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Thread: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?


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Dahlia

Posts: 62
Registered: 08/21/15
Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 12:02 PM
 
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My friend downloaded my book. (Tango Murderoso) It is impossible to read because it has all kinds of coding symbols! Quotations for dialogue all start with A instead of open quotes > " and @ instead of closed quotes > " apostrophes show as > = . Very weird
This is totally embarrassing. Something is wrong with the format and it is not like WORD format at all. I followed everything carefully on uploading and cannot find anything that points to a fix. My novel is all text in WORD so should not be hard to transfer to Kindle.
It was not allowed to simply upload it in WORD format, and it was converted to XML document as per instructions. But that doesn't seem to work. Since then I see you CAN upload in WORD format. Tried it, no workee.
Should I just stop everything or has anyone an idea to make it readable after downloading it! (I have removed it for sale now)
Thanks if anyone has ideas. Something terribly wrong and make me want to just unload the whole process!

I downloaded the file - xyzabc - but not sure what to do with it? Should my whole book text be placed between the 'header' sections? This is what it looks like. >

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

<!DOCTYPE ONIXMessage SYSTEM "http://www.editeur.org/onix/2.1/reference/onix-international.dtd">

-<ONIXMessage>

-<Header>

<FromCompany>R.C. Westerholm</FromCompany>

<SentDate>20150824</SentDate>

</Header>

</ONIXMessage>

Any ideas?
RCW

Edited by: Dahlia on Aug 29, 2015 5:20 PM

extradimensions

Posts: 4,140
Registered: 05/19/09
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 12:16 PM   in response to: Dahlia in response to: Dahlia
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I would unpublish the book. You can do this from your bookshelf. You can republish later when you're happy with it.
You can upload a Word document, but it doesn't display the same way on devices and apps as it does on your monitor.
Amazon has a free basic guide called Building Your Book for Kindle. That's a good place to start.
Not all characters are supported. The basic single and double quote marks, including the curly ones, depending on how you make them. Stick to Word's default font.
You get the most reliable results from Word by using the built-in styles feature for all paragraph formatting. Instead of highlighting an entire paragraph and applying formatting directly to what's highlighted, modify a paragraph style (or create a new one) and simply apply the appropriate paragraph style to each paragraph.
When you believe your book is ready and you upload the new file, be sure to use the previewer. The downloadable previewer is said to be more reliable than the online previewer (both are available in the same step of the publishing process). Check your book carefully on each device in the previewer. Good luck.
Dahlia

Posts: 62
Registered: 08/21/15
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 12:25 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
 
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Thanks, the problem seems to be that Kindle is not recognizing dialogue - "I'll do it," becomes - A I-ll do it @ instead.
So I will have to do something, what about some friends who already bought it?
The book was all in WORD format, which then was converted to XML because it said it could not be uploaded in Word.
Now I cannot find a way to correct it while leaving it up there.
Thanks for trying.
rcw
Melinda Clayton

Posts: 346
Registered: 06/11/13
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 1:31 PM   in response to: Dahlia in response to: Dahlia
 
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Dahlia, it is possible to upload a Word document to Kindle. Many people do it, including me. All of my books were written and uploaded in Word.

Having said that, Word is notorious for having hidden code, resulting in exactly the result you're talking about. There are several options for getting ride of hidden code. The "nuclear option" as discussed by Mark Coker is one (meaning you'd have to highlight the whole thing and "clear all" which will literally clear out all of your formatting, which you'll then have to go back and add via Word styles). I know others who copy/paste into Notepad to get rid of hidden code. There are other options, too, that Notjohn and CharlieS always recommend. Maybe one of them will come along and advise.
thrasherll

Posts: 4,739
Registered: 06/27/12
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 2:10 PM   in response to: Dahlia in response to: Dahlia
 
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I suggest you also change your Description. The book description should be short and to the point. Take a look at books in the same genre as yours for some good examples. A description that's seven lines long on the amazon page is considered just about perfect.

L. L. Thrasher
Diana Persaud

Posts: 2,198
Registered: 10/07/13
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 4:04 PM   in response to: Melinda Clayton in response to: Melinda Clayton
 
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Melinda Clayton wrote:
Dahlia, it is possible to upload a Word document to Kindle. Many people do it, including me. All of my books were written and uploaded in Word.

Having said that, Word is notorious for having hidden code, resulting in exactly the result you're talking about. There are several options for getting ride of hidden code. The "nuclear option" as discussed by Mark Coker is one (meaning you'd have to highlight the whole thing and "clear all" which will literally clear out all of your formatting, which you'll then have to go back and add via Word styles). I know others who copy/paste into Notepad to get rid of hidden code. There are other options, too, that Notjohn and CharlieS always recommend. Maybe one of them will come along and advise.

I use Mark Coker's FREE guide on Formatting. It's free on Amazon and his own website, Smashwords dot com.

I create my file and it's good on all platforms. (I convert to epub for KOBO and BN, but use the same file).

Never had a problem.

Edited by: Diana Persaud on Aug 28, 2015 4:04 PM

Melinda Clayton

Posts: 346
Registered: 06/11/13
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 4:21 PM   in response to: Diana Persaud in response to: Diana Persaud
 
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Same here, Diana. I actually never have to "nuke" mine, since I've learned to use style sheets in my original manuscripts, but when formatting for anyone else I strip the manuscript of absolutely everything and then reformat using Word styles.
Notjohn

Posts: 20,487
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 4:28 PM   in response to: Melinda Clayton in response to: Melinda Clayton
 
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Maybe one of them will come along and advise.

Sure. What I would do is run that *.doc file through Word2CleanHtml dot com online, open the resulting html file in Sigil, and tweak it there as needed. Takes some learning, but easiest in the long term. You can get the latest version of Sigil at https://github.com/Sigil-Ebook/Sigil/releases

Word works until it doesn't. Then it doesn't.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Formatting Your E-book for Amazon (Or Any Other Retailer) now $3.99

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Dahlia

Posts: 62
Registered: 08/21/15
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 28, 2015 4:46 PM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Thanks for your help. I think I can try a few of those suggestions, meanwhile, I would like to take it down until I get it right. Someone said to go to beside where mine is listed, and click Book Actions, then click between the dot to unpublish for now. I cannot do that because Book Actions is greyed out?!
Any ideas how to activate it so I can get it off for a while?
Hate to have someone buy it and then not have a readable copy!
Thanks again.
Notjohn

Posts: 20,487
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 29, 2015 2:50 AM   in response to: Dahlia in response to: Dahlia
 
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You probably are still in holding pattern. It may be available to you today. If not today, then tomorrow.

(I generally open the Book Detail page by double-clicking on the thumbnail image of the cover on my Bookshelf. That's my approach to software and the web -- bash it over the head until it responds!)

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Formatting Your E-book for Amazon (Or Any Other Retailer) now $3.99

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Dahlia

Posts: 62
Registered: 08/21/15
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 29, 2015 5:48 PM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
 
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Hi, thanks for input. I am going to RE upload my whole book in Calibri, the default font in WORD 2007. I will try that to see if my quotations suddenly work!
Notjohn

Posts: 20,487
Registered: 02/27/13
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 30, 2015 4:24 AM   in response to: Dahlia in response to: Dahlia
 
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It's only the default if you make it so. Mine is Times New Roman, which is the recommended word-processor font for uploading to the KDP (for which the default font is or used to be Caecilia, and the ideal font for uploading is NONE, though that's hard to achieve in Word).

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Formatting Your E-book for Amazon (Or Any Other Retailer) now $3.99

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Dahlia

Posts: 62
Registered: 08/21/15
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 30, 2015 8:36 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Hi,
I have tried everything I can think of, saving as XML was recommended, saving as WORD text only was available after uploading, changed font to Calibri which they ay is the default font. Already tried Times New Roman and Arial. Word doesn't offer me an option to save the book in HTML. (I used to write in WordPerfect which can show you ALL the codes)
Tried downloading Kindle Previewer, but it will not read any of the fonts or extensions. Only uses some I never heard of, and it doesn't even see the rest. Mobi Opi etc? LOL getting to be funny if I don't cry!
This was supposed to be simple. Tried the xyzabc file but cannot load the book into the header section, that looks like web page coding to me anyway.

The last thing I thought would not work was plain old quotation marks and apostrophes!
Looks like I will just sending my friends who bought it a check to reimburse them!
many thanks to all of you who tried to help!
rcw

Edited by: Dahlia on Aug 30, 2015 8:37 AM
extradimensions

Posts: 4,140
Registered: 05/19/09
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 30, 2015 9:38 AM   in response to: Dahlia in response to: Dahlia
 
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Dahlia wrote:
I have tried everything I can think of, saving as XML was recommended
Here is the list of file formats that KDP accepts: https://kdp.amazon.com/help?topicId=A2GF0UFHIYG9VQ. Of these, MOBI, EPUB, HTML, and DOCX work the best, but in each case you must first prepare the file in a Kindle-friendly way.
Word doesn't offer me an option to save the book in HTML.
What version of Word are you using, and is it for Windows or Mac? For example, in Word 2007 and up for Windows, for example, choose Save As and then adjust Save As Type to Web Page, Filtered.
Dahlia

Posts: 62
Registered: 08/21/15
Re: Format gone wrong? Not sure what to do?
Posted: Aug 30, 2015 11:14 AM   in response to: extradimensions in response to: extradimensions
 
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Thanks. I tried DOCX which is the WORD file format. Everything still the same.

I tried the PREVIEW which was Kindle Fire HDX, Not sure what is going on here but when I look at the pages, from Location 1 (of 7605) it started with my Cover image goes to location 4 for Tittle Page, then 15, 29, 39 48, 51 (my TOC but it is blank after heading) , and next to 56 which is blank, then I step up through every blank page 1 by 1 before getting to location 131 which is the start. of the novel.
Does anyone know why there are so many skips and blank pages? How can I try to get rid of them?
Of course this doesn't help the fact that it will not show quotations or apostrophe marks. "Hello I'll go there." still shows as - A Hello I=ll go there. @

I feel like Benedict Cumberbach trying to decipher WWII code machines!
rcw
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