How the Sausage is Made

11 Oct

As I write this, I am avoiding work. Today, “work” means “formatting for Kindle”.

Yes, there are programs that do this. Yes, there are probably a million different ways that I could make my life easier by using one of those programs. But instead of using any of those, I am looking at an HTML version of my book in Notepad, editing my starting point, my ending point and my table of contents by hand.


Simply put, this was how I learned to do it when I first got started with publishing Kindle books. Things have changed since then, but I’ve been too busy to not only find a new ebook editing program that I like, but to test one until I trust it enough to use.

Not that my HTML editing skills are great. There could be errors.

Back in the day, I tried using some of those other programs. The problem was that I would feed my book into it, and it would churn out a mess of an ebook. So, I started going through the process that I use now.

Write the book in Open Office, using whatever basic formatting, fonts, etc that I want to use. Then, I save it as a Word document. I hop over to Word only long enough to save it as a filtered HTML file (which, for some reason, only seems to work from Word). Then I go in an clean up the formatting using Notepad. Then I upload it to my KDP control panel, have it converted to the mobi file, and download that file so that I can preview it on all of my devices.

Find the problems. Go back to Notepad. Rinse and repeat as needed.

This is one of those situations where you know you’re not doing things the best way, or the easiest way, but you keep doing it anyway. I’m like one of those old people who insists on writing a book on a typewriter, even though it’s just going to have to be re-typed into a computer anyway.

If you’re an author, what is your method? Is it sleek and simple? Is it messier than my own? Do you let someone else do the work for you? What programs do you use? Leave comments below!

Also, be sure to keep an eye out for The Secret Citizen, book 3 of the Freedom/Hate series, scheduled to be released on November 7th, 2016! Just in time for Election Day!

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