HOW TO CREATE A KINDLE BOOK

Ludwik Kowalski, Professor Emeritus, MSU

(November 11, 2011)


1) Teachers know that teaching is the most effective way of learning. I am creating a Kindle book. Let me share what I have learned so far. Hopefully, others will benefit from my experience. To become a published writer one must have an Amazon account. It can be created by going to this website and clicking the "Sign Up" button. This amounts to obtaining an ID and a password, needed to "Sign In" at later times, for example to upload the book to be published. Writing a book is likely to be a long process. But publishing it is usually very fast, as shown in [1,2]. The email address of Kindle Customer Service is

kindle-cs-support@amazon.com

2) The book to be submitted can be in one of several formats; my preference is to submit it as a Word file. Why? Because this format is acceptable by Kindle publishers, and because I am familiar with this word processor (version 2008 for Mac). What follows is a skeleton for a simple manuscript. A book is usually subdivided into sections which I decided to call parts--a part must begin by an inserted page brake. The skeleton shows that the book consist of six parts. Three of these parts are chapters whose titles will be Youth, Traveling the World, and Coming Home. The first two parts and the last are extremely short; they have only one line each.

-----------------------------------
Remembering My Past
-----------------------------------------------------
Ludwik Kowalski
-----------------------------------------------------
Youth
..........<==== Content of this part (many paragraphs)
----------------------------------------------------
Traveling The World
..........<==== Content of this part (many paragraphs)
----------------------------------------------------
Coming Home
..........<==== Content of this part (many paragraphs)
--------------------------------------------------------------- ----------
Thank you for reading my first Kindle book
----------------------------------------------------------------

3) Parts in a Kindle book must begin with page breaks. I will assume that a reader of this handout knows how to perform basic Word tasks, such as insertion of a page break, choice of font size, etc. The bold letters, in my two red illustrations, are used to distinguish comments from content of the manuscript. Note that my first part contains only one line--the book title. Likewise, my second part has nothing but the author's name. In the next skeleton (see below) the title and the name of the author are in the first part. Blank lines are used to vertically position text, in anticipation of how it will be displayed on small Kindle devices.

4) Here are some additional details. Following the advice found in [3], I decided to use the font Calibri (size 16) for names of chapters, and the font Times New Roman (size 12) for the content of chapters. Paragraphs in each chapter must be indented. Parts of the content can be italicized or bolded, for emphasis, if needed.

A picture can be inserted (from a jpg file) by using the dedicated Word command "Picture," from the Insert menu. Keep in mind that inserting pictures by dragging them into the text is likely to create problems, when the Word document is later converted into the Kindle format. Neither the height nor the width of a picture should exceed 1200 pixels.

-------------------------
prt1


Remembering My Past <=== BOOK title


by Ludwik Kowalski
-------------------------------------------------------------------
prt2 <================= This is a bookmark
Table of Contents <======= Title for this chapter
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
<=============== These are my three hyperlinks, for jumping to destinations.
Chapter 3
-----------------------------------------------------------------
prt3 <=================Bookmark
Youth < ================Title for Chapter 1
......... <============= Content of this part (many paragraphs)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
prt4
Traveling The World <==== Title for Chapter 2
..........<============= Content of this part (many paragraphs)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
prt5
Coming Home <========= Title for Chapter 3
.......... <=============== Content of this part (many paragraphs)
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thank you for reading my book <== Nither bookmark nor title are needed here.
----------------------------------------------------------------

5) Let me address the topic of Table of Contents (TOC). The first skeleton shown above does not contain the TOC. This is acceptable in some books but not in others. Creating a document with an active TOC was a problem for me. But I finally succeeded, following the description found in [3]. To accomplish this I had to learn about the use of bookmarks and hyperlinks in Word. A hyperlink is an underlined clickable word or phrase. A reader can click on it and jump to another place of the same document. A bookmark is a target destination for a hyperlink. What follows is another skeleton; it contains bookmarks, such as prt1, prt2, prt3, etc. and a new part, named "Table of Contents." Note that each part has a bookmark, immediately below its line brake. Titles of my three chapters, in Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5, are below the bookmarks.

How does the second skeleton differ from the first? (a) Blank lines were inserted in the first part, which shows the book title and the author's name. This has nothing to do with the TOC. (b) Each part now begins with a bookmark, such as prt1 and prt2. The bookmark of the second part, containg the TOC, is prt2. The next three lines, in this part, display hyperlinks, in this case the phrases: Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and Chapter 3. I will elaborate on this a little later. The TOC part of a book with ten chapters would have ten hyperlinks, associated with ten chapters.

6) How can a typed word be turned into a bookmark in Word? How can a typed word or phrase be turned into a hyperlink? Most people using Word do not know how to answer these two questions. This is not surprising; neither bookmarks nor hyperlinks are used in common short documents. But this is not true for long documents, such as books, annual reports, etc. The above two questions are answered in [4].

7) My bookmarks appear below pagebreaks (dashed lines in illustrations). I named them prt1, prt2, prt3, etc. The name of each bookmark must be unique, in a given book. Each name must be a single word; the first character must be a letter. To turn a typed name into a bookmark I proceeded as follows. First I selected/highlighted a name, such as prt3. Then I went to the "Insert" menu and choose the "Bookmarks..." command. This always brings a dialog box in which already-created (if any) bookmarks are displayed. In the field "bookmark name" I typed the name of the bookmark, such as prt3. Then I checked the "hidden bookmarks" box and pressed the ADD button. Other typed names were converted into bookmarks in the same way.

8) Likewise, hyperlinks, in the TOC chapter, were first typed as ordinary phrases--in my case they were: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3. To turn a phrase Chapter 1 into a hyperlink I selected it and used the "Hyperlink..." command from the "Insert" menu. This command always brings a dialog box containg three text fields; they are labeled: "anchor" (bottom), "link to" (top), and "display" (middle). Knowing that Chapter 1 begins in the third part, I typed prt3 in the bottom text field. The other two text fields were filled at once automatically; Chapter 1 appeared in the middle field and #prt3" appeared in the top field. The process was terminated by pressing the "OK" button (in the dialog box of the hyperlink command). Two other hyperlinks were created in the same way. Hyperlink phrases became underlined. I saved the Word document and verified that links worked properly. By clicking on Chapter 2, for example, I was able to jump to the second chapter of my book, without scrolling.

9) Why didn't I place the bookmark into the last part, when it was created? Because I knew that no hyperlink would be pointing to that location. What is the purpose of the prt1 and prt2 bookmarks, in the first two parts? They were created because I was thinking about creating superlinks for jumping to these parts. But these superlinks have not been created, so far. I can create as many bookmarks as I wish, in anticitation of future needs. Note that a bookmark must exist in order to create a hiperlink pointing to it.

REFERENCES

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