhaps I am starting wrong!

Your experienced help could save me LOTS of time in publishing!
thanks,
Rob
Joe Baldizzone

Posts: 103
Registered: 03/17/17
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 7:11 AM   in response to: Donna Stites in response to: Donna Stites
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CreateSpace has a service that does it well for $80.00. I've used them 3 times with no complaints. Takes about a week. The don't convert from a PDF Word file however, they convert it from whatever you have uploaded on Amazon for the paperback (don't really know how that works, but they're very friendly and helpful. You can ask.). I'm sure if you go on www.fiverr.com you can find services that will do it it for even less, but I'd thoroughly check reviews if you choose to go that route.
Ralph E Vaughan

Posts: 3,444
Registered: 12/01/12
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 7:29 AM   in response to: Donna Stites in response to: Donna Stites
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If your Word document has been properly formatted using Styles, take out the print elements (it takes less than 30 minutes to remove pagination, etc), and upload the file to KDP for conversion. If you don't know how to use Word except as a typewriter/word processor and don't want to take the time to learn Styles, then hiring a professional formatter (not CreateSpace) is your best option. Never use a PDF to create an e-book.
Notjohn

Posts: 23,757
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 7:29 AM   in response to: Donna Stites in response to: Donna Stites
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No, please don't start with PDF. That almost never works out well.

If you're talking twenty hours, you would do better I think to spend $200 to get it professionally formatted. It might even be less. I recommend Hitch at BookNook dot biz.

As others have said, you can probably get it done on Fiverr for $11-$26 or so. But be prepared to reject conversions that don't please you and trying with a different vendor. It may take two or three, because these folk are usually in Africa or Southwest Asia and are just converting the Word doc using a free software like Calibre, which itself can be problematic.

Personally, I start with Word, clean up the html, and build an epub with the clean html. People will assure you that it's foolish to deal with "html stuff," but in fact all ebooks are html, and so are all Word documents.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
Joe Baldizzone

Posts: 103
Registered: 03/17/17
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 7:22 PM   in response to: Ralph E Vaughan in response to: Ralph E Vaughan
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I'm curious why you say not Createspace? They converted my book to Kindle with no hitches or problems whatsoever. 3 times. I know some other people who have had the same experience. They work from the file uploaded to Amazon, and then load it up to KDP for you. All you have to do is approve it. It was a simple process, and I'm wondering if I'm missing something here. If there's a valid reason NOT to go with CreateSpace's service, I won't the next time around.

I understand the reasons to not use KDP for a paperback, but I don't understand not using Createspace for a simple Kindle conversion.
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,190
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 24, 2017 7:51 PM   in response to: Joe Baldizzone in response to: Joe Baldizzone
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Joe Baldizzone wrote:
I'm curious why you say not Createspace? They converted my book to Kindle with no hitches or problems whatsoever. 3 times. I know some other people who have had the same experience. They work from the file uploaded to Amazon, and then load it up to KDP for you. All you have to do is approve it. It was a simple process, and I'm wondering if I'm missing something here. If there's a valid reason NOT to go with CreateSpace's service, I won't the next time around.

I understand the reasons to not use KDP for a paperback, but I don't understand not using Createspace for a simple Kindle conversion.

I'll leave it to others to discuss their experiences with this, but one perfectly simple reason is because they want an ePUB file, also. When all you have is a MOBI file, you don't have your own source. An ePUB is its own source file (and can be the source for your MOBI, as well). OR, someone may wish to "go wide," as it's called, distributing on other platforms, or simply distributing through an aggregator, like Bookbaby, which requires an ePUB file.

That's one reason. I will state that it's not that uncommon for me to have folks show up at my shop who are not thrilled with service that they've had from other services. ;-)

Merry Christmas to All! (And to all, a good night.... :-)


Hitch
We produce eBooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.Biz
Notjohn

Posts: 23,757
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 4:08 AM   in response to: Joe Baldizzone in response to: Joe Baldizzone
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I understand the reasons to not use KDP for a paperback, but I don't understand not using Createspace for a simple Kindle conversion.

Because CreateSpace provides a PDF, and that seldom works well.

But if you are happy with the service, you are free to continue using it. Would you mind giving the author/title or ASIN of your Kindle edition, so we can validate your opinion? Perhaps it has changed its system! That would be welcome news.

In general, my rule is to avoid all automagical services. If it's too good to be true, well, it's just too good to be true.

(Don't trust KDP to publish a print edition. Don't trust CreateSpace to publish an ebook. Each does one thing well and the other thing poorly.)

Good luck! -- NJ

Notjohn's Guide to E-Book & Print Formatting

The blog:
http://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
tanzzee

Posts: 151
Registered: 01/06/12
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 5:53 AM   in response to: Donna Stites in response to: Donna Stites
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It's an add-on service I offer to my proofreading and/or editing clients but because they have already passed through this service it means their document is already correctly styled in Word. If your manuscript is correctly styled (in Word, not as a PDF) I could offer this service to you, but I don't have the time to also trawl though an entire manuscript setting it up in the necessary style.
Joe Baldizzone

Posts: 103
Registered: 03/17/17
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 6:55 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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You're welcome to take a look using my user info. I'm still a bit thin skinned though.... my book is doing well, and I like to keep my head high. This forum isn't always the safest or friendliest of forums I've visited. Go easy please if ya find my Kindle is in some sort of disarray.

If there are problems, I'm open to possibly re-Kindling elsewhere, but the only other formats I have are a PDF and an Indesign file. I made some mistakes with my choice of editors on this book, and future edits have become difficult (or expensive). I plan to do things differently next time, if there is a next time. Right now I'm happy that I expressed what I wanted to in my book. Wasn't expecting it to be successful at all, just wanted to tell my story - and lo and behold.... it seems to be doing pretty well given what I'm hearing from others.
Donna Stites

Posts: 2
Registered: 12/24/17
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 11:25 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
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thanks all! I withdrew my Kindle version after finding numerous mistakes. I have discussion questions at the end of each chapter and those bullets got changed from letters to repeated numbers during the conversion. My source file still has it correct.

I will likely review the eBook guide and give it another attempt. It seems that if I want it done to my specifications it is likely best that I mentor myself on eBooks and try it again. There is no rush on my output. If that does not work I will try the lower price service first before using the Kindle conversion service for $80 unless I hear of outstanding results from people who have used the Kindle service.
.
The idea of removing all the pagination and publication hidden fields does NOT match with what Kindle says. They say to put in page breaks after major sections and chapters so that is what I have done. I have removed other pagination marks though.

booknookbiz

Posts: 4,190
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Service to convert my book from Word or PDF into Kindle format?
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 2:48 PM   in response to: Donna Stites in response to: Donna Stites
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Donna Stites wrote:
thanks all! I withdrew my Kindle version after finding numerous mistakes. I have discussion questions at the end of each chapter and those bullets got changed from letters to repeated numbers during the conversion. My source file still has it correct.

I will likely review the eBook guide and give it another attempt. It seems that if I want it done to my specifications it is likely best that I mentor myself on eBooks and try it again. There is no rush on my output. If that does not work I will try the lower price service first before using the Kindle conversion service for $80 unless I hear of outstanding results from people who have used the Kindle service.
.
The idea of removing all the pagination and publication hidden fields does NOT match with what Kindle says. They say to put in page breaks after major sections and chapters so that is what I have done. I have removed other pagination marks though.


I wanted to just make a few small comments. Firstly, $80 is dirt cheap. Using a 'lower price service' is, by and large, you get what you pay for. The typical book conversion, even fiction, to ePUB/MOBI, of any kind of quality, takes on average 6 hours. Don't confuse "cleaning up a Word file" with formatting an ebook--they are most certainly not the same thing. That's not to say that a properly cleaned, styled, Word file can't work, for a fiction or very simple non-fiction book--but if you are going to do anything beyond that, or want fonts, etc., you should expect to pay a professional. If you want one in this country, it's not going to be $80; it will be twice that and more. (Of course, if you use one of the offshore services, Or one of the companies that has someone answering the phone here, but the labor offshore, the costs will be somewhat less.)

With regard to removing all pagination and publication "hidden fields," you are misunderstanding what people are saying. Yes, you should leave a page-break between chapters/sections. What you're hearing is that you should NOT leave page breaks between "pages," as is done, sometimes, in print books (and in scans of print books). "Hidden marks" means, by and large, pilcrows (end of paragraph codes) that are in the wrong places. Most typists--and I do this, myself, so, y'know, habits are habits--have a bad habit of using the "enter" key to create vertical whitespace. That will be obliterated, in an eBook. Half the Kindles won't display extra whitespace created by using the "enter' key--that has to be properly created, using CSS. (For those of you using Word, you can do that, largely, using Styles and Headings).

You cannot DO "letters" for numbered lists, in HTML. That's why it's not working--because you are uploading whatever file you are, and--only because you simply didn't know--expected it to "just work." Well, all those nice fancy list options that Word and Pages and all those nice Word Processors offer do not exist in HTML; in HTML, it's numbers or bullets, ONLY, nothing more. No Roman numerals, no bullets that aren't simple round bullets--no arrows, no stars, no flowers or pink clovers, no Lucky Charms. You can do whatever you want, and that won't work. You can type them manually--but be aware that that means that then, the line-wrapping will NOT work perfectly, in HTML.

Those small sorts of things--knowing WHY your list didn't work the way you expected, what the options are to address it, etc.--are what commercial formatters do daily. It's the sort of thing that a Word-file-cleaner won't know.

So, yes--you should read up on what does, and doesn't, work in ebooks, but be aware that there are exceedingly few books or real tutorials on that. There are lots of "push this button" type tutorials, which are all well and good, but the reality is that the world of ePUB and MOBI changes fairly often, sometimes several times in the course of a week, so there are very few books or courses worth a damn. Moreover, many things--like the list thing--are known pretty much only throgh trail-and-error, because the subset of HTML and CSS that makes eBooks work, ALSO changes constantly. Something that worked last week, may not work today, and vice-versa.

Good luck. If the Discussion lists in your book are the only remotely "formatted" bits, change your list type to plain old numerals (1,2,3, etc.) and you should be fine.

Hitch
We produce eBooks
An Amazon Professional Conversion Service : http://amzn.to/29pWZSg
www.Booknook.Biz
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