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Thread: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing


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Permlink Replies: 12 - Pages: 1 - Last Post: Dec 26, 2017 6:23 PM Last Post By: C. Gold
Nathan P. Lenz

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Registered: 12/25/17
Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 10:32 AM
 
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I used Word to write my e-book for Kindle, but I'm wondering if any of the 'free' programs (AbiWord, OpenOffice, Libre, etc.) can be used as well; if so, is there any documentation I can look at when I need to format my next book for Kindle for any of those programs?

Thanks.
Michael F. Quar...

Posts: 277
Registered: 12/28/12
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 11:13 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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Have you read this?
https://www.amazon.com/Building-Your-Kindle-Direct-Publishing-ebook/dp/B007URVZJ6
It is free, and might answer your questions.
Also, if you're thinking about Smash*words, they take a dim view of anything other than Word.
Notjohn

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Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 11:31 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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Word processors are for writing books, not for formatting them. If you hope to skip formatting, then Word is by all means your best bet, because Amazon has invested much money and time in adapting its system to handle Word docs. However, you absolutely MUST use heading and paragraph Styles to build your book. You can't just bang away as if your computer were a manual typewriter. There is a logical structural to a Word file, one that is invisible to the person looking at it.

If you don't know about Styles, read the third post on my blog for some useful pointers.

(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
Salamander Mall...

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Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 25, 2017 3:25 PM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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It really doesn't matter. No matter what program you use, if your proficiency is that of a typist or word processor, your book is likely to have formatting errors, ranging from light to critical. Choose whichever you're comfortable with, then concentrate all your efforts on learning how to format using Styles (or equivalent). There is a learning curve, but it's a little less steep than becoming proficient in HTML.
booknookbiz

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Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 12:03 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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Nathan P. Lenz wrote:
I used Word to write my e-book for Kindle, but I'm wondering if any of the 'free' programs (AbiWord, OpenOffice, Libre, etc.) can be used as well; if so, is there any documentation I can look at when I need to format my next book for Kindle for any of those programs?

Thanks.

You've had a lot of weird responses here, but, here's my question--if you already have Word, why would you go with what are, inarguably, lesser programs? Sure, lots of people will tell you that OO or LO or AbiWord or Atlantis Word Processor is "as good as" but the truth is, they are all runners-up. And, in terms of making ebooks for Kindle, the reality is that the MOBI format, and what Amazon's done with it, is heavily tailored to work with Word products. So...why screw with it?

You're best off using Word, if you are able. YES, of course, you can make your eBooks using pretty much any Word processor, as Sal indicated; but they all, all, require that you learn how to use the Styles and Headings that are part of pretty much any Word Processing or HTML program. If you can spend a few hours and learn how to use those, really, you'll be ahead of the pack.

Hope that helps.

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

Dave Casey

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Registered: 03/03/16
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 12:11 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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As a couple of others have said, if you're already using Word and are proficient in its use, you are well ahead of the game. If you are using Word as a subscription based piece of software and are looking to cut the cord, there are a number of free programs that do a great job. I use LibreOffice and it does everything I need it to do and I've never had a problem with it when submitting my files to KDP for publishing. Just make sure you save the files as Word 97 doc files.

Now, that being said, I need to give you a warning. I write fiction and nothing else. I don't put any photos or pictures in my books, I don't have any graphs or tables or anything like that. Just words, complete with chapter titles and table of contents. LibreOffice does all of this just fine. You need nothing else to create a good ebook or paperback.
B.L. Alley

Posts: 1,241
Registered: 06/14/14
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 6:43 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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The best software is that which you are most comfortable using.

I use LibreOffice writer to write and format my paperbacks and Calibre to create epubs for a digital version and to submit for KDP. Others prefer different programs, but I encourage all to learn how to create a functioning (and validated) epub. It will result in a better Kindle, and it leaves you with a digital version for proofreading and loaning to friends, family, and reviewers.
Michael F. Quar...

Posts: 277
Registered: 12/28/12
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 9:12 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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Perhaps my response was weird, but that little guidebook Amazon publishes does mention the programs Nathan asked about. It will also tell him exactly how to format his work. It gives a good lesson in Styles, which is in line with what others are saying here. Above all, it is easy to understand.
As to my mention of Smash*words, he might want to explore other markets some day. They really want people to use Word, and follow their formatting guide. It's a tiny piece of information he might find useful.
Michael F. Quar...

Posts: 277
Registered: 12/28/12
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 9:28 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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I tried to reply, but got moderated again. Maybe I'm using an evil word.

Edited by: Michael F. Quarles on Dec 26, 2017 9:29 AM
Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,880
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 9:36 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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Nathan P. Lenz wrote:
I used Word to write my e-book for Kindle, but I'm wondering if any of the 'free' programs (AbiWord, OpenOffice, Libre, etc.) can be used as well; if so, is there any documentation I can look at when I need to format my next book for Kindle for any of those programs?

Thanks.


There are no programs that will magically create your book. Any program you use will require studying to learn. Word is the best. Take time to learn to use styles and format paragraphs and you'll have no problems..
Jason

Posts: 1
Registered: 06/27/17
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 10:47 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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I use Focus Writer. It is free and really easy to use, but I mainly use it because I write with a black background and green font (old skool). However it isn't ideal as I always have to run it through word in order to format it correctly. If you want to check it out, here is the link: https://gottcode.org/focuswriter/
Isabella Coles

Posts: 4
Registered: 12/25/17
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 11:16 AM   in response to: Nathan P. Lenz in response to: Nathan P. Lenz
 
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I'd just stick with Word.
C. Gold

Posts: 1,100
Registered: 02/17/15
Re: Best word processor for Kindle e-publishing
Posted: Dec 26, 2017 6:23 PM   in response to: Isabella Coles in response to: Isabella Coles
 
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I find that Word works quite well. I know it intimately, and KDP is designed around uploading docx documents.
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