Dear geeky reader, boy do I have a treat for you.
This post is written specially for those who are looking to upload their Microsoft Word document into Amazon's magical black box in the hope that a perfectly-formatted eBook comes out the other side. Using the Amazon Kindle Publishing Guidelines (linked at the end of the post) you are guaranteed to get a gold-star from the eBook-review team at Amazon.
Do I really need to read through a complicated manual to have Amazon automatically convert my manuscript into an eBook?
For those writers who weave stories of far-away lands (otherwise known as fiction) the short answer is no. If your manuscript has minimal formatting - mostly words - with only basic front matter and back matter you should be able to get away without opening and reading the publishing guidelines from Amazon.
For those who dabble in a more factual realm, this might not be the case. Where your manuscript contains styling elements such as multiple images, graphs, tables, lists etc this manual becomes an essential read.
The Amazon Formatting Guidelines manual becomes especially important for those looking to create:
- Children's Books (Fixed-layout)
- Graphic Novels
These publishing guidelines are vital for any author looking to create the smoothest possible reading experience.
I use Adobe InDesign - Do I need to read the Amazon Publishing Guidelines?
Adobe incorporates many - if not all - the recommendations found in the Amazon publishing guidelines. Indeed that is why you pay them wads of money for their software. So for those who build eBooks directly from InDesign, you can rest safe without suffering through haunted dreams of banishment from the Kindle landscape.
This applies equally to writers using reputable paid-for eBook typesetting and conversion software such as Scrivener etc.
However if you are an industry professional who stares at the innards of an eBook for much of your day then you cannot escape what is essentially the formatting bible from the Church of Amazon.
The kindle publishing guidelines look really technical - Help!
Right, never fear. If you want to understand the technical details of eBook design but - like me - have a learning disability (lazy) never fear.
This digital publishing course created by eBook-industry strongman Martin Taylor is the best damn thing I have seen since South Africans were allowed to access the internet. This free digital publishing course is interactive and well-written with a multitude of helpful videos to help explain what could otherwise be a complex topic.
The latest publishing guidelines from Amazon.