Last week—while discussing Amazon’s warning about spelling mistakes and bad formatting for eBooks published on their site—I realised not everyone is completing all the steps necessary to upload and publish a book.
Book title, author’s name, tags, description and the other items on the Kindle publishing page are important, but the two check points before you hit “Publish” are equally important.
These check points are Kindle Spell Check and Preview Your Book.
Kindle Spell Check
This feature was added a few years ago. It wasn’t there when I first published in 2010. Amazon’s software converts the uploaded file to Kindle format and while doing so, it does a simple spell check.
I say simple because it doesn’t flag every word it might think is misspelt, or at least I’m not given the impression it does. I use unique names and spellings (Maskil, waggon for wagon) in my fantasy novels, yet these are seldom picked out by Kindle Spell Check. The potential list might contain a few dozen words if the spell check was fussier.
In my most recent upload of an updated eBook, the Spell Check found one “possible spelling error”. This is what the screen looked like. (Click images for larger, clearer views)
When I clicked View Them, a screen popped up to display the one word Kindle Spell Check thought might be spelt incorrectly. Part of the sentence is also included to help me decide if I should Ignore or Correct the error.
If this is not a true error—and hauflin is not a spelling error—I click Ignore.
If it was an honest error, I could email the note to myself. The mistake must be fixed in the original document, and the corrected file upload. You cannot fix the error in Kindle Spell Check.
Once you have passed the Spell Check, this screen will appear, indicating, “There are 0 possible spelling errors.”
Preview Your Book
The next step in the publishing process is 7. Preview Your Book. I use the Online Previewer because it’s easy and I don’t own a Kindle. Click Preview Book, and a single page screen will appear.
Click through the pages to see if everything looks okay. Use this to ensure text is uniform in size and font, and that any images are aligned properly. There should be no blank pages in your file.
If you haven’t checked the links in your file beforehand, check them now. The links in the preview are live.
Here is a collection of screen shots showing different pages in this book. Each section—Title Page, Summary, Contents, Author Page, ect.—should have its own page.
If the formatting is correct, then proceed to publish. If there are issues, fix them now in the original file and upload the corrected file.
Each time you upload a new file, redo these two steps: Kindle Spell Check and Book Review. Catching errors at this stage can take only a few minutes to fix. If the error is caught after you’ve published, it can take up to 48 hours.