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How to Create Your First Kindle Ebook in 3 Easy Steps

Updated on November 25, 2011

You want to create a Kindle ebook but where do you start? At first glance it may seem all rather daunting but if you can use basic word processing software you can create a Kindle ebook. Here is an easy three step system I have developed for aspiring authors wanting to self publish their work. I came up with this system after days of trying to follow what was already published and getting nowhere fast. There is so much differing advice about how to create a Kindle ebook. The problem was that by following the information then available I either couldn't get a finished book, or if I did the quality was below what I wanted.

Free Software You Will Need To Create Your Kindle Ebook

You will need three software products, all are free to download and use. The word processing software I use is OpenOffice Writer. You will be using this to format your book. For the actual conversion to the Kindle format the free Mobipocket Creator works a treat. Finally, to admire your finished masterpiece I recommend the Kindle Previewer.

Your Kindle Ebook Cover

You have your manuscript but probably what you don't have is a cover. If you are even remotely artistic you may want to have bash at creating one yourself using or similar software. The image resolution should be a minimum of 300 dpi and the size 450 px by 550 px. A professional looking cover is essential because people do “judge a book by its cover”. You can source decent cover images from I particularly like this site because you really can use the images for free and there is no hidden small print about what you can and can't do with them. If all this is still too much then you can get a cover designed fairly inexpensively at a number of different web sites.

Save your document as an .html file
Save your document as an .html file

Step 1 – Formatting Your Document Using Open Office Writer

First we need to format our document. Open it with Open Office Writer and immediately save as an .html document. If you have a table of contents page copy and paste it to a new file and save. We will use this for reference in a moment. Now delete the table of contents from the document. We don't need it because the Mobipocket Creator will produce a hyper-linked TOC for the finished Kindle ebook.

Any page numbers must now be deleted because the Kindle format does not recognise individual pages.

Next format the headings and sub-headings. Using the saved table of contents file for reference work your way through the document highlighting the main chapter text and selecting the Heading 1 option from the formatting drop-down menu. Continue this process for the sub-headings using Heading 2, etc, and so on.

You can bold and italicize your text although keeping the formatting fairly simple is to be recommended. Finally save your finished document as an .html file.

Kindle Ebook Created Using MobiPocket Creator
Kindle Ebook Created Using MobiPocket Creator

Step 2 – Using Mobipocket Creator to Convert Your Document to a Kindle Ebook

Now to convert our document to the Kindle format. Open the Mobipocket Creator and select the option 'Import From Existing File'. Use the Import File Wizard to browse to the location of your .html document and click 'Import'.

Next we fetch in our cover image. Select 'Cover Image' then 'Add a Cover Image'. Import the image and press 'Update' to complete the process.

Continuing the process we now add the table of contents. Select 'Table of Contents' from the menu. I leave the 'Table of Contents Title' data entry field blank. We have previously designated the Heading tags so we enter this information into the 'Table of Contents Generation rules' in the 'Tag name' column. The 'First Level' is H1, 'Second Level' is H2 and so on. Leave the other columns blank. When finished press the 'Update' button.

The next screen is for the book title, author, publisher, price, description and more. I don't fill this in because this information is not recorded in your published Kindle ebook. It is for other publishing formats but not Kindle.

Now for the exciting part. Select 'Build' on the top menu. The options 'Standard Compression' and 'No Encryption' are the default settings and I leave these unchanged. Click the 'Build' button. A few seconds later and, hey presto, you have your finished Kindle ebook.

Press the 'OK' button to open the destination folder containing your finished Kindle ebook.

Kindle Previewer
Kindle Previewer

Step 3 – Reviewing the Finished Kindle Ebook Using the Kindle Previewer

We will now use the Kindle Previewer software to admire our new creation. Your Kindle ebook can be viewed on the Kindle, the Ipad, and the Iphone. Select which device you want to preview with from the 'Devices' drop down menu. The default opening page is the 'Beginning' and this is the first content page of your book. Using the 'Go To' drop down menu you can view the 'Table of Contents' and the 'Cover'.

That's it. Now you know how to publish you own Kindle ebook. Have fun and remember me when you are a famous author!

Amazon Self Publishing - Recommended


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    • lady rain profile image

      lady rain 6 years ago from Australia

      Great information on creating Kindle Ebooks. Voted up and useful.