A Small Act of Paying it Forward

Sculpture of hands on pot out of which emerges the sign for the former Jubilee Theatre in Vancouver, Canada

In the process of converting my novel’s Word doc to the Kindle format, I ran into troubles when, although I had formatted my document exactly as instructed, the novel when previewed on Kindle’s Previewer wasn’t working properly. After struggling for two days, trying everything I could imagine and getting nowhere, I went onto the Kindle community forum and within two days received the help I needed and got my book finished and up on Amazon’s Kindle site. (Turned out the Kindle Previewer doesn’t actually contain all Kindle functions so you can’t use it to test your book’s functions.)

So in return for the kindness I posted two threads: one, a simple 15-step guide to formatting for Word-to-Kindle; the other, a guide to inserting images and bookmarks into your Word doc that will then be recognized by the Kindle. These posts contained all the information I had learned as I waded my way through the mire.

But then users responded with new questions and the guide grew and grew until it was 20-some pages long. So I created a PDF of the manual and made it available to forum users.

And now there have been requests to make it available more widely. The manual is free to download from a hidden page on my website, accessible by clicking on http://www.mademers.com/kindlemanual.html. If you have any further questions, feel free to post them here, or to comment on the manual. Your feedback is appreciated as the manual will be part of a larger book on self-publishing that is currently in the works.

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3 thoughts on “A Small Act of Paying it Forward”

  1. Firstly, many thanks for the guide – it saved me a lots of trouble. Some bad news in there for Mac users of course, but I’m working around that.
    I also have a crime novel that I want to ‘kindle’ (can I invent the verb or has that already been done?). But first I decided to practice with a lesser project that wasn’t so important to me, a guide to logical fallacies. It’s a complex thing with a big table of contents (lots of bookmarks) and a page for each example so I thought it might be a good test. I’m almost there.
    But I did note your request for feedback on Roger Knight’s procedure for creating a manual TOC –

    I refined it for my needs thus –
    Insert bookmarks throughout your text – in my case, over 100 in a 125 page book! Each one must have a one word name or it won’t work – i.e. FormalFallacy. Make sure that you’ll be able to recognise them later.
    Select the item in your table of contents – the whole or part of the item ‘name’. I’m a photographer so I use the mouse. 🙂
    Hold down Command – then hit C, K, V. This copies the selection, opens the hyperlink box and pastes the selection into the ‘Link to’ field.
    Modify the insertion –
    Hit delete if necessary – this will remove the blank space at the end of the insertion (it may be just a space, or a formatting command)
    Insert the # character at the front of the insertion – you won’t be able to use the ‘Locate’ tool if you don’t. (You get a ‘Can’t use…’ dialogue box)

    Now move on to the Locate field – make sure that ‘Document’ is selected in the bar above it. Do that once and it will save for the rest of the document. Hit “locate and a dialogue box pops up – open Bookmarks and you’ll get a full list of your locations by their one word names. Annoyingly you’ll have to select the bookmarks option every time.

    The other thing that I wanted to do was to allow the reader to go to one page and then return to the TOC (Index) reference stye. So at the end I placed a bookmark called ‘Return to Index’, made it into a link as above and then just copied and pasted it in wherever I wanted throughout.
    Now I probably did it in a clumsy way but it seemed to work – just took time.

  2. I’ve been at my computer since 10:30 a.m. straight, so your reply made my head hurt. Oy vey! PC users get to gloat here: it’s way simpler in Word for PC.

    Out of curiosity, though, why have the “Return to Index” function when the user can just use the Go to Table of Contents option in the Kindle menu?

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