The last few weeks of my life have been consumed with converting my published print books to Kindle. I thought I’d save you some time and effort by sharing with you an overview of how to do this. There are a lot of detailed sites out there to take you through specific formatting but I’m purposely avoiding that here so you can get the gist without feeling bogged down – a.k.a. help eliminate any hesitation you might have about taking the plunge.
The formats supported by Kindle include:
- Word (.doc, or DOC)
- ePub (.epub, or EPUB)
- Plain Text (.txt, or TXT)
- MobiPocket (.mobi, or MOBI and .prc, or PRC)
- Zipped HTML (.zip, or ZIP)
- Adobe PDF (.pdf, or PDF)
You can upload any of those formats. However, I recommend converting your files using the Mobipocket Creator as in the steps listed below, prior to uploading to Kindle. This gives you more control over the final version.
Preparation: What You’ll Need to Create Kindle Books
1. I recommend preparing your manuscript using DOC format if you have images in your book, otherwise html. You can build the table of contents in WORD and the tags will carry over. You’ll be converting your manuscript using Mobipocket Creator and the supported formats include:
- MS Word
2. Have a cover image and book description blurb ready to go (the blurb is what will customers will see when they shop so make it compelling).
3. Download Mobipocket Creator here
Using the Mobipocket Creator to create your book allows you good control over the final look – as compared to uploading your PDF doc straight into Kindle.
4. Download the Mobipocket Reader here
The reader will allow you to preview your book on your computer after you convert it in Creator.
5. Download Kindle Previewer here
This will give you a Kindle reader on your computer that will let you see your final book in the same size as Kindle – note – I did find some slight differences in the look of my books between this previewer and the preview book step on the Kindle publishing site.
How to Use Mobipocket Creator
1. Open program
2. Click on Import from Existing File – browse, find file, click on it then click on Import
3. From menu on left click on view cover image, add cover image, then update
5. On header menu click on build with no encryption
This will build your book. When complete it will take you to a page where you can select to preview it with your version of mobipocket reader (I use the PC one). Do a quick check for obvious issues. If none, move forward.
Seeing Your Book on Kindle
1. Open Kindle previewer
2. Click on book open – this will take you to the section on your computer – My Publications which is under Documents. Click on the book icon file. It will open in the previewer. Review your book (note, links won’t work in the previewer).
3. If you need help with formatting your text, here is the Kindle “simplified formatting guide”
Getting Your Book Up to Amazon Kindle
1. If you already have an amazon account you can sign into Kindle with that account here. Or create an account.
3. The instructions within Kindle are pretty straightforward. You begin by clicking on “add new title” and go from there.
4. When you get to the step that says “upload your book file” that’s when you’ll browse for your Mobipocket Created book file and that’s what you’ll upload.
5. Click on preview book on the site to check your book one more time.
6. Once you’ve approved the preview and filled in the rest of the information you’ll click on the publish button. It takes about 24 hours before you’ll see your title up on amazon.
Tracking Your Kindle Sales
In your Kindle account there will be 3 primary tabs:
- Bookshelf – the pages that list all your published books
- Reports – click on that to see your sales
- Community – for forum
This overview should give you an idea of what’s involved. If you have a book ready to go and you just need to follow the steps listed here, you can have your project complete in a matter of hours. Here is a link in Kindle for more detailed formatting help.
For me just getting started was the hardest part. Once you go through the process you’ll be dusting off your old manuscripts and sharing them with the world in no time.
Happy Book Selling!
My new Kindle version of Your Creativity: From Ordinary to Extraordinary
This book is an expanded version of my PDF ebook. I’ve included more creativity activities – including a glimpse into using your creativity for greater self-actualization.