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Publishing Your eBook To Kindle (Part 2)

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Creative Commons License photo credit: i am roco

Read Part One Of This Article

By now I trust that you’ve read the mind-numbing stuff at Amazon about publishing your eBook, so it’s time to get started on formatting it for the Kindle.

No TAB Spacing for you!  That’s right; the Kindle doesn’t like TAB spacing so you’ll need to use a simple tool within Microsoft Word if you want the first line of your paragraphs to be indented.

If you open up your document in Word (we’ll assume that you’re using Word 2010) go ahead and get rid of all of the TAB spacing at the beginning of your paragraphs, and then highlight the entire document.  Then, if you look at the top, you’ll see a tab near the middle of the screen that says Paragraph.  Go ahead and click on the little arrow in the bottom right-hand corner of it (circled in red in the image below).

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have opened a box with a couple of tabs at the top called: Indents and Spacing and Line and Page Breaks.  If you’re not already there, click on the tab that says Indents and Spacing.  If you look near the middle of that box you’ll see a section called: Indentation.  Within that section you’ll see a heading titled ‘Spacing:’ with a drop down menu below it.  Go ahead and click that drop down menu and click on ‘First Line’, then click “OK”.

Voila!  All of your paragraphs should be indented at the first line!

After you’ve indented you’re paragraphs, you’re going to want to make sure that you’ve added page breaks after each chapter of your book.  This is a simple affair and only requires that you go to the last entry in each chapter, go to the next line, click on Insert at the top of Word, and then click on Page Break to the far left of the screen.  This needs to be done if you want to have chapters separated when your book is viewed on the Kindle.
After that, somewhere in the front matter of your book, you’ll probably want to add an active table of contents (TOC).  This is also pretty simple, although it takes some time.  To make it simple, just go to the place at the beginning of your book where you want your TOC to be.  Click on References at the top left, and then click on Table of Contents.  From there you will see a drop down menu with a few different choices so just pick one (I prefer Automatic Table 2).  Then, make sure to add a Page Break after that.
Next, you’re going to have to go through your entire manuscript and change some headings.  For example: if your book has numerous chapters, you’re going to want to go to each chapter heading, highlight it (for this example, we’ll say that you’ve highlighted the heading: Chapter 1) and then click on the Home tab at the top of Word.  If you look to the right, you’ll see and area that says Styles, go ahead and click on the style: Heading 1.

This will change what that (Chapter 1) heading looked like.  You can then center it, change the color, font, size, et cetera.  Once you have done this to all of the headings, go ahead and go back to your TOC and it should still be blank.  When there, go ahead and click on the References tab at the top again, and to the far left, inside the “Table of Contents” tab, click on Update Table.  It should ask you if you want to update page numbers only, or the entire table.  Generally, I click on Update Entire Table.  Once you do this your TOC should be populated.
One last thing: although you have a TOC, don’t worry about inserting page numbers.  Why?  They aren’t really important.  A Kindle user can change the size of a font to whatever they want (thus the basis of an active TOC), so page numbers don’t really matter because the amount of words on each page is different for each user.  Also, if you have subheadings within different chapters, you can highlight and change their style to “Heading 2” in the Styles menu. This will list under their chapter in the Table of Contents.
That’s it for now folks.  I hope that this was informative and useful for you.

Continue on to Publishing Your eBook To Kindle (Part 3) for information on how to create a cover for your eBook!

Jonathan Cockrum

Jonathan Cockrum is author of the books Behind Blue Eyes: A Twenty-One Day Journey Into Self-Discovery and also Reflection: A Novella. He has many other works published and he is the webmaster of the website JonathanCockrum.com. He can be reached at his personal email account: JonathanCockrum@live.com

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