Kindle Direct Publishing:
It’s free! Its easy! Do it!

Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)is a fast and easy self-publishing tool that lets anyone upload and sell their books in the Kindle Store. If your book is ready to be published conventionally, you can upload a Kindle version with easy to make changes.

When I was asked to convert The Misadventures of Russell Quigley for the Kindle, Amazon only had 140,000 eBooks ready to go. Today, they have over 1,000,000, compared to many millions on their regular site. This means your book will stand out more and rank higher. The Kindle version of my book is selling better than the paperback.

Book Design and Page Layout

Book Design and Page Layout are essentially the same for Kindle eBooks as they are for paper based books, except for the MS Word formatting that the Kindle does not support.

For instance, the Kindle Direct Publishing does not support Headers and Footers, and does not use page numbers. The Kindle regenerates pages on the fly whenever the font size is changed.

Since there are no left and right pages, blank pages serve no purpose, and should be eliminated. Section breaks are not recognized. Links are functional and should be used.

You do not need an ISBN for the Kindle version of your book.

The Kindle's high-contrast E Ink display delivers clear, crisp, text and images, and is designed to be read like a book. It uses a serif font and automatically indents paragraphs.

I am torn between formatting a Kindle book like a paperback or an ebook because Kindle books can now be read on many back lit devices. I opted to go with an ebook format because there are so many back lit devices, such as iPads, iPhones, laptops, Nooks, desktops, etc., and they can all read Kindle books with appropriate reader applications.

If you decide to go with blocked paragraphs, which are easier to read on computers and other back lit devices, you have to use Word's "Styles" to put space after paragraphs. You cannot use carriage returns for this.

You can thwart the Kindle's automatic first line indent by using a custom first line indent of .01. This gives you an invisible indent, and the Kindle Direct Publishing program does not change it.

Whichever style you use, use "Paragraph Formatting" to set it up. The Kindle Direct Publishing program will not recognise tab indents or space bar indents or carriage returns for line space.

I recommend using a small page size similar to the Kindle screen, so that you can see how your front matter formats. For example, you wouldn't want your title to break in awkward places.

You can use Word's Table of Contents Creator; however, you need to uncheck "Show Page Numbers" and "Right Align Page Numbers." You also need to Check "Use Hyperlinks."

Images should be inserted in JPEG (.jpg) format with a center alignment. Also select "In line with Text." A 600 X 800 pixel image at 300 dpi is recommended for internal images including an internal cover image.

Ebook covers are easy to make because you only need the front cover. Requirements for the cover image for the book detail page on Amazon are:

  • At least 500 pixels horizontally and 800 pixels vertically
  • Ideal height/width ratio of 1.6
  • Maximum of 2000 pixels on the longest side is preferred
  • Save at 72 dots per inch (dpi) for optimal viewing on the web

Remember, books online are found mainly by searches, so the cover design is not as important as it is in a bookstore; although, you may want to plan your cover for eventual display in a store. NOTE: Choose the keywords in your title carefully as this is how people will find your book in their searches.

The easiest cover to make would be your title page on a colored background, which you can make in Word. Any image program can be used to make a more elaborate cover design.

Insert a "Page Break" at the end of each chapter so that new chapters will start on a new page.

Save your file in a .doc format and NOT in .docx format before saving it as a web page.

You will find more complete guidance at

You can upload Word files to the Kindle Direct Publishing program, but Amazon prefers HTML. You can convert your files to HTML by using the Save As function and select Web Page. Select "Web Page with a Filter" if you have an older version of Word. Either way you upload, you need to examine your files to make sure they converted correctly. Unless you are conversant with HTML coding, you should make corrections in Word and upload again.

Personally, I use Brian Swartz's MS Word template for Kindle. I have used several Kindle templates, but in my opinion, this one is the best. If you would like to learn more Click Here!

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