How To Use The Amazon Kindle Create App For Better Ebooks

Publishing With Kindle Create

Kindle Create helps you format your Kindle ebook. If you are self-publishing Kindle ebooks on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), this is a must-have free app for you to use.

The program has improved considerably over the last couple of years. Initially, it was a little unstable, and its basic function was to help you format a Kindle book.

But stability is much better now, and Amazon has been slowly adding new features since it merged Createspace into KDP. While still in beta, Kindle Create can now format paperback books as well.

It is also now available in more languages. It supports eBooks in Dutch, English, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Malayalam, Marathi, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tamil.

How to get Kindle Create

If you are not familiar with it, here is a short Kindle Create review and how-to guide so you can get started.

Go to your KDP dashboard and make sure you are logged in.

In the help section, navigate to Tools and Resources and then Kindle Create.

Or you can click this link to go directly to the download page. The Kindle Create download is available for PC or Mac.

Kindle Create download

Download Kindle Create in your preferred version then install the software. It is a straightforward installation process.

 

Getting started

After you install the program and launch it, you will see the welcome screen.

home screen

But before you start, make sure you go to Preference Options and change one setting.

early access

Early access ensures that you have all the latest Kindle Create beta features that are available.

If you want to format paperback books, you need to have early access ticked.

Be aware, however, that by ticking this box, you will be using beta features that might not be working perfectly.

Click save after your choice and return to the home screen. Now click on New Project From File. You will see this screen.

book type

You can only upload a Microsoft Word file in either .doc or .docx file type by using the first option.

There are two other options.

One is to upload .pdf files for comic books. The other is to work with text-heavy textbooks, cookbooks, and music books.

This option also allows you to transform PDF files into interactive Print Replica ebooks.

Also, the last option allows the inclusion of interactive elements such as video that can be viewed using the Adobe Flash Player on certain Kindle devices.

For most authors, however, you will choose the first option and start working from your Word file to format Kindle ebooks or print books.

 

Opening your Word document

Once you select your .doc or .docx file and open it in Kindle Create, the program will start a short conversion process.

When it completes, you will see that the app automatically tries to create a table of contents.

You can see it in the top left-hand corner of the screen.

If you have used Heading styles in your Word document for your book title, subtitle, and chapter headings, the table of contents should be correct.

open file

 

If your chapter titles are not correct, to solve the problem, navigate to each chapter first paragraph, and set the chapter title using the buttons under the Elements menu on the right-hand side of your screen.

You should then save your changes. It will save your project into a new .kcb file.

It is the file Kindle Create uses that can be uploaded directly to KDP when you are ready to publish your book or ebook for the Kindle Store.

 

Styling and formatting your book

If you have Early Access ticked, you will get a reminder screen pop-up from time to time to tell you that you can prepare your ebook and print book using the same file.

The pop-up is a bit annoying, but the time saving is well worthwhile. There is no need to have two separate files of your manuscript for each version when you prepare your book.

ebook and paperback

 

Formatting with Kindle Create is similar to how you would do so with any word processor.

Use the formatting menu to make changes to your title page, body text fonts, apply drop caps, change paragraphs, indents, justification, and line spacing.

Make sure you save regularly to update your book as you make your changes and edits.

Keep in mind, though, that any fancy fonts you choose to use will work for a print book. But they will be replaced by the standard fonts that are available on Kindle devices for an ebook.

formatting

 

You can take a quick shortcut to your formatting by selecting a pre-set theme. Click the theme button at the top-right of your screen to make your selection.

theme

 

As you make changes to your book formatting, you can preview your reflowable ebook for Kindle, tablet, or phone. It is the best way to be sure that your book looks great on all device sizes.

ebook preview

Once you have finished formatting your book, you will then need to click on the Publish button. It will create a new .kpf publishing file that you can then use to upload your ebook to KDP.

However, there is no facility to export to a mobi file as yet.

Update: You can now add or edit links

It was not possible to insert or edit hyperlinks before. You needed to add these in your Word document and then re-import your Word file.

But now, if you update to the latest version of Kindle Create, you can insert hyperlinks into your ebooks.

 

Important points to consider regarding Kindle Create

The program is not a word processor, but you can certainly make small changes to your text in different types of books.

However, your original Word file will not be overwritten because it is only imported into Kindle Create.

So make sure that your manuscript Word file is perfect before you start formatting.

You should only start formatting your book after you have done a full and thorough grammar and spelling check and completed your proofreading.

As far as preparing your print on demand books, there are some issues that you should be aware of before you rush into publishing using this program.

Customization of margins, headers, page numbers, font.
You will not be able to customize the margins, headers, page numbers, and font.

Margins will be automatically calculated to meet KDP’s specifications.
Left-page headers will show the author name, right-page headers the book title.

The alignment and style of the author’s name and book title can’t be changed.

Page numbers are automatically added to the footer. (Print books only)
They will start on the first page of your book’s first chapter.

Font and font size for paperbacks can’t be changed.

For some authors, these issues might be a drawback. If so, it is best to stay with formatting your print books using Word and exporting to .pdf to have your books published.

But for ebooks, the software is excellent now, and it is a great tool to ensure that your book will be perfect for ebook readers.

Occasionally though, Kindle Create can throw up a few confusing error messages.

One of the main issues seems to be with javascript errors. If you get an error, check that the Java app on your Mac or PC is up to date.

Another cause can be a bug in your .docx Word file.

If you get an error using a .docx file, try saving your Word file in a new .doc file and try again.

These issues are rare now, but at least you have a way to fix them if they happen.

 

Conclusion

Kindle Create is a handy tool to have if you are self-publishing Kindle ebooks on Amazon KDP and Kindle Unlimited.

For print books, though, I think it is early days.

It is still a new beta feature, so there will be more development to come, and hopefully, Amazon will address some of the current restrictions in the future.

I have used it for ebooks for quite some time now, and it is an easy process from formatting right through to publishing.

The final result is always perfect. It is also an excellent tool for formatting poetry ebooks.

But I would not recommend it just yet for paperback publishing. Once this feature is out of the beta stage, it might be worthwhile, but it still has some way to go.

For more information, you can watch this short video about how to use Kindle Create.

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

8 thoughts on “How To Use The Amazon Kindle Create App For Better Ebooks

  • May 6, 2020 at 8:14 pm
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    I enjoyed your article very much. I have one question: What do you do about the cover? Do you add the cover in Kindle Create or is KC only for the inside and the cover is done separately?

    Reply
    • May 6, 2020 at 8:39 pm
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      You add your cover separately, Michelle. Kindle Create is only for the book text.

      Reply
  • February 22, 2020 at 7:29 pm
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    Hello, I will be converting from an MS-Word document to publish an eBook on Amazon. Can someone please suggest to me whether it would be better to use Amazon Kindle Create App or Calibre to accomplish the conversion? Many thanks for your valuable advice!

    -Chris

    Reply
    • February 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm
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      Kindle Create is easier to use. So I would suggest that as the best alternative of the two.

      Reply
  • December 27, 2019 at 3:01 am
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    This is helpful but only to a point. I have followed Amazon’s instructions on “eBook Manuscript Formatting Guide” exactly as they are written but the conversion always fails. The error message is generic so there’s no way to figure out what went wrong. I have sent a query to Amazon but am frustrated by the vagueness of the message.

    In addition, I found a tutorial for Kindle Create that specified uploading an “unformatted” file. Maybe this instruction is no longer applicable, but it begs the question of why it still part of the KC tutorial.

    I would like very much to use this app but without additional instructions I’m pretty much stuck.

    Reply
  • November 22, 2019 at 2:41 pm
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    good for next project in english,…. but not good for those projects which would be in Hindi… please provide those amazon’s employee’s contact number who can sort out Hindi’problem ,and also working in India in Amazon’s office

    Reply
  • May 13, 2019 at 6:26 pm
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    This is just the information I was looking for. It is clear, concise, and easy to follow.

    Reply

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