What is Kinstant Formatter?
Kinstant Formatter is a quick, easy and secure tool that will produce a Kindle book that's as faithful as possible to the original Word document without having to edit HTML manually.
Do you have a video showing how to use it?http://youtu.be/VtOnA0_fIu8
Will it format for the new Kindle devices?
Yes! Kinstant Formatter will produce a single ePub file that you upload to Amazon and will work on all devices.
We've received reports from some customers that Amazon is rejecting mobi files created by third party applications so in order to ensure that your book is accepted by Amazon we've replaced the mobi file output with a special ePub file that contains exactly the same information as the mobi file that KF used to produce. When you open the ePub file using the Kindle Previewer, the ePub will automatically be converted to mobi format. This mobi file is exactly the same as the mobi file that Kinstant Formatter used to produce. It has the advantage that it is supported directly by Amazon so you can be confident that your book will be accepted. If your book has already been published using the old mobi format you don't need to worry - you don't need to replace it with the ePub.
You will notice that you can choose different output formats in the advanced options:
- Kindle ePub (default): use this to submit to Amazon (or submit the mobi file that the Preview generates - the result is the same). 99% of the time you will need this option. Please note that this is a special format for the Kindle Previewer and to upload to Amazon. It will not work on any other ePub reader and the Kindle reader app for PC will not be able to open it.
- Kindle HTML: if you want to want to edit the HTML before you submit to Amazon then select this option.
- Standard ePub: this option will produce an ebook that will work on all standard ebook readers.
- Standard HTML: use this option if you want to publish your book as a webpage/website.
Is Kinstant Formatter secure?
Yes, everything (your username, password, Word documents and all downloads) is encrypted by the browser over https using secure sockets layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols. This means that your data cannot be intercepted and stolen during transmission. Additionally, all files are store temporarily during the conversion process and they are deleted automatically as soon as you hit the download button. There's no way that your book can be accessed by anybody else.
Will the Kindle links work (Cover, Table of Contents, Go to beginning, Location map...)
Yes! Make sure you choose the Kindle ePub output format option.
Are there any technical requirements?
I never received my account information could you send it to me again please?
Please look in your spam for a mail from Steven Henty (email address: noreply at word2kindle.com). If you can't find it, please open a support ticket.
Can I change my password?
Yes, once you've logged in, click here.
Can I change my email address?
If you need to change the email address you use to log in, please get in touch with support. Please bear in mind that using your email address to log in will not mean that we will be sending you emails all the time. We may send you the occasional email but it will only be important information about your account. This is totally separate from the mailing list which you had the opportunity to opt in to when you signed up.
Why can't I log in?
There are a few reasons why this might be. Please bear in mind that your account will be locked automatically after 5 failed login attempts. Also, if we suspect that your account is being shared we may close it. Please contact support.
Is it suitable for all types of books?
The application best results with simple layouts like fiction and books with a few illustrative images. It doesn't work so well with books that need a fixed layout. That said, you'll probably find that it works perfectly, and if it doesn't, please get in touch with support.
So how do I convert my fixed layout book into Kindle format?
Newer Kindles do have support for fixed layouts and some books, like childrens books, benefit from fixed layout designs. Unless you're prepared to roll up your sleeves with some HTML it's probably advisable to consult a professional designer. There are specialist tools available to do this.
My book has lots of images, will they come out ok?
It will handle any number of images absolutely fine but only if they are positioned "inline with text". Any images that are not inline may produce unexpected results. There's nice explanation of inline images, and why you should be using them anyway here.
Can I format my client's books?
Yes, as long as you have a credit account. If you see your credit balance on the homepage then you have a credit account. If you purchased after 1 May then you probably have a credit account. If you purchased before that you probably have a life account which is only valid for personal use - the books you publish in your Kindle account. If you have any doubts about this, please get in touch with support.
Any tips for best results?
- Try to divide your content into "chapters" with a Heading 1 style title. The application will add a clickable table of contents to the beginning of the book.
- Use page breaks at the end of each chapter.
- If you have a manual TOC, it's probably better to remove it and let the application generate one for you.
- Avoid fixed page layouts. Word doesn't handle fixed layouts very well and most Kindle devices don't understand the concept of a "page" anyway. So, if you try to get the application to convert fixed layouts you'll be banging your head against the wall, I'm afraid.
- Switch to "Web View" in Word so you don't get tempted to format your text according to the page dimensions in the "Print Layout".
- Don't include a cover inside the Word document. You need to upload that separately. That way you'll be able to replace it in Amazon at any time once it's been published.
- The application will handle any number of images fine but only if they are positioned "inline with text". Any images that are not inline may produce unexpected results. There's nice explanation of inline images, and why you should be using them anyway here.
- Make sure all your fonts (names & sizes) and paragraph & line spacing are consistent throughout your document even small differences can look really big on the Kindle.
- Make use of "Styles" wherever possible and make changes to the styles rather than the text. This wil help to keep the file size down and it'll help keep the look and feel of your book consistent.
- Avoid using line breaks ([shift]+[enter]) and use paragraph breaks (just [enter]) wherever possible instead. This isn't just for the Kindle formatting, you'll find Word much easier to use in general. For example, if you're using line breaks you'll find styles virtually impossible to use because styles are applied to paragraphs.
- Word documents can become corrupt. They can also get very bloated and messy "under the hood" if lots of changes are made to the formatting. If you're getting very inconsistent formatting throughout the epub, and your attempts at correcting at are starting to get frustrating, consider clearing all the formatting for the document and starting again - preferably in a new document. You may find that you need to clear the formatting by copying and pasting into a text editor like Notepad first.
- Don't try to set the background colour of your text (e.g. white text on a black background). Amazon has been known to suspend books which do this.
- Don't expect perfection. The Kindle is essentially a primitive Web browser and Word is a very sophisticated Word processor so sometimes the slipper just doesn't fit, I'm afraid.
What file formats are accepted?
Kinstant Formatter accepts .doc, .docx and .odt (Open Office) files. Support for .odt is very much a "test" feature - you might get better results if you convert to doc. It works best with documents created with Microsoft Word. Please bear in mind that exporting documents from other software (including Open Office, Pages etc) into Word format is never 100% and this may get reflected in the final Kindle book.
Can I use transparent PNGs?
Yes, but Kindles don't support transparent images. Normally they would show up with a black background instead of transparent which looks terrible, so your images will automatically be given a white background.
Do I need to use a specific layout or specific page dimensions in my Word document (A4, A5, margins = 0, margins = 1, etc...)?
No, the Kindles will ignore all that information. Just leave the default settings and you should be fine.
Does I have to your real name in the author box? What if I want to use pen names?
You can use any names you like! Just type your pen name in, and then use that name when you upload your book to Amazon.
Can I add video?
Yes and no. Although you'll find video embedding in the Kindle Publishing Specs, the reality at the moment is that KDP for self publishers
doesn't work. So why is it in the specs? The specs are for all publishers big and small, and
bigger publishers don't use the KDP platform. Anyway, even if you could embed video it wouldn't be advisable to do so unless you're an expert at video
compression and you don't mind increased distribution costs. Most videos will just bloat the file size and incur enormous distribution royalties.
The best way to add video to an ebook is to add an image and link the image to a video on the Web - on YouTube for example.
Why am I getting conversion warnings?
This is usually because the cover is not big enough. Here are the requirements from Amazon:
- Minimum of 1000 pixels on the longest side
- Ideal height/width ratio of 1.6
It's not working! Why am I getting an error?
There are a few reaons why this might be. Please make sure you have the lastest version of Flash Player installed.
You can check your version here.
If you need to convert files of more than 20MB, please get in touch with support. If your file size is smaller than 20MB please log out, empty your cache, close your browser and try again. If you have a different browser installed you may want to try that. If the problem persists, please get in touch with support.
Help! I can't find the .epub file!
Depending on your browser settings you will either be asked where you want to save the file or be told where it's been saved. You can usually find it in your "downloads" folder.
How do I open the .epub file?
You can preview your .epub file using the Kindle Previewer (Download here from Amazon). The best way to open it is to drag and drop your .epub file on to the Previewer. The Previewer will then convert your book to .mobi format and then display your book.
Why isn't my cover updating in my Kindle Reader for PC/Mac application?
The Kindle Reader is a little strange like that. It won't update books very easily. You have to delete the mobi file from the "My Documents\My Kindle Content" folder. By the way, I recommend that you don't use the Kindle Reader application to preview your books. In addition to this problem I've just described it doesn't actually give an acccurate impression of what your book will look like on the Kindle devices. Please make sure you download and install the Kindle Previewer. I find it's best to open the Previewer first and then drag and drop the ePub file on to the Previewer.
How do I create a cover?
If you already have your cover designed in Word and you're not sure abouit how to go about converting it into a jpeg, then this article might help you.
How do I create a table of contents?
Kinstant Formatter will insert an automatic table of contents (TOC) at the beginning of the book based on the Headings in your document (following this process). If your document already has an automatic TOC then, by default, it will get replaced at the same location.
The bullet points aren't lined up properly. Can this be improved?
Please try the following. Select all the text in the list, clear the formatting and reapply the bullet points/numbering. To clear the formatting you can use the clear formatting button in Word or, right click, styles, clear formatting.
I'm getting strange formatting like underlining and spacing that shouldn't be there
Word docs often become corrupt and it's impossible to see where the problem is in Word. When this happens the only thing you can do is to clear the formatting and start again. To clear the formatting you can use the clear formatting button in Word or, right click, styles, clear formatting. If that still doesn't work, then you may need to copy and paste the text to a text editor like Notepad first and then copy and paste it back into Word.
I'm getting whole paragraphs of my body text in my table of contents. Why doesn't it display only the titles?
Anything that has a "Heading" style will appear in the table of contents. try changing the style to "Normal".
Why are my special symbols showing up as little squares/question marks/strange symbols?
The Kindles have a small set of fonts, and in some cases, only one font. So don't try to include fancy symbols from your wingdings font because it won't show up correctly.
The alignment is all wrong
Please try selecting the advanced option "force alignment". Please bear in mind however, that this is against the Kindle Publishing guidelines and Amazon has been known to suspend books which force alignment.
I'm getting a Table of Contents at the beginning of the book but I'd prefer to have something else as the first page.
Create a new page with the title Table of Contents (or anything you like) and insert a default TOC. The TOC will be replaced with a TOC suitable for the Kindle at the same location. This way you can make sure that the first page in your Word document is the first page in the Kindle version.
The links to "beginning" and to the TOC are showing a blank page.
You may find you need to uncheck the advanced option to add/replace TOC.
Can I edit the final .epub file?
You can edit epub files but you can edit HTML files you're so inclined. Select an HTML option from the "output format" advanced option and you'll get a zip. Unzip the file and you'll be able to edit the HTML.
Can I use drop caps in my document?
Kindles generally don't handle drop caps well. However, the application will replace your drop cap letters with one large letter on the same line - that way you can be sure that it'll look ok on all devices.
Will footnotes/endnotes, bookmarks and hyperlinks work?
Yes. Footnotes/endnotes will appear at the end of the document.
Will Kinstant Formatter respect my "toc" and "start" bookmarks?
Yes. If you've done a bit of research then you'll have discovered that Amazon will recognise certain bookmarks in your document. If you add a bookmark called "toc" then Amazon KDP will know where to link your "Table of Contents". A bookmark with the name "start" will tell the Kindle where to open the book for the first time. The application will respect these bookmarks if you have inlcuded them in your document.
The application looks amazing - is there anything that it can't do?!
It corrects a few things and it will convert most documents perfectly well. But it's not a magic wand. It assumes that what you have in Word is what you want on the Kindle but sometimes the Kindle is less forgiving than Word and shows up the errors more clearly. Here are some examples of formatting issues I've seen that the application won't fix:
- Incorrect use of styles. If you notice that your table of contents contains sections of your body text it's probably because, at some point, that text was given a "Heading" style and then disguised later as body text by changing the font. You may need to give it the "Normal" style. Use the built-in Heading styles and modify them if you need to - don't try to create new styles.
- Inconsistent use of tabs and indents. If you notice jagged indents, it might be because some of them are tabs and some of them are indents. You'll need to choose one or the other.
- Not using page breaks. Unlike your Word document, Kindles don't have fixed page dimensions so you can't assume that the page breaks will automatically appear in the same place. If you'd like your Kindle book to start a new page then insert a page break where you want it to appear.
- Tables will only display correctly on some Kindle devices but not on all. The black and white Kindles especially have difficulty displaying tables. This is not because of the way the application generates tables, some Kindle just don't support tables. I'd suggest trying it and checking to see what it looks like in the Previewer. Simple tables can sometimes look acceptable. If it's not acceptable then here are a couple of ideas from the Kindle Publishing Guidelines for you to consider: 1. Offer extra/bonus content in the form of spreadsheets on your website. 2. Create an image from the table, insert the image into your document and delete the table. This is only recommended for small tables. GIF and PNG formats work better than JPEG for tables.
The following things may produce unexpected results:
- Images that are not positioned "inline with text". For example, two images overlapping is not going to work at all. There's nice explanation of inline images here.
- Images that are "linked" rather than embedded will display a red cross instead of the image. If you don't know what linked images are it's unlikely that your document contains them.
- Documents exported from applications other than Microsoft Word. Open Office tends to do a better job of exporting Word documents than Pages but neither of them do the job perfectly and this can sometimes be reflected in the final .epub file without too much rhyme or reason. Improvements are being made constantly so if you're not happy with the results, please do get in touch and I'll do what I can to fix it for you.
Finally, you may find that the size of the file is larger than an ebook built by hand in HTML.
Do you intend to support XYZ feature?
We have lots of hopes and plans for Kinstant Formatter but the direction of development will be led by you, the users. So, if there's something you'd like to see implemented, we'd love to hear you ideas. Please get in touch via the support desk.
I've tried formatting a few times but I find it too boring/difficult/time-consuming - can I just pay you to do it for me?
Yes, please ask for a cost estimate.
Is there an affiliate system?
Yes. Please sign up here and then get your links for Kinstant Formatter from your dashboard.
I love Kinstant Formatter! Is there anything else I can do to help?
We'd love to hear from you if you've found the application helpful.
Feedback in itself is enormously encouraging so please don't hold back ;)
We won't publish your feedback as a testimonial unless you explicitly give us permission to do so.
If you'd like to give the developer a little warm buzz for a few seconds please 'like' his page on Facebook or follow him on Twitter. ;)
How do I contact support?
If you've got this far down this page then you really deserve some special attention.
Send an email to support at word2kindle dot com. We'll respond as soon as we can - please allow a reasonable time for us to get back to you. Please bear in mind that during weekends and holidays we may respond more slowly.¡También en español, si lo prefieres!
Steve & Rachel's little KF team.