I started with MS Word 2003 when I first discovered the Kindle, and once I got into the swing of it (at first, I just couldn't believe it was that easy), I was publishing Kindle books with ease and confidence, while all about me other would-be Kindle authors, some of whom had been at it a lot longer than I had, were gnashing teeth and tearing hair… and complaining bitterly about the Amazon Kindle format.
“You are working too hard”, I would tell them… “it’s really as easy as pie… all you have to do is switch to MS Word.”
Why they refused to do so, and why so many others continue to try to do things the hard way, is one of the great mysteries of life that I will never understand.
There is no doubt about it:
A perfectly-formatted MS Word 2003 file input directly to the Amazon DTP (Digital Text Platform) produces a perfectly-formatted Kindle book.
The key is “perfectly formatted”.
Your MS Word file must be squeaky clean… free of all garbage code… and you must follow the required steps exactly.
The “how to” instructions are right here… just check the list at the end of every article on this website to get started.
If you are willing to take the time to do that, you’ll have your Kindle book in the Amazon catalog, ready for purchase, while those who refuse to take that time are still gnashing teeth and tearing hair and blaming Amazon.
While, as I said, you can input your squeaky clean MS Word 2003 file directly to the Amazon DTP, there is an easier way:
Input your perfectly-formatted MS Word 2003 file to Mobipocket Creator and let it create your Amazon format file to be input to the Amazon DTP.
The reason is that Mobipocket creates a Kindle format file that you can preview on your own computer, to be sure everything is formatted properly before going to the Amazon DTP “Publish” step.
There is no “are you sure?” step at Amazon DTP Publish. Once you hit “Publish”, your book goes into lock-down, and you can’t touch it for several days.
You need to be sure your book is the best you can make it before you go to Publish.
The Amazon DTP does have a “Previewer” feature, but it’s not easy to use.
I’m recommending MS Word 2003, rather than a later version, because it still uses the Menu Interface, rather than the Ribbon Interface of the later versions.
If you don’t already have it… and if you don’t really have a need for the “Desk Top Publisher” features of MS Word 2007 and MS 2010 (that just get in the way if you don’t need them), I hope you’ll grab a copy of MS Word 2003 while it’s still available.
Or, if you really need MS Word, 2010, you'll find it here: