With regards to publishing my book, I thought I had completed the hard stuff last week when I finally went through the manuscript for what felt like the millionth line edit and made the final corrections. This encompassed anything from replacing missing words that had been lost in an earlier edit (not something your spell check picks up) to double-checking word etymology (did you know the word ‘sexist’ did not come into being until 1965). For those historical writers out there, this is a good website for checking when/what and where your words come from: http://dictionary.reference.com/etymology/
Bleary eyed but buoyant I completed all towards the end of last week and thought I would take advantage over the weekend and convert the files and upload to amazon. And this is where I ran into trouble.
When I published with Amazon before (2012) they had a ‘how-to’ video on their site that took you through the process of creating an active table of contents, formatting your document and adding things like functioning external web links to your manuscript. It was a pretty poor quality video that to my horror has since been removed and there has been no replacement. I had assumed that there would be some help on their site for the less than tech savvy of us but there was minimal. A few sentences advised you to use the ‘headings 1’ style from your word tool bar but not much else.
You don’t necessarily need an active table of contents but I think if you don’t do this, you are denying your reader some of the features and benefits of downloading an e-book. For those who don’t know, an active table of contents is a feature of e-books that allows readers to click on a chapter heading and they will taken directly to that chapter. This is something that has to be built into your manuscript file before uploading; it is not a feature that appears automatically through Amazon.
Because I ran into trouble, I thought I would share how to format and create your e-book for Amazon Kindle. I have created three separate blog posts for this. Just click on each heading to be taken to the one you’d like to see, although I’d recommend all three for anyone publishing their book. The final version of Becoming Lady Beth is available for pre-order now and will be published next Tuesday, 16th of December. Click on the book cover below to be taken to Amazon where you can see the finished product!