When formatting Microsoft word documents for Kindle, you have to try and make your final Kindle content look great for many different platforms, as we all know that Kindle books are read on many different devices.
Keep It Simple Stupid K.I.S.S
This is the first tip for formatting Microsoft Word documents for Kindle. If you use the K.I.S.S method then you will have far less mistakes. After all, people want to read your content, not view a fancy layout that really doesn’t look good on the device they are using.
Remove Headers ,Footers and Bullets
As stated above, less is better. As a kindle resizeable, headers and footers can start to play up and look out of place and therefore they are not included in the final book. Same goes for fancy fonts and bullets points. They will not be included.
Also reduce the size of the headers and footers by adjusting the margins as they will leave a blank space where they are meant to be.
Insert Page Breaks
Amazon itself recommends you use page breaks to distinguish between chapters in your content. These page breaks will apply regardless of the size of the book or what device it is being read on.
To add a page break, simply go to the insert menu at the top. Place your cursor where you want a page break and then press the page break icon.
Show Page Breaks
1. To see where all of your page breaks are, on the home tab you will see a paragraph marker button. Shown below in screenshot.
2. Now you can see where the page breaks are. If you are missing any, now is the time to add them in. You can also see where you have too many returns or spaces that need to be removed.
Be sure to press the paragraph button again when you are finished editing.
Ditch Page Numbers
In this digital age it is recommended that you don’t use page numbers as the actual Kindle book content is resizeable and therefore the page numbers will decrease or increase depending on the size.
Create An Active TOC
As page numbers are not recommended for a very good reason, you should have an active table of contents that links to the content throughout the book. This way you can make the Kindle book easy to navigate and more useful for the reader. See how to insert a TOC into a Word document or watch the video below.
Upload A Cover Image – Don’t Insert
When submitting a Kindle book you will be asked to upload a cover image to display in the gallery. This is great as an image says a thousand words. But for some reason, people also insert the cover image into the Word document, which is not needed. This is because Amazon also inserts the cover image into your book, so if you do this as well, you will see two cover images at the start of your book.
Create Guides or Bookmarks
If you upload a cover image then Amazon will automatically create your first guide for your book. This guide will be a link back to the start of your book. You can also create your own guides for your readers to navigate through your book easily.
For example, you can create a bookmark to the table of contents as shown in the video above.
For the best all round results your image should be inserted into your Word document in JPEG format. This is because some devices will show the image in color and others will show it in 16 shades of gray so contrast and quality will count.
When aligning an image into a document it is best to keep it simple. Don’t set the image tight with the text or to the right. The best alignment is to center the image on it’s own line. This way the movement of the image in the digital document will look good on all devices.
Saving Your Document For Kindle
Amazon recommends that you save your document for Kindle as a filtered web document. This is because the images and content are organised into neat folders, ready to upload to Amazon.
When saving your document, simply choose the “save as” option to choose what format to save your document as. See the screenshot below. You can choose from many different formats in the drop down menu.
You can save your book as a DOC or DOCX file if you have no images in your content. I have used this method before and uploaded to KDP without a problem.
Last but not least, proofread! When people buy an Amazon Kindle book they expect it to be professionally produced. This includes correct grammar, spelling, valuable information and an easy readable layout. Just because it is easy to publish your book to the world doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to be professional.