Saturday, June 1, 2013

Formatting for Kindle - Some Tips & Thoughts

This week I uploaded my new book, Blood Moon, to the Kindle store. I think now I have a pretty good handle on how to set up my Word file next time to avoid a lot of formatting in the future. It's really not that big a deal. Someone suggested skipping the automatic Table of Contents (TOC) in Word and doing it a completely different way, which sounded very time consuming.

Instead, I used the automatic TOC, ran my file through the Kindle Reviewer program and checked out what the TOC looked like in all formats. Once I saw that it was a mess, I knew what to do. I went back to my original file, removed the huge tabs with the leder dots between the chapter title and the page number, chose a style of TOC that was simpler and then everything was fine. The TOC needs to be narrow and fit in the middle of the page in order to work on all platforms. A very easy fix.

Another thing I learned is that the superscript I added next to each SAT word in the book messes up the dictionary look-up feature on the Kindle Fire. Unfortunately, that was impossible to check in the Kindle Reviewer. I can only look at the presentation of the text, not the functionality. So I'm a little irritated that readers using a Kindle Fire won't be able to look up the definition of each word as they read, which was my original intention.

My original intention was to have footnotes with the definitions for each word at the bottom of the page. However, I found out Kindle format does not support that. So I had to remove all the footnotes and add the superscript, so each word would be numbered.

Now I know I have to put a space between the word and the superscript so that a reader can use the dictionary lookup feature in Kindle Fire. On my regular Kindle, however, the word lookup works just fine.

The things you learn.

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