Friday, August 5, 2011

Today's Kindle Formatting Lessons...

I am preparing my wife's first book, Running From Your Nineveh: A Journey With Jonah, From Fear to Faith for Kindle format.  Things that I have learned:

1. If you use bulleted lists, it is going to try and use Wingdings--and Kindle does not have that.  You will have to replace the HTML that tries to make Wingdings with the HTML for a bullet: • instead.

2. Hanging indents: don't use them!

3. Microsoft Word tries to get "clever" in places.  If you enter -->, it turns that into a Wingdings symbol--same problem.  Replace all of these with an em dash and greater than sign: it comes out pretty decent.


  1. Clayton: I am happy to know that Rhonda's books are going into Kindle besides your books. I wish I could read them.

  2. Microsoft does other "Clever" things like turning an ellipsis into a single character. And if you use the proper ellipsis and a period (four periods) to end a sentence, it can lead to some ugly mismatches.

    I don't know if you can turn that off in Word, but you can in OpenOffice.

  3. The ellipsis isn't a problem, since there is a standard font definition of it, and I think the conversion to HTML handles it correctly.

  4. Haven't you heard the saying, "Friends don't let friends use MS Word for publishing"? I don't envy you...

  5. When I formatted my book "Machinery Matters" for Kindle I tried to include the table of contents.

    I should not have for 2 reasons:

    1) There is no page numbering in Kindle so a TOC with page numbers was superflous.

    2) Depending on the text size, the TOC formats in really funky ways.

    What I should have done is a list of chapters without page numbers and then linked each chapter to the first page of that chapter.

    I am not sure how to do that but have several other Kindle books that do it this way so I know it is possible.

    John Henry

  6. Clayton,

    My book, Kindle Formatting, contains all of the information you need to know when making a Kindle eBook. It is the definitive guide.

    For instance, there is no need to use wingding characters when doing a regular ordered list. Also, hanging indents are completely possible, and can even be used quite effectively in the Kindle format.

    If you need help, please let me know.

    Joshua Tallent
    Kindle Formatting: The Complete Guide

    eBook Architects