Publishing my book turned out to be easier than I thought, although there were a few points where I messed up a bit–partly because this was my first time; partly because I had pictures in my document; partly because the Kindle Direct Publishing site was not clear on uploading a file with pictures. The KDP guide, Building Your Book for Kindle, was very helpful, but also didn’t explain about the site’s apparent oversight on types of files that can be uploaded.
Because my ebook contained pictures, there were steps that I had to take that a text-only book does not require. First, no matter what the content, I had to save my document as an HTML file using “Web page, filtered” from the file type menu. Next, if I had included no pictures, that and a cover would have been all that was needed.
So after I created the HTML file, a folder of the same name showed up in my directory list. It contained all the pictures from my book. Because I had pictures, I had to create a compressed/zipped file by selecting the HTML file from the file menu, right-clicking on it, selecting “send to” from the drop-down menu, and clicking on “compressed (zipped) file.”
Finally, I had to move the file containing the pictures into the compressed file.
I clicked over to the KDP site, where I had to sign in (since I created an account earlier) or register. After that, I just followed the directions. However, when I got to the point of actually uploading the book file, the “allowed file types” area did not list the compressed/zipped format. So I uploaded the HTML file. But when I went to preview it, there were no pictures in it; nor were there even placeholders where the pictures should go.
So I went back to the “upload your book” area and uploaded the compressed file instead. Then when I went to preview, I still found no pictures, but at least there were placeholders for the pictures! I decided I probably shouldn’t go any further until I figured out my problem. I saved the file at the KDP site as a draft, and went back to my original MS Word document.
There turned out to be two problems. First, the pictures I used were copied directly from the pictures included in earlier posts, so they still had links to the Kindle Book Store. I removed the links and took another precautionary step by saving them as named picture files. I then copied the pictures back to where the original pictures were included in the text.
Building Your Book for Kindle had recommended checking for inadvertent paragraph returns and tab marks before saving as an HTML document. I skipped this step because I had gone through the document by hand, checking to make certain each chapter ended cleanly and without extra carriage returns thrown in. So I turned on the “show/hide paragraph marks” in the Home tab of my document. (I had to check the “help” facility to figure out what I was looking for. It’s the “paragraph” symbol that looks a lot like the Greek letter pi.) When I checked my document with the markings turned on, I found a few stray spaces, a few surprising carriage returns (new paragraphs) that I could not detect by merely going through the document, and a few tabs that I do not remember putting in. Another thing I found was a lot of little circles where space holders should have been. I still have no idea where those came from, but I got rid of every one of them and replaced them with genuine spaces. Finally, I saved the file and went through the saving procedure all over again (save as web page, filtered; send to compressed; move picture file into compressed).
When I uploaded the modified file and previewed it, everything seemed to work and the pictures were showing up as expected. I completed the rights and pricing information as well as a few more sections and–with trepidation–clicked on “publish.”
It takes about 12 hours for the book to go through final approval and be truly published. I kept watching for that email that said the book was approved and is now available at the Kindle Store. When I got that email, I couldn’t believe how elated I was. Not only did I publish my first Kindle book, but I published my first book of any kind ever!
Here is what it looks like. I decided to price it at 99 cents, hoping to generate some interest in it. It has a little bit more information that the blog had, but not by much.
I’m hoping that at this low price, which I’ll only charge for a week or so, even my blog readers will think it’s worth having all the information in one place and on their Kindle reader–whether on a Kindle reader, a computer, an Android pad or iPad, or a telephone.