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  • JL Rothstein

Self-publishing tips

The road leading up to launch has been an interesting one to say the least. When I first finished the manuscript last fall I thought, "the toughest part is behind me." That was not exactly true.


After months of rejection letters and non-responses I decided to pursue self-publishing through Amazon's KDP. Since the first time I had checked out the site back in the mid-2000's, when it was known as Create Space, the website has dramatically changed. All for the better mind you, but I still had to learn the new system. Navigation was easier, the layout was more intuitive and KDP even had an APP that allowed you to upload the manuscript in Word format and export the file in Kindle's version of e-PUB/MOBI. You could then upload the file for review before submitting to Kindle for publication. Those are all amazing features, but there were still things that hung me up. I thought I would list some tips and a few websites & blogs that helped me get through those hangups for anyone else struggling in these areas.


First, though you have the KDP Create APP to help you with final touches like presentation, justification & creation of a contents library, you still need to do all major formatting before uploading it to the APP. That means things like marking your Chapter Titles as such in Word. Making sure every paragraph is indented properly and not done by using the tab button on your keyboard. Ensuring that you review your file for paragraph breaks and page breaks, these all become important. The below website from Bookstand publishing helped me with review of my file before uploading it to the Kindle APP.

http://bookstandpublishing.com/how-to-format-your-book-for-self-publication-2/


Another hangup for me was the line breaks. This was something those in the know refer to as orphans and widows. If you aren't careful you can do "soft returns" instead of line breaks which cause the formatting to become unaligned when you upload it to KDP. This one was particularly frustrating because you can't see these with the naked eye when you are in Word. You have to toggle on the paragraph icon (❡) in order to see them. The PublishDrive website was a huge help in working through that, see below link.

https://publishdrive.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020231733


I hope these two help anyone struggling to get their format right when they upload to KDP. I am just now finishing up the upload process to KDP for paperback. Next time, I will have another blog post around cover art and alignment to templates in KDP.


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