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Thread: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?


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Daniel Baumann

Posts: 1
Registered: 08/06/13
Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Aug 6, 2013 6:22 AM
 
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Dear all,

I'm trying to publish my screenplay on Kindle -
and the problem I'm now facing is that, although I have converted my script into
the right file-format (according to their guidelines, you can use Word or
PDF), it is distorted all over the place when you preview it.

I originally wrote the screenplay in 'Final Draft' (screenwriting sofware)
Since 'Final Draft' is such a widely used software and and pretty much an industry-standard,
I would imagine that a lot of people have faced the same problem.

Does anyone have an idea how to tackle this specific problem...?
Your help/ feed-back is greatly appreciated!

Daniel, London/ U.K.

man2010

Posts: 2,051
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Aug 6, 2013 9:07 AM   in response to: Daniel Baumann in response to: Daniel Baumann
 
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Hi.
You would have to convert to Word and then to do some formatting in Word and convert that to the Kindle format. You won't get exactly what you want, but this method is cheap and quick, with tolerable results. Don't use the PDF format for the conversion because it's very bad. If you want high-quality formatting, you would have to hire someone to do the job for you, but keep in mind that most self-pubbed ebooks don't sell and you need to keep your conversion costs down. Spending a couple of months to learn HTML in order to do it yourself will be expensive too because your time costs money.
Notjohn

Posts: 24,169
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Aug 6, 2013 9:55 AM   in response to: Daniel Baumann in response to: Daniel Baumann
 
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Screenplays are tough, and of course aren't very likely to sell well to compensate for the difficulty. Can you export your file as an epub, html, Word doc, RTF file?

(As posted, don't use a PDF!)

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Selling Your E-book on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else) (Third Edition)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
booknookbiz

Posts: 4,277
Registered: 03/04/10
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Aug 6, 2013 4:53 PM   in response to: Daniel Baumann in response to: Daniel Baumann
 
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Dear Daniel:

We've successfully formatted several Final Draft screenplays into Kindle, but it's not simple, particularly if you used their "double column" formatting, in which you have stair-stepped items...so the speaker/character is somewhat centered, then the stage directions are "5 spaces" to the left (if memory serves), the the dialogue is indented below that, not quite centered...this is exceedingly difficult to do, for a DIY'er. Were I you, I'd export it as RTF, and then format the entire thing like most plays use, all left-aligned. Kindle (K1, K2) really have difficult times handling the myriad levels of indentation to match the FD layout. If you used that "two column" layout--in which two characters speak simultaneously--it can be done, but really, you shouldn't try it, as you'll have to use tables to get it to work right.

As I said, we've done a small number of screenplays, and while we've done the FD "format," for screenplays, it wasn't easy nor simple, and my theory on the left-aligned method is anything that was good enough for Shakespeare should be good enough for most folks. ;-)

Anyway: export your book to RTF, then format it thoroughly in Word, using paragraph styles. Then upload THAT to Amazon. That's your best bet. If you use bold, italics, etc., you can achieve a lot with very little. Good luck!

Hitch
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Notjohn

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Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Aug 7, 2013 1:36 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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If you use bold, italics, etc., you can achieve a lot with very little

That is the best guideline for Kindle formatting that I've yet seen! -- NJ
David W Grant

Posts: 2
Registered: 12/12/13
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Feb 7, 2018 9:34 AM   in response to: booknookbiz in response to: booknookbiz
 
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I've been futzing around way too much. Thanks for the RTF advice. I really like the Final Draft industry-standard formatting. But I can't take the hours and hours to replicate it.
Even so ... and I've just begun with the RTF and it, too, looks like a lot of re-formatting.

Now ... I don't see page numbering in the ebook. Is it possible to get it in? It looks like the RTF page numbering is in the footer...which doesn't seem to show up on the ebook format.
Salamander Mall...

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Registered: 10/16/17
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Feb 7, 2018 10:18 AM   in response to: David W Grant in response to: David W Grant
 
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David W Grant wrote:
I've been futzing around way too much. Thanks for the RTF advice. I really like the Final Draft industry-standard formatting. But I can't take the hours and hours to replicate it.
Even so ... and I've just begun with the RTF and it, too, looks like a lot of re-formatting.

Now ... I don't see page numbering in the ebook. Is it possible to get it in? It looks like the RTF page numbering is in the footer...which doesn't seem to show up on the ebook format.


It's best not to rely on formatting information that's five years old. No, no page numbers in an e-book because e-books don't have pages. Read some current information and download the free book about how to format. It's available on the first page of the KDP help pages.
William Thompson

Posts: 1,194
Registered: 07/06/14
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Feb 7, 2018 11:15 PM   in response to: Daniel Baumann in response to: Daniel Baumann
 
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For future reference, Scrivener has a specific template for formatting screenplays. You can also easily import a Final Draft doc into Scrivener. Once you've finished formatting your script in Scrivener or whatever, you can then export the screenplay in Word or RTF format or in Final Draft format. As I've already said, using Scrivener is perhaps something you should really consider for the future, if your are going to produce more of your screenplays as ebooks.
Notjohn

Posts: 24,169
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Feb 8, 2018 3:54 AM   in response to: David W Grant in response to: David W Grant
 
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Since you're unearthing an old thread (I didn't even realize we could FIND five-year-old posts!), you might look for a very intelligent gent who wrote and published screenplays, though I don't know with what success. His posts were a pleasure to read. Sorry, I can't remember his name....

(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 (2018 edition)

The blog: https://notjohnkdp.blogspot.com
cebpubs

Posts: 682
Registered: 03/08/09
Re: Help! How do I format my Final-Draft file to fit for Kindle?
Posted: Feb 8, 2018 10:16 AM   in response to: Daniel Baumann in response to: Daniel Baumann
 
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All things considered, for a Kindle or other eBook, the simplest thing to do for any type of script is to format it more or less like a Sam French playscript and forget the usual cinema formatting. Just start everything at the left margin, put the character names in bold, and the directions in Italics. Since there's no way to be sure what it's going to be read on, trying to duplicate a proper format isn't always worth the effort, because even if it looks right on a large tablet, it probably won't on a phone.
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