Welcome to my review and tutorial for Kindle Create! Kindle Create is a great way to format your books if you’re on a budget and just can’t get anything else.
I’ll walk you through how to use it, but also my #1 recommendation for a better formatting software (because honestly, Amazon hasn’t updated Kindle Create in, like, forever…).
So let’s get into it!
Step 1: Download Kindle Create, it’s so easy!
The first step is to download it, and it’s super easy. You can either click the hyperlink or do a quick Google search for “Kindle Create” or “Kindle Create Download” – either way, it’s the first listing that will come up.
Just a heads up, you’ll need an Amazon account to use KC. And, you’ll also need an account to upload your book onto Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), so make sure you’re signed in to the right account before moving forward.
When you’re ready to download, you’ll have the option to choose either Mac or PC – pick the one that works best for you. And, don’t forget to read and accept the terms of service before finalizing the download.
Now, you’re ready to rock and roll with Kindle Create! Can’t wait to see the amazing book you’ll create!
Step 2: Let’s start our document and get writing, woo!
Okay, so you’ve downloaded the software, now what? You have the option to either create a new file or open an existing one. If this is your first time using Kindle Create, it’s time to make a new one!
Next, you get to choose the format that best fits your book. Here are the three options:
- Reflowable: Perfect for novels, biographies, essays, memoirs, and poetry. Allows you to create a print file for use on KDP Print.
- Comic: Used specifically for graphic novels.
- Print Replica: Ideal for textbooks, magazines, cookbooks, and other print-heavy books.
So, choose which one best suits your book!
Time to upload your manuscript file! Select “Choose File” from the bottom right corner of the window.
Please note that it must be either a .DOC or .DOCX file, other file types are not compatible. Kindle Create will take a few moments to convert it, checking for chapter headings and subtitles to create a table of contents.
And voila! you are ready to format and publish your book. Let’s make it happen. You got this!
Step 3: Double check the contents, we don’t want any mistakes!
After the software finishes converting, you’ll see a pop-up box with all the chapter headings it found. But before you hit that “ok” button, it’s a good idea to go through all the headings and make sure they are correct and not subchapters or scene breaks.
If any are incorrect, just deselect them from the pop-up box.
Once you’ve got your chapter headings sorted, it’s time to check out the contents of your book and get familiar with the basic tools offered by Kindle Create.
On the left side of the screen, you’ll see the “Front Matter,” “Body,” and “Back Matter” sections. Depending on the number of chapters, you may need to place your mouse over that section and scroll down to see the “Back Matter” section.
And don’t forget, you can always add chapters or sections as needed by using the little plus signs next to each section.
Speaking of sections, let’s talk about the Front Matter and Back Matter. The Front Matter sections include:
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
But hold your horses, don’t add your table of contents yet! We’ve got a special step for that later on.
The Back Matter sections include:
- About the Author
- Books by Author
- Books in Series
- Praise for Author
If you can’t see this pane on the left side of the window, no worries! Just click the “View” button in the top left corner and it’ll pop right up.
Step 4: Pick out the cutest theme, I can’t decide!
Alright, so you’ve got your front matter, body, and back matter all set up just the way you like it! Next, it’s time to choose a theme for your book that’ll make it look amazing.
To do this, just find and select the “Theme” button near the top right corner of the window. A window will pop up and you’ll be able to choose and preview the four themes available.
Once you select a theme, the pop-up window will close and the software will automatically change the major elements in your book according to that theme.
Using the right toolbar, you can see what these elements are in the “Elements on Page” section. The Standard Elements section includes:
- Block Quotes
- Separators (section breaks)
Go through your book and make sure everything looks correct and consistent. If you want to change or add an element, highlight the text you want to change and then click on the element you wish to change it to.
If you’re unsure of an element, no problem! Just highlight it or place the cursor there, the “Current Element” area above the “Elements on Page” section will tell you what element you’re looking at.
If you decide to change your mind, there’s a “Clear” button in the “Current Element” section, use it if you want to clear the element formatting.
Don’t forget the handy “Undo” and “Redo” buttons on the top left of the window, you can use them if you want to undo or redo any changes you’ve just made.
So, let’s make our book look amazing, let’s pick the cutest theme and make it happen!
Step 5: Tweak the formatting if needed, we want it to look perfect!
Alright, now that we’ve picked out the cutest theme for our book, it’s time to make sure everything is just perfect! Back in the right toolbar, you’ll see two tabs under the “Current Element” section.
By clicking on the “Formatting” tab, you’ll bring up some basic formatting options that you can use to tweak your book if needed. These options include:
- Font color
- Font size
- Bold, Italics, and Underlining
- Paragraph options
Most of these things are pre-generated based on the theme you choose, so you may not need to change any of them. But it’s always a good idea to double-check and make sure everything is just perfect before we move on. Let’s make our book look amazing and tweak the formatting if needed.
Step 6: Add in all the fun elements to make it pop!
With Kindle Create, you have the option to insert all sorts of fun things like images and hyperlinks. So, let’s start with adding some images.
First things first, place your cursor where you want the image to go. Then, locate the “Insert” button in the top left corner of the window. Once you find it, select “Image” from the dropdown menu. From there, you’ll be able to search for and upload an image from your computer.
But wait, there’s more!
Once the image is uploaded, you’ll need to add an Alt Text description in the window on the right side toolbar. However, if you only want the image to show up in the print version of your book, you can click the box that reads “Exclude this image from the screen reader” so it won’t show up on e-readers.
In this case, you don’t have to put a description in. Below, you’ll see that you have a few different options for size and position of the image. Just remember that images can cause problems in reflowable Kindle Create books. So, to double check, use the “Preview” option at the top right corner of the window to make sure your image looks good on the page.
Now, let’s talk about adding hyperlinks.
It’s so easy, you’ll be done in no time! All you have to do is highlight the text you want to link. Then, on a Mac, control-click or on a PC, right-click to bring up the “Insert Hyperlink” option.
Click on that option and then insert the link, making sure to include the https:// portion. And that’s it! You’ve now added a hyperlink.
Step 7: Time to add the table of contents and save our book, yay!
It’s time to add the table of contents!
First things first, go through and make sure all your chapter headings are set to the “Chapter Title” element. If they’re not, they won’t show up in your table of contents.
Once you’re sure everything is good to go, click the plus sign at the “Front Matter” section on the left side of the window. A window will pop up where you can double check before you select “OK”. Then, voila! You’ll see the automatically generated table of contents.
But, what if you made a mistake and need to generate the table of contents again? No problem! Simply right-click on the section tab and click “Delete Section”. You can do this with any section in the front matter, back matter, or body sections.
Now that your table of contents is all set, it’s a good idea to save your work. In the top right corner, there’s a “Save” button. Click on it, select a folder on your computer, and enter the name. This way you won’t lose any of your hard work!
Step 8: If you want a physical book too, let’s prepare that now!
Are you excited to see your book in print? Well, with Kindle Create, it’s easier than ever!
You have the option to create a print-ready file without going through all the steps again. To do this, find and select the “Print Settings” button in the top right corner of the window. This will bring up a window with options for the layout of your print book. Choose the one you like and hit “OK”.
But, what if you’re not planning on creating a print book at this time? No worries! You can skip this step.
Just keep in mind that having a physical copy of your book is a great way to share it with friends and family, and it can even be a great addition to your portfolio. But at the end of the day, it’s totally up to you!
Step 9: Check out our masterpiece before we finalize it
Before we generate our ebook and/or print book, let’s take a sneak peek at our hard work.
To preview your book, simply click the preview button in the top right corner. A window will pop up with options to preview how your book will look in three different formats. In the top left corner of the window, you’ll see a “Device Type” option.
Using the dropdown menu, you can select to view your book on a tablet, a phone, and a Kindle e-reader. These three options can give you a good idea of what your book will look like on different devices.
Now, it’s important to note that there are many more devices out there, but these three are a good starting point. So, take a good look and make sure everything looks the way you want it to. If everything looks good, it’s time to generate your file!
Previewing your book before generating the final version is a crucial step, and you will have peace of mind knowing that your final product is the way you want it to be.
Step 10: Generate that book file and let’s get it out there!
It’s time to generate that book file!
To do this, simply click on the “Generate” button in the top right corner of the window. Then, select a file destination and name, and hit “Save.” The Kindle Create software will then generate a file that you can use for both print and ebook publishing on KDP.
For tips on publishing your book, feel free to browse the book publishing section. Keep in mind that while the books Kindle Create generates are quite basic, they are suitable for those on a budget or new authors who are eager to get their first book out into the world.
However, as with any software, there are pros and cons to consider if you’re thinking about using this program. But with all said and done, you’ve done a great job in creating your book and now you’re ready to share it with the world!
Kindle Create Has a Downside
Kindle Create is a great tool to help you format your book for the Kindle platform, but it does have its limitations.
For starters, Kindle Create’s KPF files can only be used on Kindle Direct Publishing, and not on other book retailers. This means that if you want to make your book available on other platforms, you’ll need to format it differently.
Additionally, the software doesn’t support footnotes, endnotes, or volumes and parts. The formatting options and themes available are limited, which may not suit the needs of all authors. Large file sizes can also result in less money for the author.
On the other hand, Atticus formatting software has more themes, preview options and editing capabilities. The software has a find & replace feature, a spell check function, and it shows the number of words in a chapter or the whole book.
Images and bullet points can cause formatting problems, and Kindle Create doesn’t have a cloud storage options. For these reasons, if you want to ensure wider publishing distribution and overcome these limitation, you’ll need to seek out other formatting software like Atticus.
It’s important to consider all options before you publish, and be aware of the limitations of any software you use.
Just a Hint You Guys…Atticus is Better
While Kindle Create is a great option for authors just starting out or planning to publish only on Amazon, Atticus is a professional-grade tool that offers so much more.
Sure, Kindle Create has a clunky interface, but it gets the job done. But, Atticus is not just getting the job done, it makes formatting a breeze and allows authors to reach readers in other markets.
Atticus is available for a one-time fee, and has smaller file sizes than Kindle Create which leads to more money for the author. It has a smooth interface, customization options, editing capabilities, and timesaving features. With Atticus you can easily format your book for different platforms, preview it on different devices, and make sure that your book looks just the way you want it to look.
So, if you’re ready to take your book to the next level, consider using Atticus as your formatting tool. Trust me, you won’t regret it! Happy publishing!”