Assuming you’ve already made the decision to self-publish, there are some very good reasons to go with Amazon and the Kindle. The Kindle is the dominant dedicated ereader device currently on the market, and the ebook market has been growing at a rate of around 400% year over year since 2007. It’s simply too large a market sector for authors and publishers to ignore. Publishing your book in Kindle format via Amazon’s DTP is free, and doing so gets your work onto the virtual shelves at Amazon in a matter of days.
Also, it’s no longer true that only Kindle owners will be able to buy and read your Kindle book: Amazon has released free Kindle reader “apps” that run on PCs, Macs, smart phones, the iPad, the iPod Touch, the iPhone, Blackberrys, and numerous other devices.
About the only people left out of the Kindle book party are those who only read ebooks on competing, dedicated devices (e.g., the Sony Reader). Releasing a Kindle edition of your book can be a very cost effective trial for a book you’re considering releasing in print formats.
This instructable covers the basic steps to prepare your document for publication on the Kindle eBook reader. The process itself is pretty straightforward, once you have the document. Which is, not surprisingly, the hard part.
Step 1: Getting Started
You're going to need a word processing program of some sort to prepare your manuscript. Here you have to make a decision about your publishing future. If you plan someday to distribute your document in print format you may want to take advantage of many advanced formatting and other features of a higher end word processor such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice (free from www.openoffice.org).
If, on the other hand, you plan only to publish eBooks then you are much better off to use a WYSIWYG HTML processor such as Kompozer or the SeaMonkey HTML editor.
A comprehensive comparison of HTML editors can be found on wikipedia.
You're going to need a graphics editor to prepare your cover art. This can be as simple as Microsoft Paint or something far more complex such as Adobe PhotoShop. I generally use the GNU Image Manipulation Program (free from www.gimp.org) for image editing.
You'll need a program to convert the HTML file into the Kindle format. There is a conversion program available from Amazon for PC, Mac and Linux users. It is called KindleGen and may be download for free from the Amazon DIgital Text Platform site. You will also want to download the Kindle Previewer so you can double check the formatting.
Choosing this option means you will have to manually create the table of contents file using a text editor.
For PC users the Mobi Pocket Creator ( also free ) is a better choice. This includes file import along with a Table of Contents wizard that makes the process of creating the TOC trivial.
Once your book has been properly formatted and a table of contents prepared your book is ready to be uploaded to Amazon and sold to the general public.
Okay so new that we've downloaded the software we're ready to begin.....