On April 1st, I wrote a post about using Kindle Create for the first time. You can read it here: Using Kindle Create to Create eBooks.
The first eBook I formatted with Kindle Create came out exactly as I thought it would. At all stages, the formatting was what I made it to be. There were no surprises. I even bought the eBook as a customer would and opened it with my Kindle App for laptops. All was well.
Yesterday, I used the program to format the eBook for The One We Forgot to Love by Sandy Totten. She hired me to create it and while I could have manually made the eBook, I decided to use the program because it had a few features that made formatting easier and the text more pleasing to the eye.
One benefit of using this program is, the eBook is live within hours, not days. In truth, I usually see an eBook live within 24 hours, but I think it can take up to 72 hours.
Another benefit is the “Look Inside” feature became available in less than six hours after I initially uploaded the file and about two hours after the book went live. Incredible. Usually it takes about a week. I’m assuming the program is fast-tracking the eBook, but maybe Amazon has updated their system, and every eBook is live faster, and the “Look Inside” feature is available sooner.
Major Problem Discovered
Happy with the Generated View in Kindle Create of how the file would look as an eBook, I uploaded the file on the morning of April 6th, then launched Previewer to ensure everything still looked good before I hit PUBLISH. It did. I went through every page. It was like I imagined it to be. So I published it.
When “Look Inside” became available, I looked inside, and my eyes twisted. What happened to the first paragraph of each chapter? The alignment was not justified, the space between the lines was single, not double like the rest of the text, and the drop-cap was gone, and if the first word was one letter (I or A), there was no space between it and the next word.
This made no sense. Why would every step to verify the formatting not show this?
One-letter word merged with the second word.
Line spaces was not applied to 1st paragraph in chapter.
We could call it that. I couldn’t figure out how to match the formatting of the first paragraph with the rest of the text unless I tweaked one thing, uploaded it to Amazon, waited for the new “Look Inside” and saw the effect. That’s time consuming but the only way since the two previewers to check the formatting didn’t reveal the problem.
Instead of doing that, I removed “Format First Paragraph” and left the text plain, hoping to have uniform formatting. The drop-cap was gone, but that was a small price to have the text consistent throughout the book.
This morning, the new “Look Inside” revealed similar formatting issues. While the one-letter words now had space, the first paragraph was not justified and it was single spaced.
Back to the drawing board.
Since I couldn’t figure out how to change the formatting within the program, I went to the original eBook MS Word file and removed all the drop-caps. Then I opened it in the program, added the images, checked the formatting and uploaded it again. I waited for the new “Look Inside” with fingers crossed, hoping it would be perfect this time.
Oh, look. A miracle happened. The formatting issues are gone.
Why bother with Kindle Create? Besides the super-speed of the book going live and “Look Inside” appearing at the Amazon store quickly, it provides basic formatting without doing anything as long as the MS Word file is perfectly formatted, which needs to be for the paperback copy. This means the work is done once, not twice. Identifying the chapters with a simple click creates the Table of Contents. I don’t need to use bookmarks and hyperlinks anymore.
After I format a few more eBooks and I’m more comfortable using Kindle Create, I feel it will speed up the process. I have many more books I want to write and publish, so time is of the essences.
The ability to easily add little touches like this between scenes is a feature I love.
The Table of Contents are automatically created.
Just to note, images in a manuscript opened with the program aren’t easy to manipulate. It is better to remove all images from the original file created for the eBook and insert them manually.