Amazon’s free Kindle Create app offers a simple way to convert Word files to ebooks

Amazon has launched the Kindle Create software program which can help you to produce ebooks from Word files.

It’s a useful free tool for authors and self-publishers but the one drawback is that it formats and packages proprietary files ready for uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing rather than outputting a mobi file.

Kindle Create claims to be able to deal with Word files (docx or doc) and PDF files but the PDF import is purely for print-replica ebooks rather than for conversion to a reflowable ebook.

Kindle Create will find and apply Chapter Title elements in your book.

For Word files, Kindle Create does a good job. It will break your document into chapter sections if it finds the appropriate headings and offers a wide range of fairly sophisticated formatting options, with all the usual items such as chapter titles, sub-titles and body text but also including drop caps and separators. It will also generate a table of contents.

Kindle Create imports Word files quickly and efficiently and the elements and formatting aspects of the program are well laid out. There are only three fonts to choose from, which are Amazon’s own Ember sans serif and Bookerly serif typefaces plus a monospace font.

It’s all simple and easy to use. If at present you upload Word files to Kindle Direct Publishing for direct conversion to a mobi file then you should consider trying out Kindle Create as you should be able to get the book looking like you want it rather than relying on the default options of KDP conversion.

There is a Preview function in the program where you can see what your book will look like on Kindle devices and apps but it’s a shame there isn’t the ability to output a mobi file which you could then send to your Kindle for checking.

Kindle Create saves a kcb file and then produces a kpf file when you publish the book. Both of these formats are, of course, proprietary to Amazon.

It also means that you’re going to have at least three files for each ebook you produce — your original Word file, the kcb one you work on in Kindle Create and the kpf that is the file for publishing. If you want to update your ebook then you’ll need to use the kcb file and republish that.

Kindle Create offers features including drop caps and separators

If you’re looking for a relatively simple alternative that can produce an ebook file then you should try out Calibre which offers a lot of options in terms of editing, HTML formatting and ebook conversion.

I use Jutoh for ebook production and I think it’s a fantastic program which has several output options, including mobi and epub, so I won’t be using Kindle Create a great deal but if you don’t want to face the learning curve of software such as Jutoh then Kindle Create could be a good option.

You can download the Kindle Create software for PC or Mac and learn more about using it at Amazon.com.

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