As a follow-up to my last post about Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), here is what I’ve experienced so far using the free software download, Kindle Create. This is KDP’s app to assist self-publishers in getting their manuscripts uploaded quickly.

As mentioned, Kindle Create is free, and is compatible with both Windows and Apple operating systems. I won’t go into the details for downloading the application, since it’s pretty straightforward, with everything you need to do so offered right there on the KDP website. Once you are there, the marketing is pretty alluring, and is certainly what caused my own buy-in. Because I’m not very proficient in HTML as a skill set, I was happy to have this option.

Once you have the app on your desktop, you just open it up and start the process by creating a new project. This action essentially kicks off the entire process that will be necessary to complete to satisfy KDP’s requirements for a formatted manuscript. This is what is later accessed by Kindle users (or anyone with a tablet or smartphone) to purchase and read your eBook.

Overall, Kindle Create is pretty basic. There are only three themes to choose from. The HTML tools are also quite rudimentary. It was for this reason that I found some of my formatting that came with my MSWord document somewhat skewed in translation. And I wasn’t able to fix it, so I had to opt for a different, less desirable look on some pages than what I had hoped for.

One thing to keep very much in mind is the fact that text that looks correct on one platform may not look good on another. For this reason, Kindle Create allowed me to preview what each page of my eBook will look like on a phone, a tablet, and a Kindle Reader.

One nice feature I noticed in the app was its ability to provide pretty good guidance in the way of the expected front matter (table of contents, epigraph, prologue, preface, foreword, etc.), and the same, as well, on the back matter. This made it easier to figure out what to include and in what order it would most likely be organized.

All in all, the interface is similar to what I encounter on this blog using WordPress, which can be described as providing what the writer needs to communicate with the reader, if only minimally so. If that writer needs more bells and whistles, they will need to look elsewhere using some other more robust tool.

Once all text formatting and content is satisfactory, the last step is to click the Publish button. This puts everything in a proprietary format that is then uploaded to the KDP website for selection by the subscriber.

To sum up, I would say that for those who are not HTML-savvy (that’s my camp), Kindle Create provides an easy, straightforward, basic tool for getting this rather tedious and not-so-fun component of the overall e-publishing process done.

Happy writing!