How to make your Kindle work for you

For Christmas last year Santa brought me one of the best presents ever. A Kindle Touch! I love my Kindle. Like really, really love it. Don’t get me wrong I love books. I love the smell of books and the feeling of a well-read paperback in my hands. But I love the compact nature of the Kindle and I love that I can carry all my favourite books around with me wherever I go.

And there is something else I love about my Kindle. It saves me money and time and effort – although not in the way you might think.

I’m a writer. And as a writer I spend alot of time not only writing my books but also editing them (far more time that I would like to admit). Once upon a time I would complete the first draft of my novel and head to the printer to print all 400 pages which wasted ink and paper and time and obviously money. But not anymore.

Now all I need to do is convert my word file into a Kindle file, transfer the file onto my Kindle and voila there it is, ready for reading/editing/supplying to my beta-readers, whatever. And it doesn’t need to be a novel, you can convert anything you like and read it on your Kindle: Short stories; Essays; your PhD Thesis; Anything.

Okay, so your not particularly computer savvy and all that sounds too difficult? Believe me it’s not. Here is a step-by-step run down of how to convert a Word file into a Kindle formatted document. (Note that this provides only a very basic format for the Kindle, you cannot jump between chapters or view imbedded images – this is purely for reading your book without wasting paper or sitting at a computer screen).

Step 1: Downloading Mobipocket eBook Creator

In a few steps time you are going to need an eBook creator program. I recommend Mobipocket. The program can be found on this website. Downloading it is as simple as clicking DOWNLOAD and following the instructions. Oh yeah, and it’s free!

Step 2: Saving your Word file

In order to remove alot of the extraneous data and tags from your Word document you need to save as a HTML format (you don’t need to know why so let’s just go ahead and show you how to do it!). Click on FILE then SAVE AS. Type in an appropriate name for your file and (here is the important part) change the SAVE AS TYPE to WEBPAGE, FILTERED. Then click save.

Step 3: Creating a Kindle formatted fileMobipocket Import

Open Mobipocket Creator. Under IMPORT FROM EXISTING FILE click on HTML DOCUMENT. Browse to find the HTML file you saved in the previous step and click IMPORT. Once the file is open click on the BUILD icon at the top of the screen. Leave the settings and click BUILD. There will be warnings (most likely to inform you your book doesn’t have a cover specified – but you don’t need one) Ignore the warnings and click OK. This will open the folder that contains your newly converted file. (If for some reason this doesn’t open the file will be under My Documents/My Publications/The title of your HTML file.) Note that you should now have a folder containing 3 files. A HTML file, an OPF file and an SQL file.

Step 4: Transfering the file to your Kindle

Plug your Kindle into your computer (via USB). Copy the SQL FILE you created in step 3 above and paste the file into your DOCUMENTS folder on your Kindle. Eject your Kindle from your computer.

Congratulations. You now have your own book on your Kindle.

Do you have a Kindle? Do you love it as much as I love mine? Was this information useful to you? As always I love hearing from you.

Jody Moller

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2 responses to “How to make your Kindle work for you

  1. I don’t have a Kindle, but rather a Nook color. And I agree that they are cool little devices to have for a number of reasons. Formattng for Nook is (in my opinon) much more involved than what is required for Kindle, so I don’t waste the time. Now my wife has an iPad2 and that looks to be more capable for cloud storage and easy edit work on manuscripts. Good call on saving money by not printing, too! Heck, the Kindle will pay for itself in no time when you consider those ink costs.

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