Friday, July 29, 2011

How to create a personal Kindle eBook

Not quite ready to share your manuscript, but want to see how it looks on a Kindle? Here’s an easy way to convert your Word document into an eBook—for your eyes only. Seeing your draft in print will inspire you to keep writing and finish. (Not to mention it’s fun to show your mother.)

There are plenty of instructions out there, but I’ve found this to be the quickest and cleanest way. After you’ve done it once, you'll be able to build new versions in a few minutes. If you know a better way, we can both agree you’re smarter and prettier and move on. Unfortunately, this process works only for PCs. (Sorry to all you Mac hipsters.)

As your teachers used to say, please read all the instructions first.
  1. Convert your Word document: Using Word 2007 or higher? Start with this step. If not, skip to #2. In your manuscript, go to “File > Save As > Word 97-2003.” Your new file will have a *.doc extension rather than *.docx. Delete your TOC and any notes a reader shouldn't see. Page numbers in headers or footers are okay; otherwise remove.

  2. Still in Word, go to “File > Save as “Other Formats.” In the “Save as Type” field, select “Web Page, Filtered (*.htm, *.html).” Hit “Yes” at the message. Close.

  3. Use Mobi to build your eBook: Download and install MobiPocket Creator and MobiPocket Reader Desktop (both free).

  4. Open MobiPocket Creator on your PC. On the home screen, select “Import from existing file > HTML document.” Browse to your book’s *.htm file and hit “Import.”

  5. Your book will appear under “Publication Files.” Under “View” on the left, you can add a cover image (if you have one). Browse to add and hit “Update.” You can also build a TOC here, but for time and editing purposes, skip this step.

  6. Back on the “Publication Files” screen, select “Build” from the top bar. On the next screen, select “Standard compression” and “No encryption.” Hit “Build,” and your book is on its way.

  7. Once the process is done, you’re given the option to “Preview with the MobiPocket Reader for PC.” Select this, and you’ll see your new eBook in semi-Kindle format. I often proof my book in MobiReader and flip back to the manuscript to make edits.

  8. Send to your Kindle: You should have created a device email address when you registered your Kindle. To find it, go to “Menu > Settings” and page to the “Device E-mail” section. Add this address ([yourname] to your contact book.

  9. Send an email to your Kindle e-mail address. Attach your eBook file (*.prc) by browsing to “My Documents/MyPublications/[yourbookfolder]/[yourbook].prc.”

  10. “Turn on Wireless” for your Kindle and “Sync and Check for Items.” In a few minutes, your eBook should appear on your Kindle home screen. Congratulations. You’re an eBook author!
Please read all compatibility requirements before downloading apps. The author disclaims any liability for errors, glitches, gremlins or user error. Good luck!

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