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Thread: Formatting an ebook properly in Word or in WordPerfect, OpenOffice or HTML


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man2010

Posts: 2,047
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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Jul 29, 2012 4:27 PM   in response to: franntastic in response to: franntastic
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If you are using Microsoft Word only to build your ebook, then it will not have the NCX feature. This is normal. Most ebooks don't need an NCX and building it is not worth the trouble for most people (requires tinkering with HTML). NCX allows you to use the skip buttons on a Kindle device (the left and right positions of the 5-way button) to skip between book sections.
franntastic

Posts: 11
Registered: 07/29/12
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Jul 29, 2012 4:29 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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So are you telling me to leave well enough alone since the file functions?
man2010

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Jul 29, 2012 4:33 PM   in response to: franntastic in response to: franntastic
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yes, don't bother with the NCX, you don't need it.
franntastic

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Jul 29, 2012 4:35 PM   in response to: franntastic in response to: franntastic
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To actually answer your question, yes, I used MS Word. Actually everything looks good. At least I think so. I'm really an editor learning how to do this. I was very careful in Word to be consistent. I've got bullet points, chapters, sub-chapters, two pictures, I've tried the file in Enhanced Previewer in all the machines. I downloaded Kindle for PC and it looks fine. I even bookmarked the chapters to the ToC, not just from the ToC to the chapters. Everything works, except when you try the NXC button. :(
franntastic

Posts: 11
Registered: 07/29/12
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Jul 29, 2012 4:40 PM   in response to: franntastic in response to: franntastic
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You've been very reassuring. I appreciate it. I know Chicago Manual of Style up one side and down the other, but I was absent the day that HTML was on the schedule! Thanks so much for your input. BTW I realize it's NCX! :)
wrnotto

Posts: 2
Registered: 08/01/12
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Aug 6, 2012 11:10 PM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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Thank you. This is my first time publishing and with your guidance I was finally able to publish a complete book (NÜWa’s Rings) which displays properly with Kindle Fire. It was created with Word2010, has 11 illustrations, TOC and cast of characters. Best advice was using headers instead of font formatting and keeping the amount of headers as small as possible (I wound up with 5 headers). That made all the difference. Some tips; start with a clean document and invest the time to set your headers, all font colors must be set to automatic. Avoid cut & paste. Set up a "New" Title folder on your desktop, with a "New" jpeg folder within the title folder to store all the photos for your book into a central location. Always insert your illustrations using "insert picture" (I formatted with tight text; you may opt for a different effect).
When done save to (Title) folder, then create a "New" Book folder on your desktop (suggest keeping name of folder simple). Save.as web page (filtered HTML) to the Book folder you just created). When the HTML displays on your screen close it without saving. Open the Book folder you just created right click on the HTML file & "Send to" compressed folder. Accept the default name windows will give the zip folder. You now should have 2 folders 1) zip & 1) (Title)_files, right click on the folder created by the HTML compression to zip (Title)_files. While holding down the right button drag the folder onto the compressed folder until it is hi-lighted then, release the right button. NOTE: Do not copy, select MOVE folder. You are now ready to publish. The folder containing the book you are publishing is the zip file inside the new Book folder you created. After the file is uploaded (takes a few minutes) down load the file to review it using kindle previewer. I suggest using the device kindle Fire first. I may be wrong but if reads well with Fire the rest of the devices will be fine. If all is well then save & publish, if corrections or changes need to be made then, open the file right click on the zip file & delete it before starting the save.as function and repeat the steps. Hope I was clear enough.
man2010

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Aug 7, 2012 12:01 AM   in response to: wrnotto in response to: wrnotto
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You're welcome. Your post prompted me to investigate Amazon's zipping instructions. I may include your instructions in the troubleshooting guide.
mrlasers

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Aug 7, 2012 7:47 PM   in response to: wrnotto in response to: wrnotto
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I may be wrong but if reads well with Fire the rest of the devices will be fine.

The Kindle format includes two separate versions of the book, one in the "legacy" MobiPocket format (Mobi7) and the other in the new Kindle Format 8 (KF8). Depending on how the source files were formatted these versions may vary to a significant degree.

Kindle Fire (and thus its device mode in Kindle Previewer) will use the new KF8 format, as will the Kindle Touch device mode. Other device modes will display the older Mobi7 formatted book. What looks perfect in one version of the book may be a complete disaster in another. [i]Especially[/i] when relying on a word processor to do your final formatting.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
punchygonzales

Posts: 2,853
Registered: 11/26/11
Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Aug 7, 2012 7:52 PM   in response to: mrlasers in response to: mrlasers
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"...will use the new KF8 format, as will the Kindle Touch device"

Except for fixed format.
mrlasers

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Aug 12, 2012 1:06 AM   in response to: punchygonzales in response to: punchygonzales
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Except for fixed format.

Fixed-layout KF8 books can't be downloaded to Kindle Touch from the Kindle Store. It is irrelevant how a sideloaded master mobi appears on this device when it is [i]impossible[/i] to sell that file to a customer.

--
MrLasers
eBook Formatting & Production
http://www.mrlasers.com
punchygonzales

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Re: Guidelines on creating Cover, ToC, Beginning, and NCX; plus HTML template
Posted: Aug 12, 2012 10:11 AM   in response to: mrlasers in response to: mrlasers
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Right. So we're in agreement.
potionsman

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Registered: 07/10/10
Re: How to format a Kindle book [b]properly[/b] in Word (or in HTML if needed)
Posted: Aug 26, 2012 5:08 AM   in response to: man2010 in response to: man2010
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I didn't look at the instructions after reading the very negative intro about indie publishing --- won't sell any books, should get a traditional agent, won't sell books that way either.....

Not an uplifting way to start an article.
kitchenfoyle

Posts: 1
Registered: 08/29/12
Re: How to format a Kindle book [b]properly[/b] in Word (or in HTML if needed)
Posted: Aug 29, 2012 8:26 AM   in response to: potionsman in response to: potionsman
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I registered with this site in the hope that my enthusiasm for writing and my eagerness to involve myself in the KDP experience would be enhanced and encouraged by like minded types. Instead, the past few hours I've spent on this first visit, hacking my way through a minefield of technical jargon and negative vibes, which basically drives home the clear message that you've as much chance of success as a writer using KDP as you have of winning the lottery, has left me completely despondent about the whole thing.

I'm certainly not some naive, starry-eyed neophyte with a headful of romantic nonsense about being the next John Grisham. And I've nothing against spelling out to aspiring writers what they're up against with regard to the likelihood of them making money from their work. But on a forum given over to [i]helping[/i] writers get their work out there, surely there should be an overriding motive to encourage, not discourage.

Having had it pointed out to me that the guide 'Building your book for Kindle' is next to useless and that using it would result in a product riddled with formatting mistakes, I took a deep breath and carefully followed the highly detailed and comprehensive instructions for Office 2010 as set out here by the OP. But after several attempts, after which some of the settings would reset themselves and thus wouldn't work, I gave up the ghost. I suspect the problem had something to do with some of the advised settings being given in inches and the program dealing only in metric, thereby rejecting them. I don't know and I no longer care. Because all that I'd read before this drawn out and ultimately failed procedure left me with neither the energy nor the patience to proceed any further.

No doubt some will say that there couldn't be much ambition there to start with, or that it's better a reality check now than later on when a lot of time and effort has been wasted - writers will always write, etc. - we've heard it all before. And maybe I'll allow a little justification for that view. But there's no doubt that many months of diligent application and productive effort has been badly affected (in all likelihood, terminally so) by my visit here today.

By the time any other writer starting out gets to read this it'll be too late, I know. But my message to them is - if you're looking for inspiration and encouragement from those of a similar disposition, all looking to make their way in what [i]we already know is a tough place to succeed[/i], then this sure as hell aint the place to find it.
man2010

Posts: 2,047
Registered: 01/01/10
Re: How to format a Kindle book [b]properly[/b] in Word (or in HTML if needed)
Posted: Aug 29, 2012 10:29 AM   in response to: kitchenfoyle in response to: kitchenfoyle
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updated the procedure to explain what to do with centimeters, and also how to save all the styles for future use.
bevehoward

Posts: 250
Registered: 09/22/10
Re: How to format a Kindle book [b]properly[/b] in Word (or in HTML if needed)
Posted: Aug 29, 2012 12:40 PM   in response to: kitchenfoyle in response to: kitchenfoyle
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"has left me completely despondent about the whole thing."

What can anyone say?

"formatting mistakes"

If your goal is to control the page (screen) layout, be prepared for a long session of tilting windmills on any of the ebook platforms. The content has to be flexible enough to flow to meet a variety of screen sizes and user settings.

No new arena is without it's learning curve and demands on the user. Think the majority of kdp users feel that it's well worth the demands and efforts.

Beverly Howard
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