Formatting problems with Kindle for E Books?

YahooDeana
21.02.2013
YahooDeana

I'm deciding whether to upload files myself or hire someone to do the Kindle - and later Nook, etc.
Any advice or issues doing it yourself? I'm fair at computer work (though strangely very good at SEO) but am apprehensive about doing the uploads in case they turn out incorrect.
It's a simple poetry book so there are short poems with a lot of space. There is a guy who will do it for me but charges $280 for starters - though guarantees his work and has done many ebooks with great reviews.

Steven J Pemberton
21.02.2013
Steven J Pemberton

For $280, I'd expect him to write the poems for you… The going rate for converting an MS Word document to an ebook is around $50 to $100, though that is literally to create a file you can upload to Amazon or Barnes & Noble and make sure the formatting looks at least vaguely like it does in your source file. $280 means he's either doing a lot of other stuff or is trying to rip you off.

The main thing to remember with creating ebooks is to keep the formatting as simple as possible, because you don't know what sort of device the reader will be reading on, and because the reader is allowed to change a lot of the settings, such as font size and line spacing.

If you do the conversion yourself, you generate a.mobi file (one of the Kindle's native formats), which you preview on your Kindle (there are apps for computers, tablets and smartphones if you don't have a real one). If something looks wrong, figure out why, change it, regenerate the.mobi and preview it again. Fiddle with the settings on the Kindle to make sure the appearance changes in the way you'd expect. Once you're happy, upload it to Amazon. If you notice something wrong after that, fixing it is just a matter of uploading a new file.

David W
22.02.2013
David W

As someone who does this professionally ( liberwriter.com ), I think that price is too high.

Also, if you do know something about computers, you *can* do this stuff yourself, it'll just be an investment of time, so it depends if you have lots of time and not so much money, or more money and less time. It's kind of like changing a car tire: I happily pay people to do stuff like that because they get it done faster, better and with less hassle. But I *could* do it if needs be.

One thing you could do if you think you'd like to invest the time to learn how to format is to buy an actual Kindle - the basic ones are pretty cheap. That way you can see how your book actually looks on one!