Advice about KDP Formatting

One of the most time-consuming things when working to self-publish a book, outside of the writing itself, has to be formatting. It’s not that the task is particularly difficult, per se, but every little change you make alters the format, which could throw the entire document off kilter. I’ve discovered a few things that make it all easier, for when you’re finally ready to sit down with Kindle Direct Publishing and do the damn thing:

1. Instead of using a page break when you finish writing a chapter, use the next page option. In Word, just click on Layout, then breaks, and scroll on down to where it says Next Page. This makes the next chapter a new section, and, in turn, makes it a lot easier to format headers and footers when you finally get around to numbering your pages and adding titles to the chapters.

2. Speaking of headers and footers, I find it a lot easier to completely format a manuscript before you decide to add page numbers and headers. That way, you’re not throwing off the numbering or section headings if you end up changing chapters. If you have a little checklist, make the page numbers the next to last thing you do.
3. In the past, I self-published once every year-and-a-half, which makes it difficult to remember exactly what I did previously formatting-wise. So, instead of bumbling around every time, trying to remember exactly how you made it so the text wouldn’t bleed onto the next page when formatting an eBook, create a document and keep track of things you do. Just in case.
4. Following that line of thought, the upmost important thing when self-publishing, regardless of what platform you use, is to be organized. Keep track of everything you do, so if something goes wrong, you know exactly what happened.
5. And finally, just have a good time! Self-publishing can be taxing and time consuming, but at the end, you get to see the fruits of your labor. Keep that in mind for when you’re squinting at your computer, feeling like you’d like to punch KDP in the face if they make you launch the previewer one more time. It’s your baby, and totally worth it.