Is Kindle Create a good ebook format tool?

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I am attempting to convert a Word document for my book into an ebook, but I'm not sure which free software is good enough. I recently installed Kindle Create and experimented with it, but I don't know what necessary information I need to fill out the front matter pages (i.e. copyright page, table of contents, etc.). The styles for the font and chapter headers are also limited. Does anyone know any free software tools that will convert a Word document into an ebook without having to go through the hassle of how to add front matter pages like copyright into the Word document?

Just to clarify, when I say free, I don't mean a subscription service that has a free option with limited tools. I'm looking for something similar to Kindle Create in the aspect of automatically being able to create pages like copyright and About the Author, but with more options for chapter appearance styles.
 

Brian G Turner

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If you're publishing to Amazon Kindle Publishing, then the conversion is done automatically for you in the publishing dashboard - you just upload your Word .doc and Amazon converts it for you.
 

-K2-

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I don't 'know' if what you're looking for exists. If i understand your question, you're wanting some software that asks you a slew of questions, you plug in the answers, and after a whir of gears, presses pounding, and a steam whistle, out pops a formatted and written (associated aspects you mention) ready to print novel. Things like an introduction, your bio, back matter blurbs, thanks and so on you'll have to write. As to a copyright and ISBN, those are things you'd have to secure yourself and pay for, then add...or...use what Amazon issues to you (which I assume will be added after).

Anything that is missing, you'll add before you publish it after rereading what the software you're already using has added.

What chapter options were you wanting?

Hope this helps!


K2
 
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Nate Hoffelder

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Kindle Create works, but it's not the best option. It creates bulky ebook files, and that hurts you in the long run because Amazon charges "delivery" fees.

You'd be better off uploading a DOC, or making an Epub.
 
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If you're publishing to Amazon Kindle Publishing, then the conversion is done automatically for you in the publishing dashboard - you just upload your Word .doc and Amazon converts it for you.
I do plan on publishing to Amazon Kindle Publishing and have researched the conversion process for my Word .doc, but the problem that I will end up having is that the pages I need will be missing. I want to leave formatting to a professional and found one for a reasonable price, but most likely I would have to add the necessary information into the document and might have to pay a lot for the copyright. I found a site that has template copyright pages, but I don't know how to add the page into another Word document.
 
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Kindle Create works, but it's not the best option. It creates bulky ebook files, and that hurts you in the long run because Amazon charges "delivery" fees.

You'd be better off uploading a DOC, or making an Epub.
If I have a professional make a Epub file, do you know any way that I can add the copyright page? I already know the issues I will have if I just upload a Word document to Amazon Kindle Publishing. Since you mentioned that Kindle Create makes bulky ebook files, then do you know of another software or tool that can automatically create a copyright page and other pages such as about the author and the title page?
 

tinkerdan

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I do all my work in MSWord and all I have to do is load that file up to kindle publishing and then review it and most times it's exactly as I need it.
So if you use Word then get that formatted the way you want and create a table of contents using the TOC utilities(usually under references and table of contents)in word and then be sure to view the final that amazon creates before you ok it all.

I do a lot of specific formatting, because I always make a paper edition and that takes more work.

For the TOC you need to have specific defined styles for the chapter headings and you just limit the TOC to generate from that style[Don't use that style for anything else or it shows up in the TOC; although you can just delete it if it doesn't belong.]

For copyright page; just look at books you own and copy the format of that. Treat it like any other text page.
 

Elckerlyc

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I don't do publishing, but I have created files with AZW3 ebook format from .doc and .odt files using Calibre (freeware, but a donation is welcome).
And I'm talking about docs of up to 1m words with a lot of chapters.
Haven't tried all the options, but as it is free for download, you could give it a try and experiment with formatting.

Pages for copyright and author info are, for the most part, just text? Once created you can re-use them for any book. Just copy in the data.
It wasn't state of the art book publishing but my doc worked just fine.
 

Biskit

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I'm not sure you can "automate" the author info, copyright, etc - that is just information you should be typing or pasting into the first pages of your word document.
Like @Elckerlyc, I use Calibre to convert and my main experience has been:
1: make an epub and upload to Amazon KDP., I tried mobi, the Kindle format, and the result was horribly mangled.
2: check the resulting Kindle file carefully, and if you can, get friends/family/co-worker in the next cubicle to check on their (different) reader. Last book but one appeared fine to me (and I visually inspect every page in an ebook viewer before I give KDP the OK) but one of my reviewers reported garbage in the text due to a particular reader not coping with "junk" in the ebook format that originated in my word processor file. That "junk" was technically valid, albeit unnecessary html, but not all ebook readers place nicely.
 

pambaddeley

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I do plan on publishing to Amazon Kindle Publishing and have researched the conversion process for my Word .doc, but the problem that I will end up having is that the pages I need will be missing. I want to leave formatting to a professional and found one for a reasonable price, but most likely I would have to add the necessary information into the document and might have to pay a lot for the copyright. I found a site that has template copyright pages, but I don't know how to add the page into another Word document.
Are you based somewhere other than the UK? There is no charge for copyright in the UK and you don't even have to register everything here. However, we do have to pay for ISBN numbers to Nielsen.

I don't know what version of Word you have, but in mine on the Insert ribbon there is an option over on the right next to Object - a dropdown arrow which you click to show a little menu. "Text from file" opens up a File dialogue box which you can then browse to a copy of another Word file, select it and the text will be inserted into the current file where the cursor is.

When preparing the Word original I found the guide from Smashwords helpful. It is quite long but they go through the kind of things to avoid having in your Word file such as tab characters. To indent paragraphs you instead set up styles which have the first line indent in them, for instance, and apply that style to the paras. In practice, I set the normal style to have the first line indent, and create a separate 'blocked' one for the first para of a scene as I follow the convention of blocking the first paragraph in a chapter/scene. I have some other styles where I need to centre text or have headings etc. It's best not to apply formatting to the text directly as this can cause problems when converting to an ebook.

I produce an epub file using Sigil but my process would not be suitable for you as I start by producing one Word file with everything in it including title, copyright pages etc and save a HTML file from Word and then clean that up in a HTML editor as Word introduces a lot of "rubbish" which causes problems downstream. The cleaned up file then becomes the input to the epub and I do quite a lot of handcranking on that too. But for what to put on the copyright page, I just looked at a lot of current books and ebooks and came up with my own version using those as a a guide.

When you upload a book into KDP there is an online checker which is some help in checking what it would look like on various readers and mobile phone etc. There is also a tool you can use to check your input file before uploading to KDP, which is provided by them and is called Kindle Previewer.
 

Hyba

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I also use Calibre and can vouch for its powers of e-book conversion! :LOL: Also, I haven't used Word in a while so I'm not sure if this is an option there, but on LibreOffice Writer (which is totally free and open source), you can just export your document as a PDF or an ePUB. That's what I'll usually do. And then I use Calibre more often than not just to convert to MOBI, since some readers prefer that format. It's a pretty robust software, so it seems to be the best choice right now, at least for me.
 

apocalypsegal

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I will end up having is that the pages I need will be missing
Well, you put the pages in. You mention a copyright page. All you really need is a simple statement, which you can copy from another book. Type it in after the title. Open any ebook on Amazon, check the Look Inside. You'll see various ways the copyright notice is done. If you have something you found elsewhere, copy/paste it into the right spot.

Same with an author page, or a list of other books. It's not that hard. The thing with using Word is you want to use Styles to set up paragraphs, things like indents and line spacing. Use a basic font, TNR, 12 pt is fine. Amazon will convert the book, so anything unusual might end up with weird symbols.

Also, don't put page numbers in ebooks. I see that so much, it's pitiful.
 

apocalypsegal

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If you want a step by step of how to set up a document with Styles, Smashwords has a free one. It's a lot to read, but you should be able to get a Word document set up to work properly. The only thing is for Amazon, make a page break at the end of every chapter, or anywhere you want to start a new page (and yes, without page numbers, it's still a "page").

Save that document. Make a copy when starting each new story, so you always have your Styles set up. Make sure to save that new story under a name you can find it, so you don't corrupt your template. This is what I started with, over ten years ago, and it worked fine. Eventually you'll get the hang of this stuff, I swear.
 
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