Guest Blog By Stephen Ross
My friend Stephen Ross has been helping people upload their book manuscripts to Amazon for quite some time now and in the process of assisting one of my clients with her book project I asked him if he would share some of what he knows with my audience. He was happy to do so and I’m pleased to introduce him to you in this, the first of a three-part series on getting your book published on Amazon.
Getting Your Book Published on Amazon
Amazon now has software called Kindle Create that you can download for both Windows and Mac that will assist you in laying out your text and illustrations to help conform to their pretty strict standards. I didn’t use it in the past when laying out standard manuscripts with very few pictures because it wasn’t working so well when it was in beta and I am very comfortable adjusting things in Microsoft Word. But the software is out of beta now, it has been vastly improved and it has proven indispensable to me in designing and laying out the text and graphics in the book I am currently finishing.
It’s a good idea to visit a bookstore (if you can even find one these days), or go to a library and look at a few books in your genre to help pick a finished book size that might suit your fancy. That’s a good first step.
There are numerous template sizes available for books in the Amazon Self-Publishing Portal. I suggest you simply pick one as close to the finished size you would like and the software will assist you in making sure that the text and the print will conform to that size. It will also give you options to move things around and adjust them accordingly. There is always a slightly larger size available for a print version of your book if it contains illustrations that bleed right to the edge of the page: the software will warn you and ask that you select the slightly larger size.
If you change the size of your book template, or the layout and size of the text quite a bit, and this causes the number of pages to change drastically, the software will even automatically adjust the size and layout of the spine of your book.
Amazon’s Self-Publishing Portal has a great preview feature that will show you how the final book will look on a phone, a Kindle reader, a larger tablet such as an iPad, a computer or laptop and, of course, as a printed publication. You will be able to go back and forth and adjust the settings so that it looks good and to your satisfaction on all those devices and in print form.