Chapter 1: Microsoft Word’s Formatting Features

I’m going to be using the latest version of Microsoft Word (2013) to provide screenshots on how to design your book. You can certainly use any previous version to do just about the same thing as I am doing here; however, you might have to adjust for different placement of icons and features within your version.

Prepping Manuscript

It’s important that the manuscript is prepped for the formatting stage. Before you begin any formatting, it’s important that you strip the manuscript of any special formatting or images. Everything will have to be done from scratch in a coded format that Amazon Kindle can recognize. Go through your manuscript to make sure all of your content is text that is devoid of anything apart from boldface type, italics, or underlines. Refrain from using excessive formatting with these three within your manuscript, because it may create formatting problems down the line.

Also delete all images, charts, and special inserts. For the time being, create a separate folder on your desktop for such content (call it “Graphs,” for example) and place all of the original artwork into that folder. If you are deleting graphics from a Microsoft Word file, or you have an idea of where the images should be placed in the ebook version, I recommend putting in some placeholder text, which will let you know that you need to insert something. Add any information that might be helpful in formatting.

Typically, this is done by placing the information in carets <>, so that it can be easily distinguished from other content. For example, if you had a picture on page 3 of your manuscript and you want it to be centered on the page, you would enclose the following information in carets: “<insert XYZ.jpg, centered>.” Place this information in the exact spot where you deleted the information. Make sure there is a matching file name in your images folder.

It’s also a good idea to do the same thing for any numbered or bulleted lists that show up in your document. Use the caret system to designate an ordered listed (numbered, lettered list) or unordered list (bulleted list). At the end of a list, use a backslash within the carets to signify the end of the list “</ordered list>.”

Chapter 2: Formatting Text for Kindle

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