This is part two of an article discussing file preparation for seamless book file uploads to Kindle Direct Publishing also known as KDP (e-books). Click here to read about Manuscript Formatting PDF files for CreateSpace – Print Books.
E-books are, in essence, web pages – complete with links. Once your file is uploaded to KDP, it is converted into a MOBI file. A MOBI file is an elastic thing that changes size to fit tiny smartphone screens and large tablet devices. Page numbers don’t exist in MOBI files.
When including images in your e-book, there are several considerations to take into account – especially when doing file set-up for children’s picture books.
Image & Text Arrangement
Should images be kept separate from the text, or should words go directly on top of the pictures? I’ve seen e-book formatting both ways.
Although full-color pages with text on top of artwork are lovely in printed books, it doesn’t translate well in an e-book.
- If the text is placed on top of an image in an e-book, it becomes part of that image and, therefore, is not stretchable.
- If the text is placed separate from the image, the reader can then pinch or enlarge the word size to fit their needs.
I opt for functionality over beauty – text and images separate.
Image Size for e-books
Images should be sized at or near 400 px X 600 px at 96 px /in for an e-book.
*Note: Images that are too large waste server space, take a long time to download and frustrate readers.
There are several files and file folders that must be structured according to KDP specifications for smooth, error-free uploading.
*Note: Before beginning this process, save all your work in a sperate place. You can return to this file if something goes horribly wrong.
1. Create a folder with all of the images (sized appropriately) that will be inserted in your book. Give it a name like, ‘e-book images.’
2. Create a new folder. Give it a name like, ‘MyZippyNewBook.’
Image & Text Placement
3. Begin inserting images into your finished manuscript.
Inside your Word Document, place pictures by locating your cursor where you want the image to go then, Insert -> Pictures.
*Note: Do not use the Copy / Paste function. The images will show up in your workflow but when you go through the next step, the file will be corrupt.
4. Once the images have been placed, you are ready to turn your manuscript into an HTML file. (*Note: For good measure, save an additional copy of this file in another location before continuing.) To do this, choose File -> Save As. Where it says, Save as type: choose Web Page, Filtered
*Note: At this point MS Word will start gifting you pop-up warnings. Don’t be afraid…just do it…it works.
5. Save this new file in the empty folder that you created and named ‘MyZippyNewBook.’ Close the document.
*Note: the formerly empty ‘MyZippyNewBook’ folder will now contain your ‘manuscript.html’ file and images.
6. Navigate back until you see the closed ‘MyZippyNewBook’ folder, right click on it and Send To -> Compressed (Zipped) File.
Upload Zip File to KDP
7. Once the folder has been Zipped – it will look like a duplicate folder to MyZippyNewBook folder – but this one will have a zipper on the folder icon. The Zipped folder is what you upload to KDP.
*Note: The zipping process marries the images with the text.
*Note: If your book has no images, graphics or jpeg files, you can skip the zip step.