Sunday, December 15, 2013

Formatting a Children's Book for Kindle or My Adventures in Self-Publishing III (As usual, Blogger decided to publish this out of order)

 Well, my book looks pretty awesome in CreateSpace in my humble opinion. I used an 8.5" square format, and I feel that is a nice size for kids to use. I ordered the proof, found a typo (I had switched two pages in all my adjusting), and then wanted to hit myself because I had already ordered the proof. However, when I uploaded the new file, I must have done it quick enough because CreateSpace sent me the corrected version.

I was really happy and waited the 24 hours for the review and the conversion to Kindle. Even though this was over Thanksgiving, they did it quickly. I missed my final final final deadline of Black Friday, but all in all I was pleased. I hadn't done any marketing so I wasn't expecting to sell anything anyway. Then I went to pick up the CreateSpace file that was formatted for Kindle and carried it over to the Kindle link where I could deposit it.

Excited, I opened the converted kindle file - I have a Kindle on my computer. But it showed square pages. I wanted to see what it would look like on an actual Kindle. So, I opened the previewer on the website (which caused its own problems since I upgraded to IE11 too soon) and found my pages shrunk to mini-sized and only filling the top half of the screen. Wow. Another disaster. I am so glad that it automatically will convert it into a nice file and I didn't need the mobi I was supposed to get.

Actually, I am glad. Had I received a mobi file, I might have tried to use that and it probably would have been just as useless based on my experience. So, I went back to the drawing board - literally.

I created a paint page that was 1800 x 3000. I have no clue why I finally settled on these dimensions, but they seemed to work well. Then I created a 4 x 6 MS Word document with .5" margins. I created a colored box, cut the words out from the formatted pages in 1700ish pixel lengths and pasted them into my paint page on the box. This was torture. Then I cut the picture out of the formatted document and pasted it onto the page. This was tricky because I couldn't paste anything larger than 1800 pixels wide. Sometimes, I would enlarge the page or cut parts off it to focus in on certain areas.

Then, I tried to put it into a html file which Kindle likes - that wasn't happening, so I just uploaded a PDF again. It worked well. Again, I am happy with the results.

Please note, it took from Thanksgiving until Dec. 8th before I finished this process. It was not fun at all. However, since I feel I have finally figured it out, I think I am going to add it as a skill to my new Guru profile. Anyway, here are the same two pages I posted earlier in my "Kindle" version:

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