How to format a book for Kindle

How do you format a book for Kindle? Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing is the most popular way to publish eBooks. It is relatively simple to take your manuscript and publish it with KDP. The easiest way is to write your book using good old Microsoft Word. Even though I’m a Mac Pages fan, I don’t recommend writing a book in it because Amazon can’t convert it to an eBook format.

Using Microsoft Word Styles to Format a Book for Kindle

Before you start typing your eBook you should set up your Word document using Microsoft Word styles. Styles are simply pre-formatted settings for your chapter titles, sub-headings, second level sub headings, bullet lists, numbered lists and quotes. Using styles helps you easily format your book for Kindle.

For example, your chapter titles you’ll use “Heading 1”. Your sub-titles are “Heading 2”, etc. Heading 1 might be a 20pt font while heading 3 is 16pt and your main paragraph font is 12pt. It doesn’t matter which font style you choose because KDP will convert it to a standard style. And besides, when people read their eBooks they can often decide on their own preferred font styles and sizes.

Formatting Tips for Kindle eBooks

  1. Don’t use your spacebar to add extra spaces or indents
  2. Set your paragraph text style to add a 12pt space after each paragraph rather than hitting the “Enter” key twice at the end of each paragraph
  3. Use numbered lists rather than typing numbers
  4. Use styles for your headings rather than manually bolding text or increasing the font size
  5. Insert hard page breaks after each chapter (but remember that you can’t control the way your eBook looks on an eReader so don’t bother trying to end your chapter at the end of a page.
  6. Don’t use page numbers for an eBook!
  7. Don’t use Headers or Footers for an eBook
  8. Do use Word to create your Table of Contents (page numbers are unnecessary)
  9. Do include links in your eBook to your opt-in page, website, or other resources

Other Supported eBook Formats for Amazon

Amazon does support other formats besides word including HTML, MOBI, EPUB, RTF, TXT and PDF. RTF and TXT files are fine if you don’t have any images. PDF has limitations too.

Here are some recources you will find helpful:

Amazon Supported eBook Formats

Amazon Formatting Guide

Geoff Affleck

Geoff Affleck is a 5-time #1 bestselling author and creator and facilitator for the eBook Bestseller Bootcamp for aspiring self-help authors.

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