Electronic Publishing Tips
Self-Publishing on Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace.
The entire printing industry has been migrating to electronic versions. We note the gradual disappearance of traditional book stores yet Barns & Noble continues to have their stores. But most of the world is writing on Facebook and reading on Kindle or Barn’s & Noble Nooks dev ices. You’d think that self-publishing would be easier. Unfortunately, we can’t just write something and upload it to an eBook like we can to Facebook. But it can be done with some learning.
The processes for electronic publishing on Amazon’s Kindle (eBook) and their Amazon’s CreateSpace (paper print) involves uploading two separate files:
The Book Content File And The Cover File
Since print books require a higher resolution for images than the electronic eBook version, some of these following resources advise us to create the print version files first and then create a separate collection of files for the eBook version. That’s because once you “dummy down” a graphic to a lower resolution, you can’t improve the resolution back (unless you keep original files apart from those on which you lower the resolution).
Along the way, you’ll want to organize and manage your files and folders carefully. Doing that organizational work at the start will save hours of time and preserve your sanity. The file storage and format requirements for self-publishing require an entirely different set of skills than those needed for being a good writer. You need to be more mindful of technical things.
Also, apart from Kindle’s eBook “covers” and the graphic resolution and sizing involved, if the book content is simply text, it can easily flow from one available eBook “page” to another. That flow will not matter if the person reading it is using a small Kindle app on their cell phone or a large desktop computer using the Kindle software. The text just scales up or down to fit the reading device’s screen, whatever size it happens to be. For text content most writers use Word or some other text-oriented software to word-process their writing.
But if your book content has pictures, drawings, sketches, charts or anything other than just text, you’ve got to use additional software to create workable page layout for Amazon Kindle or Amazon CreateSpace books. Jutoh and Kindle’s Comic Creator are commonly used software packages that take Word documents (with graphics) and turn them into files that you can upload as your finished book content file. Don’t let the reference to “Comic Creator” rattle you. Most of us are publishing anything but what we think of as comics. Amazon ought to change the name of their software to “Book With Graphics Creator.”
So here are some general suggestions about what to do in order to get started.
- Create the content of your book in Word (or your favorite word processing software) and save it in a folder called 1 Book Content. While you are creating folders, create a separate folder called 2. Cover.
- Forget about the cover for now but when working on the book content file, decide whether or not you are going to have pictures or graphics within the text of your book content. If you need graphics in your book, get either Jutoh or Comic Creator software. They are free. (If you have Adobe InDesign already and know how to use it, you could use that.
Read the books listed below that have an * before them. Anything by J. Bruce Jones is easy to understand and if you see his videos, they are absolutely splendid. Also, Aaron Shephard is quite helpful in teaching how to get Word files into the right format for electronic publications. The most helpful book for getting an article up on Kindle is How to Publish and Sell Your Article on the Kindle by Kate Harper. See the Free Kindle Book Covers by Paula Neal Mooney.
- Whatever you decide to use for publishing graphics and text book content (Jutoh or Comic Creator), read the book(s) cited below with those software names in the titles. They are all available on Kindle eBooks.
- As for a book “cover,” you can use the free Amazon Cover maker and pick a graphic of your choice for your cover. You can also use a photo or graphic you already have and get the wording of the title and author on to the graphic yourself.
- Alternatively, you can use Amazon’s online program for making your cover or you can use Photoshop to take a photo, add title and author words and save it to the right sizing and resolution for your book.
- Lastly, you can use Word for your text content but with graphics, you would be better served using Adobe InDesign (instead of Jutoh or Comic Creator). InDesign lets you control do page layout and see what it looks like as you go. But if you don’t have that software or know how to use that software, stick with Jutoh or Comic Creator.
- Whatever you use to create your book content, it needs to be exported as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file format. Jutoh or Comic Creator will do this for you but InDesign will do it as well.
The biggest challenge with any online publishing (and this goes for web pages and eBooks) is that electronic online documents don’t have margins. We’ve spent all our lives typing in Word or some other word processing software with margins. But online documents don’t have margins. They just flow like water to whatever is in front of them. So they are vastly different animals.
*How to Publish Your Book, A Beginners Guide for Print, Digital and e-Books by J. Bruce Jones
Tet this book if you want a good introduction to self-publishing your book.
*How to Make Kindle Comics & Children’s Books, A Step By Step Guide by R. Scott Jones
*Book Marketing Checklist for Self-Publishing by J. Bruce Jones
*From Word to Kindle By Aaron Shepard
*Pictures on Kindle by Aaron Shepard
*Building Your Book for Kindle (by Amazon Kindle)
*How to Publish and Sell Your Article on the Kindle by Kate Harper (excellent)Free Kindle
The Formatting of Children’s Books and Comics for Kindle by Charles Spender
Creating Great eBooks Using Jutoh, updated for Jutoch by Julian Smart
Learn to Publish eBooks using Jutoh software by T. Mallikarjuna Raju
Kindle Comic Creator by Hannah Elise, 9 Steps for Using Amazon’s Kindle Comic Creator to Self-Publish Children’s Books on Amazon
HTML Fixes for Kindle by Aaron Shepard
Book Covers by Paula Neal Mooney
A Newbie3’s Guild to Kindle Comic Creator, Minute Help Press
Picture Books The Write Way, A Children’s Writs Insider Guild from Mentors for Rent