As you know, I have been going into quite a lot of detail on the subject of publishing with Draft2Digital lately. Despite that, the bulk of my sales are still via Kindle on Amazon. Although Draft2Digital epub files can be uploaded to Amazon for conversion to Kindle, this feature is currently disabled for my D2D editions because the books are already there, published through Amazon's own publishing utility, KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing).
That may change in the course of time. If the D2D venture proves to be very successful, I have the option to unpublish the KDP editions and put out the D2Ds everywhere and in every format (including Amazon and Kindle).
For now, though, that is the way it is.
There is a number of different ways that you can upload an ebook to KDP. The one I use is Amazon's proprietary software, Kindle Create. In my opinion (born out by experience) this is one of the easiest ways to upload your book and it produces some of the very best results.
This past weekend, however, I made a discovery that has caused me to modify my approach.
To explain. Most writers use the world's most popular and powerful word processing software: Microsoft Word. I am not one of them. While acknowledging its virtues, I think it is grossly overpriced, excessively greedy of disc space and less than perfect in some of its procedures. Because of Word's dominance, most other word processors are designed to be compatible with it. Thus, they can open a Word file directly and save a file in Word format. In theory, that also enables them to interact with a Word-based application. My word processor of choice is WPS Writer, which has a beautifully designed interface and is an intuitive delight to work with.
Kindle Create is designed to accept Word files. This should not be a problem for WPS because its default saving format is .docx - the same as Word's. Thus, as far as KC is concerned, it is being fed a Word file. It turns out, however, that WPS is not quite as compatible as I thought. When you load a WPS file into Kindle Create, it produces unwanted little gaps between the paragraphs. These are easy to get rid of by highlighting the text, a chapter at a time, and adjusting the spacing settings. Until now, that is what I have done. This past weekend, however, I discovered that this procedure may lead to the file that the customer downloads becoming 'fixed' (meaning that the reader cannot change the font or text size on their Kindle.
The solution is to use a more compatible word processor. That does not mean that I am abandoning WPS - far from it - but that I am bringing Libre Office back into play. Libre Office is an open-source (ie: free) office suite. It's word processor, Libre Office Writer, is renowned for the quality of the Html files that it can produce - which makes it very compatible with Kindle Create. I can open a WPS file with Libre Office and use that to make another .docx file that will load into Kindle Create without the annoying little gaps appearing or the font becoming fixed. It doesn't require wholesale alterations, in fact the vast majority of the file remains untouched. I only need to make a new table of contents. So far, I have republished 'Chained in Time' and 'Rutter's Revolt' and will work my way through the other books in the coming week or ten days.
You can download the current edition by buying directly from Amazon if you have not previously bought the book. If you already have a copy, but would like the latest version, email Amazon and ask them to 'push' the latest edition to your account. You can then download it, free of charge, as normal.
Writer of Fantasy, thrillers, comedy - and anything else that takes my fancy.