Last October, I started using Kindle Create to prepare my manuscript for publication and wrote about my experience using Kindle Create to create your manuscript.
Amazon has now released an Early Access feature that shows the direction the company wants to take their software.
Prepare Your eBook and Paperback with Kindle Create
The new feature’s main point is that it lets you design both a Paperback and eBook edition from a single file. In effect, Amazon wants you to stop using Word to format your document. Instead, you will paste your text into Kindle Create and format it there.
Several elements that you needed to enter manually until now, will be handled automatically by Kindle Create. Specifically:
- Kindle Create will automatically enter the book title at the top of the right-hand pages and the author’s name on the left-hand ones. Their alignment and style can’t be changed.
- Margins will be automatically calculated to meet KDP’s specifications.
- Page numbers are automatically added to the footer. They’ll start on the first page of your book’s first chapter.
- You can no longer specify font and font size for paperbacks.
- You can create a Table of Contents by specifying which pages you’d like included.
Why the change?
To me, the new feature suggests that Amazon is fed up with authors complaining about the way KDP Print deals with details such as margins. CreateSpace made a ton of small amendments to your files but KDP Print is fully automated. As a result, the majority of files will run into trouble before they are accepted for (paperback) publication. And all these frustrated authors inevitably contact KDP Support asking for help with their files–help which support isn’t really designed to provide (the reason why I was so sad to see CreateSpace stop publishing books).
So, in typical Amazon fashion, the company is creating software that will automate the process. All you need to do is enter your text and Kindle Create will generate the files you need. It will also format margins and fonts, therefore taking care of that particular nuisance.
Pros and Cons
The new feature will probably be helpful for many Indie authors, especially smaller ones, who don’t really wish to have to deal with formatting but lack the capital to outsource the job. Kindle Create’s interface is pretty intuitive, in part because it’s so basic. By limiting the things authors can customize, Kindle Create eliminates a number of potential errors.
Also, the fact that you can now create a single file and have both the eBook and paperback editions ready for upload will be a significant bonus for many.
If, however, you are one of those people who like to customize every single aspect of your book, you may find it too constrictive. Hiring a professional or formatting it yourself using tools like Calibre’s eBook editor may be a better option for you.
How to turn on the new feature
To use the new feature, open Kindle Create and turn on Early Access:
- Windows. Choose Help > Settings > Early Access
- Mac. Choose Kindle Create > Preferences > Early Access, then check the Enable Beta Features box
As you can guess, the new feature is designed for novels; not comics. As before, Kindle Create supports eBooks in Dutch, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Malayalam, Marathi, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tamil.