All right my fellow Indie authors. You have your manuscript, it’s formatted, justified, all headings and breaks centered, a table of contents, an about the author, a title page, a copyright page, and your author notes. All links work, you’ve checked and checked again.

 

Now we’re going over the formats you need for Smashwords, Google Play, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook. There are others you can do, but in short the formats you make today will work on them all.

 

Let’s start with Google Play as it is the easiest. First up, go back to your copyright page. Remember how you had an Edition line to add? Simply mark this as Google Play edition. Next, you’re using Microsoft Word, right? You’d better be. All you must do now is SAVE AS *.PDF. Do NOT use a converter like CutePDF here, just let Microsoft do it. Now you have a PDF (“title_GPlay.PDF”), all you need do is check it, make sure the links work, the images are embedded correctly, and nothing is wonky. Now, set that aside.

 

For Smashwords, once more you change the edition to read Smashwords Edition. This is very important! The other platforms don’t care overmuch, but Smashwords will NOT publish your eBook unless you have this. Again, we’re using Microsoft like real adults, right? Save it as *.DOC (in the “Save As” dialog, on the dropdown select save as a word 97-2003, which is *.doc. Once more go through it, test links.

 

An additional step is return to bookmarks. Make sure there are NO hidden bookmarks. The bookmarks are what fucks up Smashwords conversions, so make sure the only bookmarks are your chapters and sections. Save it as “title_Smashwords.doc”, and set it aside for the moment.

 

Next for Nook, open up “title_Smashwords.doc” and click save as. Save it now as “title_Nook.doc” so you have two *.Doc copies. In title_Nook.doc change the edition to read “Nook Edition” and save it.

 

All right, all that was easy, right? Go take a smoke break, eat some ice cream, get a massage. Because Amazon hates you, and wants to see you jump through as many hoops as possible. They suffer the delusion that they are Google and can command industry standards, so this process is going to be miles off the others. A quick note, any others like LuLu.com will take your PDF or DOC version just fine. Not Amazon.

 

First up, get the Kindle Previewer (http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000765261 ) and also download Mobi Pocket Creator (http://www.mobipocket.com/en/DownloadSoft/DownloadCreator.asp ). We’re going to use this rather than Callibre for our first book. If you prefer to use Callibre, let me know and I’ll offer a tutorial on it, but Mobi is a bit easier and better for beginners.

 

Now, you’ve downloaded and installed these programs. Great. Next, open up your manuscript and change the edition to read “Kindle Edition.” This is important for the first try, you need to also delete any pictures you have inside (such as the cover). Once those are gone, in the SAVE AS panel drop-down, select SAVE AS A WEB PAGE. Title it “title_Amazon.html”

 

Double click that, load it into your default browser. Check the links, all the links. Make sure they work! Okay, now, you open up MobiPocket Creator. You will want to click “New Blank Publication.”

 


 

Enter in the title, select a folder to create the eBook, and then hit CREATE.

 


 

The next screen will ask you to add the HTML file you just created, so click on ADD FILE and upload it.

 


 

Next, click on COVER IMAGE on the left side, then upload your cover image.

 


 

Now you want to skip down to METADATA. Don’t adjust anything else! In Metadata, fill in all the options you can.

 


 

You’ll need your blurb, and all the other info, and you can upload the cover again or use the embedded, what you uploaded before. After finishing the info, click UPDATE at the bottom.

 


 

Now you end up on a screen where you must look up. Choose the option BUILD and click.

 


 

Make sure all the options look as they do in the following picture. Make sure DRM is checked (Amazon appreciates this) and then click BUILD.

 


 

Once built, you will want to click SHOW BUILD DETAILS if you have any warnings. In my example I didn’t specify the cover, it’s my only warning, but if you followed the steps you will have none.

 


 

Now it’s time to open up Kindle Previewer.  Hit CTRL+O or go up to FILE, the OPEN BOOK, and navigate to the output folder Mobipocket Created.

 


 

Make sure you select the *.OPF file. Once you do, it will build it for you, looking like this:

 


 

Once it is built, click OK, and your preview comes up (I used The Violin Case for this example.) If you did it all correctly, it will look like this:

 


 

All that is left is for you to go through it and make sure all links work, the spacing is normal, and there are no issues. When there are none, go ahead and add the cover image back into the file and repeat, be sure to check it on the previewer (just the cover this time).

 

Once that is done you have all the formats you need. Next time we’ll go over uploading these all, a true pain in the ass. So relax for the moment, you’re three-quarters through the hardest part, almost home. Next time we learn how to smoothly upload everything to limit issues, and after that we’ll deal with technical issues and pricing. For now, once you finish these, go and browse these stores and take a look at how eBooks are priced. Having that knowledge is going to help.