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View Full Version : Have Formatted Book and Cover--Now What? [Uploading to Kindle]



triceretops
08-03-2012, 01:49 AM
First and foremost, tri is a complete and total idiot when it comes to anything tech. I've been graced with the help of people who have formatted my manuscript for self-publishing, and been given a cover. The files have been sent to me. Just wondering if when I save the book file in 97-2003 Word via Libre Office 3, will that tweak or change any formatting issues?

Then I suppose I can go and register on Amazon for the Kindle program, filling out all the necessary info?

I kind of need a step-by-step handhold on this. It might help some others too.

Tri

triceretops
08-03-2012, 02:22 AM
The person who did the formatting wrote "Smashwords Edition" under the copyright. I'm wondering if this has any bearing on downloading to Amazon at all. I don't know what that means.

Dani
08-03-2012, 02:58 AM
Tri, what kind of formatting did they do? What size is the cover? Where all are you going to/want to publish?

MartinD
08-03-2012, 03:08 AM
I don't know anything about Libre Office (I send in everything via Word) but I do know you'll need to remove the "Smashwords Edition" verbiage unless you're submitting to Smashwords. Change the notation to read "Amazon Edition" or "Kindle Edition".

For PubIt!, naturally, you'll want to change it to "PubIt! Edition".

triceretops
08-03-2012, 03:35 AM
I don't know what kind of formatting he did. When I open the file he sent me it goes to Microsoft Word Web APP. Whatever that is. I imagine I would have to download and save it in a file to determine how it's been formatted. How do I determine this?

The cover is a JPEG 1875 by 2500--395 kb

Yes, when I saw the "Smashwords Edition" I kind of freaked, because that's something that Kindle wouldn't want in there.

Does that mean it's formatted only for Smashwords, according to their formatting engine? Jesus.

Now even if it's formatted for Smashwords, isn't there a provision that allows it to be converted over to Amazon Kindle?

tri

ETA. Well, I would like it available for as many versions for the different online retailers as possible, but I don't understand the perplexities of doing that for all the versions. If I go KDP, it looks like that means it will be exclusive to only Amazon. I don't know what the benefits to that are, as opposed to going with the others.

Dani
08-03-2012, 03:47 AM
I don't know what kind of formatting he did. When I open the file he sent me it goes to Microsoft Word Web APP. Whatever that is. I imagine I would have to download and save it in a file to determine how it's been formatted. How do I determine this?

The cover is a JPEG 1875 by 2500--395 kb

Yes, when I saw the "Smashwords Edition" I kind of freaked, because that's something that Kindle wouldn't want in there.

Does that mean it's formatted only for Smashwords, according to their formatting engine? Jesus.

Now even if it's formatted for Smashwords, isn't there a provision that allows it to be converted over to Amazon Kindle?

tri

erg. Smashwords formatting is horrid for kindle. Even their mobi files are so fked up.

But if it's formatted for Smashwords, that's the toughest place to get it properly done.

If you open it on Libre, all the formatting should still be the same. I wouldn't worry about that. Smashwords only accepts .doc files. Make sure you don't convert it to any other format but .doc.

Do you care if the cover is inside the book? If not, save the file twice. Once for smashwords. So save as *insertnamehere*-smashwords and again as *insertnamehere*-kindle.

The Smashwords one needs the ISBN they assign you.

The Kindle one, just remove the smashwords copyright info and you can upload it as is. If you want the cover inside the book, the only way I know to do that is through an html save.

Thing is, if you're uploading to kindle, you want to find out if your friend has created a proper table of contents and inserted the code that leads to the table of contents, the start of the book and the end of the book. (there's special codes for that).

And once you've uploaded to kindle, you can preview the file (don't use the preview on the kdp site, download the preview (there's an option for that) and then open that in kindleforpc or send it to your kindle if you have one. Once you've got the preview up, click EVERY link and make sure they all work and that there are no errors.

Lemme know how you do from here. And if you PM me, we can chat on googlechat if you want.

Dani
08-03-2012, 03:49 AM
ETA. Well, I would like it available for as many versions for the different online retailers as possible, but I don't understand the perplexities of doing that for all the versions. If I go KDP, it looks like that means it will be exclusive to only Amazon. I don't know what the benefits to that are, as opposed to going with the others.

KDP select is okay, I guess. It gives you 5 days to offer your book for free. It's wouldn't be my choice because not everyone has, or can get, a kindle worldwide. But that's a personal choice because I market to a niche that has a lot of worldwide buyers.

triceretops
08-03-2012, 03:54 AM
Okay, I'm going to go an download this file as a DOC file, then see if I can't edit out that Smashwords reference. I have NO IDEA why he put that there. I'm sure he knew I was interested in Amazon distribution.

I'll report back.

triceretops
08-03-2012, 04:03 AM
Yes. It will work for both Smashwords and Amazon and PubIt without modification. It's been awhile, but I know Amazon handles Word files seamlessly. You'll only need a PDF for other special applications (possibly CreateSpace). Just upload the doc file when asked and the Amazon, Smashwords, or PubIt programs handle everything else.

That was the notice just sent by my formatting person. I downloaded the file and can't even find it. I'll have to up my search or find out where it might have went. It didn't go to my regular word doc files, as far as I can see.

triceretops
08-03-2012, 04:22 AM
Okay, got it saved in my writing files via Libre Office, which is a doc. file. I removed the Smashwords reference. I have the cover located a few files down from it, so now they're together.

So, if you don't use KDP select, that means you won't be able to price change or offer free trial periods?

I also know about the preview thing, so I'll be sure to use that.

I was shocked that Amazon pays through only your bank by direct deposit or by check. I thought, wrongly I guess, that it could offer paypal desposits, which I have.

Does Amazon give you an ISBN?

triceretops
08-03-2012, 04:26 AM
Okay, just finished my Amazon Account page and saved it. It doesn't lead anywhere after that. Now where? Bookshelf? To add a book?

Sorry, just talking out loud here trying to get through this cluster you-know-what.

tri

ETA: Just found the publisher code hiding down in the lower right hand corner of the Account page. I suppose I'll need that, so wrote it down.

Dani
08-03-2012, 04:43 AM
Okay, just finished my Amazon Account page and saved it. It doesn't lead anywhere after that. Now where? Bookshelf? To add a book?

Sorry, just talking out loud here trying to get through this cluster you-know-what.

tri

ETA: Just found the publisher code hiding down in the lower right hand corner of the Account page. I suppose I'll need that, so wrote it down.

Yes, bookshelf to add the book. Then just follow the instructions on page there.

As for kdp select, not sure about the price changes, I think you can do that no matter what. Offering it for free, no. You can't do that at all unless you're with kdp select.

The pay by check thing is awful. There's tons of complaints about it. Especially since you cannot get money made on amazon.com or amazon.co.uk transferred into euro accounts. You have to have an american bank account for the amazon.com or a uk one for the amazon.co.uk. (you can have the amazon.co.uk monies deposited in your american bank account). Otherwise, it's a check. Frustrating since it costs $70 to cash a check here in Sweden.

Btw for uploading to smashwords you HAVE to have that smashwords copyright info on there.

J. Tanner
08-03-2012, 04:44 AM
It's poor form to leave the SW notice in the Kindle edition. If I were paying for formatting, I'd request the formatter send versions with and without it.

But in the long-run it will be very valuable to you to know whether you can do minor edits in your LibreOffice and resave without adversely affecting the overall file. Now's as good a time as any to know that.

KDP Select is an optional program within KDP. So you'll have the option to enroll in the program if you choose, but you still set up KDP the same either way and upload your book the same either way. Once uploaded, you'll have the option to enter Select (which, as noted, isn't allowed if you put your book on BN, SW or anywhere else so you can safely ignore the option.)

triceretops
08-03-2012, 04:46 AM
Btw for uploading to smashwords you HAVE to have that smashwords copyright info on there.

I see, then I'll just have to reinsert it when or if I put it on Smashwords.

Heck, I'm having enough trouble trying to get it on Amazon!

I'll be back with a report.

triceretops
08-03-2012, 05:32 AM
I got all the way up to the book file download (got the cover in there) and then it went into "Conversion Failure" after about five minutes of trying to convert. I should have known, nothing would or could be that easy for me. Although it says to try again later, I have a feeling something is wonky somewhere and I don't have the skill or knowledge to know what that might be.

I will try again, I guess.

tri

Dani
08-03-2012, 05:34 AM
I got all the way up to the book file download (got the cover in there) and then it went into "Conversion Failure" after about five minutes of trying to convert. I should have known, nothing would or could be that easy for me. Although it says to try again later, I have a feeling something is wonky somewhere and I don't have the skill or knowledge to know what that might be.

I will try again, I guess.

tri

Try saving it as an html file, Tri. Just save as "Web page, filtered" and upload that file. See if you have better luck.

triceretops
08-03-2012, 06:09 AM
Well, I copied a new file and tried uploading that. I shut down all browser boxes and changed the DRM option. Don't even know why I did that--probably had nothing to do with it. I previewed it, but didn't see the cover on the preview page. I did go through and upload though.

So, happy day, wot? I have 12 hours before it's activated? So I guess I'll see tomorrow if it shows.

Here's the real mystery--I have no knowledge of ever having an Amazon account. I've always been denied from making a purchase on a book without a Kindle or making any comments or reviews. Weird.

So, now, I guess I am amongst the official self-publishers. I just hope that I can go into my account and tweak anything that I'd like changed (like the payment to my bank instead of check).

Thanks for your help and letting me bend your ears.

tri:hooray::Hug2::snoopy::Sun::partyguy:

brianjanuary
08-03-2012, 04:51 PM
Smashwords requires a "Smashwords Edition" in the front matter (or the back). For Kindle, you need to delete this--you don't need to add an "Amazon Edition" notice.

If your book is formatted for Smashwords, it probably doesn't have page breaks between chapters, front matter, etc.--which you need for Kindle. If you paid to have someone format the book for you, he/she should have given you files to support all formats.

Before you publish, make sure you download the free Kindle Previewer (not just the preview after you upload your prc file to Kindle) and check your work for all available formats. Any mistakes will show up here.

Wesley Kang
08-03-2012, 07:09 PM
If you or the formatter did all the Smashwords formatting as suggested by their guide, save it as a "html (unfiltered)" file in Word, then convert the html (unfiltered file) into a .mobi file using Calibre, and all of the proper page breaks and everything will be automatically formatted for you.

Best of luck to you, Tri!

triceretops
08-04-2012, 12:48 AM
Thanks guys. Hit a few glitches this morning after receiving an alert message. I forgot to include the author's name in the appropriate box. So, I'll have to wait again until it finally gets uploaded and published.

Yeah, I'm afraid or a little freaked that the formatting he did will support the Kindle version and come out without major or minor flaws. I won't really know that until I can open the look inside feature to see the full page format. The initial preview didn't show much of anything other than the way it looked for a cellphone version--it was compressed.

tri

J. Tanner
08-04-2012, 03:07 AM
Look inside doesn't format the same way as the kindle hardware, not even all that close.

If you don't have the hardware I've found this to be the pecking order for software:

Kindle Previewer (very close)

Kindle Reader for PC (passable)

Amazon.com Look Inside (not good)

triceretops
08-04-2012, 03:14 AM
Ah, I don't have a Kindle. I do suppose I'm allowed to go back to my account and preview my title? Wouldn't hurt to take another look at it, I guess. I've got some time before it goes live since I had to do some edits per request.

tri

J. Tanner
08-04-2012, 03:25 AM
I haven't tried that, but if you can the main things to check are that the TOC looks right and the links work, the chapter breaks work okay, that external links (if any, like to your author site in the About The Author) work okay, and that the left/right margins on the main text appear correct. If you had sections with unique formatting of any type (say an embedded poem with centering or something) check that kind of thing too.

triceretops
08-04-2012, 03:38 AM
Hmmm...I do have a poem written in Italics that is flush left. I'll keep an eye out for that. The guy who formatted the book was pretty keen on what to look for. He really spent some time on it. I'll learn more as I get deeper and deeper into this. I've really got that new car smell. I'll be critically kicking my own tires for quite some time.

When it goes live and I see that it's okay, or that a reader gives it the thumbs up, I'll let out the breath I've been holding. I'm just happy I've come this far.

tri

NewKidOldKid
08-04-2012, 04:48 AM
You don't need a Kindle to read Kindle ebooks. Amazon has a free app you can download to your computer and then use it to read Kindle books. I highly recommend it to check formatting if you don't have a Kindle (I have a Kindle, so I haven't tried the app, but I've been told it works great).

triceretops
08-04-2012, 05:02 AM
Free app, eh? Okay, I'll snatch that buggar when I find it. Thanks.

merrihiatt
08-04-2012, 05:31 AM
Hey, Tri, sorry I wasn't around much when you were having your uploading troubles. Glad it seems to have worked itself out. I have the free Kindle app on my laptop as well as my iPad. Love it!

triceretops
08-04-2012, 05:38 AM
Hey, Tri, sorry I wasn't around much when you were having your uploading troubles. Glad it seems to have worked itself out. I have the free Kindle app on my laptop as well as my iPad. Love it!

Hah! I wanted to hunt you down so bad and bug you, but I restrained myself and took it on the chin. I can't wait to see this thing go live tomorrow or go uber bust, whatever the case may be. Once it does go live, I'll be on a major promo blast and shoving this title along with my others.

Anyway, just glad I got one of my favorite back-list titles down from the gallows, for new life.

tri

merrihiatt
08-04-2012, 06:08 AM
My guess is that the person who formatted your title did a great job. Assume the best, plan for the worst. :D Even if there is something that needs tweaking, it won't be a big deal. You can almost breathe out that huge sigh of relief!!! :Hug2:

triceretops
08-04-2012, 06:32 AM
I'm breathing right now--it just went live seconds ago. I can't see any pages or page numbers in the Look Inside Feature, so don't know if that's normal or what. There's no pricing info yet, so I don't know what that means--I filled all of that stuff out. Anyway the link is here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008SDVEQU

The formatting, though, looks great, I guess.

Tri:snoopy:

J. Tanner
08-04-2012, 06:32 AM
The guy who formatted the book was pretty keen on what to look for. He really spent some time on it. I'll learn more as I get deeper and deeper into this.

Yup. I wouldn't worry at all about the Smashwords version directly uploaded to Smashwords. I expect any paid formatter will get that all perfect.

My only concern is you doing your own minor edit in Libre Office and then resaving the file in that alternative software. That has the potential to do unanticipated things to the DOC file's overall structure even though you only made a minor change to a particular text element. And if the Amazon converter hits something unexpected in the file, it could screw up the conversion.

Not saying any of that is likely, but it's murphy's law territory so worth checking carefully.

triceretops
08-04-2012, 07:04 AM
Yup. I wouldn't worry at all about the Smashwords version directly uploaded to Smashwords. I expect any paid formatter will get that all perfect.

My only concern is you doing your own minor edit in Libre Office and then resaving the file in that alternative software. That has the potential to do unanticipated things to the DOC file's overall structure even though you only made a minor change to a particular text element. And if the Amazon converter hits something unexpected in the file, it could screw up the conversion.

Not saying any of that is likely, but it's murphy's law territory so worth checking carefully.

Oh, believe me, I understood right away that Libre Office could throw something off. I don't have a current Word program, but the original text was written in an old Word version. But still, saving with Libre Office has the potential to screw something. I heard rumor that LO was 98% effective in duplicating all MS Word commands. In other words, near perfect.

It's that damn 2% I'm worried about.

Like I say, I'm not showing page numbers. I don't know if that's something that can be tweaked by a Kindle reader or not. Or if that's normal format.

Also--no price yet. But I believe that might be an Amazon lag.

tri

merrihiatt
08-04-2012, 07:42 AM
No page number is normal. E-books are the equivalent of one really long continuous page.

J. Tanner
08-04-2012, 09:33 AM
From the date, I'm assuming War Gate is the book in question. I went ahead and downloaded the sample to my Kindle. It went up to the beginning of Chapter 4 and I saw no issues. I don't think you need to worry.

I saw a few things I personally would ask a formatter to do differently but there's nothing objectively wrong with how they're done. I'll share just so you're aware in case you want to request some of them in the future.

1. Missing TOC. (It's possible TOCs are disabled in samples? I thought a TOC was required now, but perhaps not. Anyway, I like giving the reader the option.)
2. I prefer chapters start at the top of the "page" rather than continuing midsteam like in your book. Basically, there should be a particular type of break (like Page Break in Word, but different for each ebook format.)
3. I prefer the start point be set at the beginning of chapter 1 for the reader, or at an embedded cover image. Starting at the title/copyright page would be my last choice and that's where yours is set. (I could very much see this one being a byproduct of using a Word source rather than HTML where you can explicitly define the start point so maybe no choice here.)
4. Very subjective, but I don't like the extra spacing between paragraphs. That feels very non-fiction to me, and redundant when there's an indent. I prefer to let the indent do the job so it looks as close to a physical book page as feasible.

So all minor and subjective.

triceretops
08-04-2012, 04:06 PM
Thanks, guys. The price finally popped up for me, and I did notice that it is a very long sample, which is okay by me.

Good to know about no page numbers!

Tanner, as non-tech as I am, I agree with your points. I prefer chapter pages by themselves and the heads at the top of the page. It's just a tiny irritant from what I'm seeing. The rest looks pretty clean, and I'll never pooh-pooh or complain since this work was donated to me at no charge.

All in all, this book was dead as a back-list. I revised it, did some more editing, new cover and title. And it lives.

Tri