View Full Version : [Ebook Production] Formatting for Amazon KDP/Kindle

AW Admin
05-26-2012, 03:32 AM
This FAQ is going to take some work, and will likely be changing a bit as I refine it. There's a lot of good and bad information out there on formatting and converting for Kindle books. I'll try to annotate and link the useful materials.

I should warn you upfront that I ended up hand-coding the HTML in order to have more control over the design. I should also let you know that the Kindle Previewer tells Great Big Lies; don't believe it. Check your ebook (or ask for testers) on both a regular Kindle, and a Kindle Fire, and at least one version of the Kindle app for computers.

Note: No one seems to have very good luck with converting from .pdf; converting Microsoft Word for Windows files to a file for the Kindle seems to be the most common path.

The various directions for converting from Microsoft Word all seem to assume that you're using Micorosoft Word for Windows, and not for Mac OS X. Many people have had success converting an ePUB/ePub file to a Kindle file.

The Amazon Kindle Simple Formatting Guide (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A17W8UM0MMSQX6)

Kindle Direct Conversion Formats (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?ie=UTF8&topicId=200634390)

Amazon's Downloadable .pdf file Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines (http://s3.amazonaws.com/kindlegen/AmazonKindlePublishingGuidelines.pdf) Note that this is a file intended for publishing production staff and is not for the person new to formatting or book production.

Helen Hanson on Kindle Formatting (http://www.helenhanson.com/?p=892)

Kindle Cover Specs from Amazon (https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2J0TRG6OPX0VM)

Guido Henkel's Formatting Guide

Jim Macdonald's Software for Self-Publishers

Natasha Fondren on Kindle Formatting (http://www.natashafondren.com/writing/category/kindle-formatting/).

For People Hand-Coding HTML/XML and Building The Book File

See: [Ebook Production] Basic HTML (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=279004)

Amazon's List of Supported HTML

Dr. George Benthien's OPF and NCX files (http://gbenthien.net/Kindle/opf_ncx_files.html). See also his Example NCX File (http://gbenthien.net/Kindle/ncx_example.html)

CJ's Easy As Pie Create an NCX File (http://www.cjs-easy-as-pie.com/p/create-ncx-file-by-araby-greene.html)

Kindle TOC Help (http://weblog.robertdevereaux.com/2011/03/kindle-the-elusive-toc-trick-for-html-source.html)

Alison Kraft's Kindle TOC Tips (http://allisonkraft.blogspot.com/2011/07/epub-done-and-kindle-toc-tips.html)

John August's Kindle Formatting For Web Geeks (http://johnaugust.com/2009/kindle-formatting-for-web-geeks)