Friday, 3 January 2014

KDP formatting - those troublesome first-line-of-a-chapter indents

Got through the formatting minefield and successfully published your story on CreateSpace? Congratulations!

But the job is only half done. Most authors want an e-book version of their work. What could be simpler? Just click the buttons and follow the steps from CS to Kindle Direct Publishing. The hard work is already done. Right? It's time to uncork the bubbly and celebrate.

Whoa, hold your horses! Don't make the mistake of thinking that because all the kinks were ironed out of the print version, KDP will automatically format as you want it.

Every page must be checked - just as you did after uploading your file to CS.

Having recently published three novels on KDP, I can point to two issues that require careful attention.
  • Dialogue that ends in a dash (-) or three dots ( . . .).  After uploading to KDP you may find places where the three dots are split, with only two on one line and the third carried over to the next line. Or a sentence ending in a dash could have the words on one line and the dash appearing on the next line with only the speech mark (") for company.
  • First-line-of-chapter indent. You've followed the steps from CS to KDP and are reviewing the content on the on-screen previewer when you notice the first line of each chapter is indented. First line after section breaks too. Huh? This didn't happen with the CS print version, so what's gone wrong? Through reading community threads I learned that KDP indent every paragraph. So it's up to you to amend those first liners.
Corrections must be made to your original file stored in your desktop or laptop.

Fixing the dash and dot issues is simple - just a matter of altering the wording of the offending sentences to change their length. The best way of correcting the indents, I read, is to highlight the paragraph. Then go to 'paragraph' at the top of the Word page and click Special, then from the box 'first line'. Next at By type in 0.01 and then click OK. This command overrules the KDP default. Repeat for each chapter's first paragraph and each section break.

Then upload to KDP - and re-check.

It worked for me.

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