Have you ever read a book which seems to have a lot more double spaces than it should have? Have you read a book lately where the pictures don't seem to connect with the wording? You may have read a book which contains many blank pages. This is due to bad formatting. If you have a well written and edited book, you don't want to spoil it with Kindle formatting, which is of a very poor quality.
Sometimes, you will find that it simply takes a small fix to have your Kindle book looking like it has actually has come together well. You may even get more sales in this way. You certainly don't want to get any bad reviews because of sloppy formatting errors.
You won't be able to learn this overnight and if you rush this, you will just end up with a job that does not look very professional. As a self publisher, you don't want to do any half jobs, because people are always looking to criticize, so you have to make sure that the whole job is done properly.
I have started to learn this myself. However, I decided that letting someone else do it for me who really knows what they are doing is the best way to go. I'm sure I will carry on teaching myself, but you have to look at how much time you are spending on the project as well.
Basically, you are converting your whole document to html. Then you want to preferably make your Kindle book into a mobi format. This is best for all platforms. You also have to remember about your table of contents. This has to be clickable.
Software programs for Kindle supported formats
There are lots of programs that you can take advantage of. Some of these are free and others will cost you a little more. However, most professionals I know will do the whole book manually. Probably the most recognized and useful is mobipocket.
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(price as of Jun 19, 2016)
How much will it cost to have your Kindle ebook formatted?
This will vary from a $5 job on Fiverr to something that may cost you $100. People are prepared to pay for this because they want a good job, but there are also people who are very good at their job, and very reasonable as well. They believe everyone has to start somewhere and not everyone has money to pay for book covers, designers and formatting. The job will also depend on the amount of words, so this is something else to keep in mind.
Then again, you don't want to go too cheap because it is a case of you get what you pay for. Most of these jobs are done on software programs where mistakes can be made.
How to design your own kindle book covers
Tim Ferris says that you shouldn't design your own Kindle book covers unless you know a thing or two about graphics. However, I know many people who will disagree with that statement. Some people end up paying in excess of $200 for a cover and that is a lot of money if you are bringing out a series of books. There are certain things that are more important like editing and formatting. However, art is something that you can learn about.
Obviously you have to take your time with it. This is because people will often be making their decision based on your cover. If the mood is saying one thing, but the book says another, you will be misleading your reader, so you have to be careful here.
There are many programs that are free and can help you out. You don't have to become frustrated with Photoshop that is really going to drive you crazy. If you do have that sort of knowledge, then you are definitely fortunate. I use Gimp, along with Photoscape to help me edit some of the pictures. They are both free - the last time I checked, but there are a lot of other programs like this as well. However, I find these programs useful, and often some of the free versions are a lot more simplified, and really all you need.
Have a look at these examples:
The white background is not a good idea because if you are publishing your Kindle eBook on Amazon, it will just seem lost because it is on a white website. You need to add a little tint to bring it forward. I worked on the mood on this cover, which is an improvement of what I got back from Fiverr. There is now a sense of balance here.
In the book below, the green tone of the snake in the picture has been picked up to use as the background. This may be a little bright for an adult book, but it works well for a children's book. These are some of the things to think about. The titles have all been kept the same as it is a series.
If you look closely, there is a little orange in the turtle below, but if you get your color wheel out you will see that blue and orange are opposite in the circle. This is one that you can do as well. Have a look at the color wheel and you will find a range of complementary colors that you can use.
Books that have been Professionally Formatted
you can see the difference
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(price as of Jun 19, 2016)