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KDP Jumpstart Topic 8 - Format Your Paperback Manuscript

WHAT THIS TOPIC COVERS

After reading this topic, you'll be able to use the Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word tool (PC only) to:

  • Set your trim size, margins, and indentations
  • Create your front matter (e.g., title page, copyright page, table of contents, dedication)
  • Format chapter titles and first paragraphs
  • Add headers and page numbers
  • Preview your book before publishing it

YOUR PROGRESS

You've completed Milestones 1 and 2. Now you're working on Milestone 3, which covers book formatting. Later, you'll set rights and pricing (Milestone 4).




HOW TO FORMAT YOUR PAPERBACK MANUSCRIPT

This topic is for authors with a finished manuscript who want to publish their book as a paperback. Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word also allows you to take your finished file and publish it as an eBook.

If you have specific formatting needs and want to format your manuscript yourself, see this Help page.

Video: Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word

Get started

After downloading and installing the tool, you'll open your manuscript in Word, go to the Kindle tab, and click Get Started. This will save you time by automatically setting your trim size, margins, font size, and indentations.

Apply formatting elements

Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word allows you to apply elements to your book. Think of elements as formatting shortcuts. For example, there's a "Book Title" element you can click to style your title instantly. You'll save time by applying elements to format your title page, chapter titles, and first paragraphs. You can also insert pre-formatted pages like copyright, dedication, and table of contents.

Apply a theme

Give your book the right look and feel by applying a theme that automatically updates the layout and font. Choose between Classic, Modern, Amour, and Cosmos. We introduced these themes in the activity in Topic 6.

Prepare for publication

Add finishing touches like headers and page numbers in a few clicks. These are created automatically based on the elements you applied.

Preview and save your file

You'll be able to preview your book at any time to see what it will look when customers pick it up. For an eBook, you'll be able to see what it will look like on tablets, phones, and e-readers. 

When you're satisfied with your book, you'll save your file as a Word document and upload it to KDP later. After you upload your book, it will go through our content and quality review. If it doesn't pass our review, you'll need to edit your file and resubmit it.

TIP: One of the most common formatting issues is illegible text. Watch the video linked below to learn more.

Publishing your book in multiple formats (digital and print) can attract readers who want to consume your book in different ways. Some like holding physical books in their hands; others like the convenience of immediately downloading and reading. To learn more about the benefits of publishing in multiple formats, read this article.


WHAT TO DO NEXT

  1. Download or print the KDP Jumpstart companion guide. It provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on using Kindle Create Add-in to format your manuscript.
  2. Download (PC only) and install Kindle Create Add-in for Microsoft Word.
  3. Open your manuscript in Word and follow the instructions in the companion guide.
  4. Save your file in .doc/.docx format. You’ll upload this to KDP later.
  5. Go to Topic 9 to learn how to design your cover.

Send us feedback! Complete a survey to tell us how you like KDP Jumpstart. The survey is hosted by Qualtrics, so you'll visit their site to fill it out.

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