Converting from MS Word to Mobi Using Kindle Create

Hello SErs! Harmony here. Do you struggle to convert your manuscript into a Kindle file? Are you spending lots of money on conversion? Then read on.

As some of you will know already, Kindle have brought out new free software to help its KDP authors convert their manuscripts into mobi files for Kindle. Today, I thought I’d take a quick run through of what it does and doesn’t do.

[Note: I have the Mac version, so screenshots may look a little different if you have a PC version]

Here’s a quick 4 minute video showing how to use the basics …

You can import your Word file and make it look pretty with ease. You can add chapter title and first line fonts, styles, etc. You can also import a PDF and work from that to preserve text and image placement, etc. For novels, I would recommend working from your original Word document.

Scrivener users already have all the tools they need using the compile settings. This is for Word users who have a basic raw manuscript to convert.

Upload your manuscript:

Once you click open, KC imports your book and gives you the following …

Click on ‘Get Started’. KC now gives you a list of detected chapters. Untick any that you don’t want including, such as your copyright page, etc, if it has highlighted those.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now you’re ready to work on your elements, such as chapter titles, first line styles, etc. …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlight your chapter title as above, and then click on the formatting tab to get your different elements. You can also click on the ‘theme’ button above, next to your ‘save’, ‘preview’, and ‘publish’ buttons …

I chose ‘Amour’, which gave me this …

 

 

 

 

 

You can do the same for your first line settings ….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindle Create is so easy to use and play with, so don’t be afraid to experiment.

When you select a title, subtitle, paragraph, or line of text, you can apply a number of ready-made templates on it using the menu to the right of the page.Β  A set of Elements exists for the book body, the book start and end pages, the book title page, the chapter start pages, etc.

You can even format individual sections of text as well as inserting images, page breaks, and new chapters.

Kindle create lets you set up your table of contents too.

I won’t share too much here as KC has an excellent in-built tutorial the first time you use it, as well as online videos and help.

You can secure your original manuscript by doing a ‘save as’ from KC, so any changes you make will not overwrite your original file. I would strongly recommend the ‘save as’ option.

 

WHAT IT DOESN’T DO

Me being me, I wasn’t happy being locked in to just a Kindle file. I have used a free conversion program for years now, called Calibre. One of the kind contributors, John Howell, has produced a free plugin to let you convert the proprietary file format that KC exports into ePub, etc. You can find this great tool HERE. I wouldn’t be without it. Even though I live and breathe in Scrivener these days, I do convert for other people sometimes, and Calibre is so awesome.

The alternative, of course, if you have Scrivener, is to import your Word doc into that and then compile/convert … really simple once you know how.

Amazon are continually adding updates to Kindle Create. Just in December, they added new image and Table Of Contents formatting.

Have any of you published from Kindle Create yet? What was your experience? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

CLICK TO TWEET

Harmony Kent

35 thoughts on “Converting from MS Word to Mobi Using Kindle Create

  1. Pingback: Converting from MS Word to Mobi Using Kindle Create ~ Harmony Kent | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  2. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links – Staci Troilo

    • Yes, the straight upload and conversion can be hit and miss. Glad you’ve had all hits so far! The Calibre developers are so generous with their software and add ons. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for this informational post, Harmony. I had no idea about any of this. I’ve used Adobe InDesign to create the PDFs submitted for my print books through CreateSpace. Currently working on a new book and unsure of how everything works for KDP Print. Saving your post and sharing…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I format for several authors, but have not used this program. Before they had programs out there for formatting, I did it the old fashioned way. I’m curious to see how this works for everyone. As with any program, there will be both pros and cons. I hope they keep the program free. It seems once they discover it’s a popular program they could start charging.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow! This looks awesome Harmony. For my indie releases, I always had to convert my doc files to HTML, then use Calibre to convert to Mobi. So if I’m reading this correctly, I’ll now be able to upload the Word file directly without stripping it of coding. Is that right? I will probably release an indie collection of short stories this spring and this would be a life saver. Very exciting!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks, Harmony! This is a great tutorial. I struggled for days trying to format my short story last year. I have Calibre and like it, but will also check out John’s tool. Good stuff! Pinning for future reference!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I used Calibre and found it hard on the eyes and not user-friendly. But it gets the job done. (I found it easier to compile in Scrivener then fix oddities in Calibre than to work with a Word file, though.) This new tool looks pretty simple. Do you have any idea how it compares to Vellum?

    Great post, Harmony.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Unfortunately, I haven’t used Vellum yet. It could be one for me to try out. Like you, I much prefer Scrivener over everything else these days. Thanks, Staci, glad enjoyed the post πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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