In Tuesday’s post, Proofing Your CreateSpace Paperback, I outlined the three options you have when it comes to checking that everything in your print book is good to go.
But what about the Kindle edition?
I would say that it’s far more important to check your e-books than it is to check your paperback because the former has a much—MUCH!—higher chance of having something wrong with it than the latter, but the truth is it’s equally important to check any book you’re putting out there, regardless of the likelihood that you’ll find something to correct. But as we all know, uploading a MS Word document to Amazon KDP for automated conversion can be a tricky business and to ensure it hasn’t caused a nuclear meltdown of your life’s work, set aside a day for checking it, line by line.
You can check your Kindle book in the Kindle Previewer which will appear at the end of Page 1 during the process of “adding a new title” on Amazon KDP. It will only appear AFTER you have uploaded a file, and that file has been converted to Kindle format (or a “Mobi” file). It’s an approximation of what your book will look like on a Kindle screen, and it’s functional: you can flip back and forth, increase and decrease the font size, etc.
Until very recently, it looked like this:
But now KDP have got a clue, and have not only upgraded their Kindle Preview to something a lil’ snazzier (that’s far easier to navigate) but also taken into account that there are different Kindles, and that some readers do not read their Kindle books on a Kindle at all.
Aforementioned snazzier Kindle previewer:
Or see what your book looks like on the Kindle Fire:
Or even on the iPad, with the Kindle app:
Or with the Kindle app on an iPhone:
And you can even change the orientation:
Isn’t that fun? Yes, it’s fun—for the first five minutes. Until you find a paragraph indent out of place and spend the next six hours trying to figure out why it’s just that one…
What’s the downloadable previewer I can see a link to in the screen shots above? you may be asking. Well, it’s a downloadable version of what you’re looking at above. And it’s really for people who have done things far more complicated than merely uploading a MS Word document, so don’t worry about it.
You may also be asking, Are those… BULLET POINTS I see in your e-book, Ms. Howard? Bullet points! In an e-book! What’s next? A hairdryer in the bath??!
Yes, I have bullet points in my e-book. But that’s because with Self-Printed, I didn’t upload a MS Word document. It just wouldn’t do, not with a book like this. So the lovely people at eBookPartnership.com converted the books for me, and I uploaded the ePub to Amazon KDP.
And it worked a treat.
Note: I think it’s extremely important that everyone who decides to release a Kindle book should get their hands on a Kindle as soon as possible. Borrow a friend’s, play with a demonstration model in-store or even invest in one. It’s not enough to have some vague notion as to what a Kindle is, or how your book will look on one. While you’re at it, enter the Kindle store via the device. Only then will you truly appreciate the obstacles between your book and a potential reader deciding to buy it.