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Saturday, 24 September 2011

Publishing to KDP using Mobipocket Creator

After I had finished converting my book at Smashwords, I decided to take a crack at converting for Kindle Direct Publishing. From looking around, I soon found that the best way to go about it (for me, anyway) was to use Mobipocket Creator  (free). Just so you don’t rush into this, be aware that you will need to do some HTML editing in order to get your table of contents and NCX to work. It that seems daunting to you, don’t give up just yet.
Before you decide to sit back and wait for the long heralded Smashwords/Amazon deal, take a side trip over to CJs Easy as Pie Kindle Tutorials and read your way through the excellent series of tutorials that are posted there. I’m not sure who exactly CJ is but from the profile picture It would seem that the author is some kind of sentient winnebago. Species aside, a determined KDP publisher will find everything needed to get their book ready to launch.
Some things to keep in mind first:
1 – Mobipocket wasn’t compatible with IE9 when I used it a couple of months ago. I had to de-install IE9 and that allows IE8 to get back to work (it was still there all along – just hiding in the shadows).
2 – You will need to save your book as an HTML  document and then clean up all the garbage that isn’t needed for your eBook (CJ can help you there as well).
3 – You will need to do a fair bit of editing in HTML (See CJ’s Tutorials) so if you feel comfortable with the idea, make sure you have a decent HTML editor. I used Komodo Edit (Free – open source) and found it very easy to work with.
4 – Use the kindle Previewer from Amazon to see how the book will look and work before you upload it. Use it to check the cover page as well as the functionality of the Table of Contents and the NCX. Make sure the progress bar shows at the bottom and go through each page of your book. This is your last chance to make your first impression.
This process took me the better part of three days, thanks largely to the issue with IE9. Had that not been the case, I probably would have converted Prometheus Bound in a day. If I had to do it over again (and I will in December), it would take an afternoon.         
If you feel up to it, then best of luck and be sure to leave a comment on CJ’s tutorial site; that winnebago worked very hard to share it’s knowledge with us humans!

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