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Self-Publishing: Creating a Kindle Mobi file of your Novel

Updated on February 21, 2015

Getting Started on your E-Book MOBI file

A MOBI file is a specific kind of e-book file that is used by Amazon Kindles. To get started, you'll need a WORD copy of your novel including all the front matter (cover page, dedication, acknowledgement). You do not need to create a Table of Contents as we will create that electronically.

In your WORD Document, remove the page numbers. E-books do not have print page numbers.

Save your WORD file as a WEB PAGE (also known as HTML format).

Your novel will look different in Web Page format.

**This is a short cut method to converting your book to MOBI. If you have very complicated formatting, you may wish to use the 'long conversion format' using HTML. The instructions are in the Calibre how-to instructions.

Save Your Novel as a Web Page

Chapters as Headers

In your new WebPage version of your book, you will need to highlight each chapter title.

If your chapter is Chapter 1, you would highlight Chapter 1 and click the 'HEADING 1' option under style. See JPEG.

Repeat this for each Chapter titles. Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and so on.

Once you get to the last chapter, SAVE your document again with the changes.

Save as Web Page.

This step will help you create a E-Book TOC.

Creating Chapter Headings

Highlight the chapter title and click 'HEADING 1' under the HOME/Styles key in WORD.
Highlight the chapter title and click 'HEADING 1' under the HOME/Styles key in WORD. | Source


The following step will help reduce the chances of you having formatting issues in your final MOBI file. Before you save you final HTML/WEBPAGE version of your book, you should make sure you have removed all tabs and weird spacing. Here is a quickie way to do that using the Control/Replace option on your computer.

Go to your WEB PAGE version of your novel.


  • Click CTRL-H on your keyboard. This is the find and replace button on your PC computer.
  • In the top box, you put in ^p^t as the 'find what'
  • in the bottom area (the replace version), put in ^p . If you don't know how to type it, just copy and paste. This will remove any tabs you accidentally left your your book.
  • Click Replace All.


  • Click CTRL-H again. This is the find and replace button.
  • In the top find box, put in ^p^p and in the bottom box, put ^p .
  • Click Replace ALL.Now all of our double paragraph returns have been eliminated.

This will reduce the chance of having formatting issues within your final e-book. Save your Novel as a Web Page. You should now have marked the chapter headings and removed the tabs and double paragraph returns.

Starting MOBI Conversion


Download A Free Ebook Converter: Calibre

You'll need an converter to create an MOBI file or an E-Pub file.

Calibre is one of the easiest converters available and it's FREE.

Download the program.

Calibre Download

Upload the Book to Calibre

Open Calibre.

Click Add Book.

First, make sure you use the Web Page version of your novel. Also make sure it is the version where you have marked all the Chapter Titles as Headings 1.

Remember, make sure you have removed the page numbers as well.

Add The Book to Calibre


Edit the Metadata

After you have added your book to Calibre, click 'Edit Metadata'.

Click Edit Metadata Individually

Make sure the Novel Title is correct.

Check the Author Name as well.

In the middle of the screen, click BROWSE to upload your book cover.

**One note if you change your author name or book title, please click the blue arrow next to the correction. See the picture below for details.

Click OK at the bottom.

Edit Metadata


E Book Table of Contents

After you have edited your 'Metadata', click the small black arrow next to the Convert button.

Click Convert Individually.

WAIT! Before going forward, click the TABLE OF CONTENT icon on the menu on the left.

Check Mark the 'Force use of auto-generated Table of Contents'. This will use the Chapter titles you marked as 'Heading 1' into a hyperlinked Table of Contents for your ebook.

WAIT! Before clicking OK, change the Output tab on the upper right of the screen from EPUB to MOBI.

EPUB is a general ebook. MOBI is Kindle specific.

Once you've change it to MOBI, click OK.

Converting to MOBI

How to Preview the File

On the right hand of your screen in Calibre, you'll see the book cover you've loaded. Under it, you'll see the MOBI file.

Double-click the file to open it in the previewer.

*Allow pop-ups.

The Preview Screen will pop up.
On this pop-up screen, click the MOBI file again but only 1 time this time.


Second Step to Preview

Check it Out!

Check the TOC hyper links by click on the chapters and making sure they go to the right chapters. If they do not, go back back to the beginning and fix your 'Heading 1' step.

If they do work, then great!

Thumb through the chapters of your book. Look for spacing or layout errors.

If there are no errors, then you are good to go.

You have created a MOBI file for Kindle!

Check your TOC and Content

Where is the file?

Okay, you've created your file.

You'll notice that Calibre doesn't have an export or save button. This is because when you converted the file to MOBI or EPUB, they file was saved automatically.

In PC's, go to your start menu.

Click Computer.

Go to Documents, go to 'My Documents' , Click on the Calibre Library Folder.

Click the Author Name File.

Click the Kindle Content/Blue book.
This is your file. You can email it or upload it anywhere. See the JPEG below to see what it looks like.

Finding Your Kindle File

You're Done!

This is the simplest way to create a MOBI/Kindle file. If you have formatting errors, you'll have to either convert the long way using the CALIBRE long instructions or use another conversion method.


There are several conversion methods. The only shorter method than this one is the PDF conversion in Calibre. However, The PDF conversion can cause line spacing issues in the final document. This is why I recommend the slightly more involved Web Page conversion instead. You'll have fewer 'layout' issues.

If you are still having format issues, then you'll either need to do the longer HTML Calibre conversion (see website instructions at the Calibre site) or hire it done by a professional.

I hope this short-cut helps you create MOBI files easily.


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