Indie Rambles #15 - DIY Formatting Stories for Amazon ebooks - Jo-Ann Carson

Indie Rambles #15 – DIY Formatting Stories for Amazon ebooks

When it came time to format my stories for ebooks I asked around for advice. Initially I intended to pay someone else to format my work, but my coffers are close to empty and I have a passionate desire to have as much control over my “artisan product” as possible.

My wonderful friends gave me lots of suggestions. I looked into each and decided on Jutoh.

 Using Jutoh to Format for Kindle

Jutoh is a user friendly, inexpensive piece of software that allows you to take a Word document and compile it into ebook and mobi formats.

I used it to create .mobi files for my three books. .Mobi is the Amazon Kindle format. Here is what I did:

Step 1 – Getting Ready

1. I formatted my Word manuscript (i.e., 1. removed headers, 2. used “headings 1” for the title of each chapter and each section that I wanted to have a separate page for e.g., copyright page, acknowledgement page etc. This formatting gives you a page break.)

2. I had my “blurb” ready. (I used my back blurb)

3. I had my Cover Art jpeg ready.

Step 2 – Opening my New Project in Jutoh

  • open Jutoh, open “new project”
  • used Romantic Suspense as the subject
  • uploaded blurb
  • used the standard style sheet
  • used split by style
  • uploaded cover
  • uploaded my story

To create the project I hit “compile.”

Step 3- Checking my Project in Jutoh

  • scanned chapter by chapter to make sure the formatting looked right
  • removed titles I didn’t like the look of

Step 4 – Checking my Project in Kindle

  • I exported the project and the Kindle app on my PC opened automatically
  • My book had arrived! I scrolled through and made notes of things I wanted changed. For example I had made the font on the title page too large, so the title page actually took 2 pages on Kindle. I went back and made changes.

I learned all of this from a You Tube by India Drummond  (below). She takes you through each step and explains it in depth.

The process took me less than an hour in total and the cost was $39.00 USD.


My next post will be about formatting for Amazon print books (Create Space). A longer process, but doable.

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0 Replies to “Indie Rambles #15 – DIY Formatting Stories for Amazon ebooks”

  1. Thanks for this, Jo-Ann. I’m curious to read about your experience with CreateSpace. It looks complicated! You certainly make Jutoh sound easy. I’m leaning toward using Vellum, though I know it’s more expensive.

    1. Hi Jane
      You are most welcome.
      Yes, I agree formatting for CreateSpace with Word is complicated. I’m six hours into the project now and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Phew. I’m happy to be doing it as I’m learning a lot about formatting.
      Vellum? Sorry, I don’t anything about that.
      Best Wishes

    1. Hi Judy
      You are very welcome.
      I’m happy to share, but I have to be honest, writing down details helps me clarify the process in my mind, so I do it for me as well as for others. If you benefit from my rambles, that’s great.
      Best Wishes always

  2. I’ve never heard of Jutah but it certainly sounds easy to use. I’m really looking forward to when you tackle Create Space. I haven’t had the time or patience to do it with my books so I’m figuring following you will give me some quick, fast shortcuts!

    1. Hi Pat
      Yes, Jutah turned out to be fairly easy. Create Space not so much. It’s doable, but time consuming. The only “quick, fast shortcut” that I can see is to learn and understand it so well that you don’t make mistakes formatting. It’s the making mistakes and going back and fixing them that takes time. I’ll report out as soon as I’m finished.
      Best Wishes

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