How to Create and Download a Sample of Your Kindle Format eBook

Here is how to upload your Kindle ebook to the Amazon Kindle Publishing Platform:

This is the same process you will go through when you are ready to upload your file to be PUBLISHED.

BUT… before you actually pull the trigger to launch your baby into the cold cruel world, go through the steps here to create a sample file.

These are fewer steps, and you'll be able to do them and create a sample to view before you even know how to do the whole thing.

As you go through the steps, read the instructions at the “What’s This” pop ups, and also the FAQs that appear at the far right  side of the screen.

If you don’t know what one of those messages means, just go ahead and go through this “exercise”, then go back later to fill in other blanks.  Some won’t be applicable to  your book… and you can learn which is or is not, by reading the instructions as you go through.

Amazon Publishing won't let you actually PUBLISH without filling in all blanks, but you don't have to fill in all of them to get a Sample.

1.  First step… be sure you have your formatted MS Word file, or your final format Kindle file and your cover ready at hand.

The easiest way is to create a new folder on your desktop, and name it “Upload to Amazon”.

Copy your finished Kindle file (or your formatted-for-Kindle MS Word file) and your book cover image to the folder you have just made: “Upload to Amazon”.

Now, click on the link below:

(There is a lot of information at the top of the page that you will want to read and understand later, but for now, all we are doing is creating a sample to download and proof.)

Look for, and click on, the orange button, “Add New Title”.

The Amazon publishing page will appear:

Again, ignore the paragraphs at the top of the page, because we are just doing a sample now, but you should come later to read and understand it.

Look for:
1. Enter Your Book Details
Book name:
Please enter the exact title only. Books submitted with extra words in this field will not be published. (Why?)

Now, skip down several lines to Book Contributors

Book contributors: (What's this?)
A popup will appear for you to enter your name and identify yourself as author.

Now, skip down several lines to upload your cover.  Be sure to read and follow instructions.  

The Upload button will not appear until you have browsed and selected your Cover.
4. Upload Your Book Cover
Upload image (optional):

Your book cover will be used for:
  • the book cover inside your book
  • the product image in Amazon search results
  • the product image on your book's detail page

A good cover looks good as a full sized image, but also looks good as a thumbnail image. If you do not upload a cover image, a placeholder image will be used. See placeholder image example. You can change or upload a new cover image for your book at any time.

Now, skip down several lines to Step 5 to upload your book file.  Read what it says about DRM and select the option you want.  The browse button to upload your Kindle book will not appear until you have selected your DRM option.
5. Upload Your Book File
Select a digital rights management (DRM) option: (What's this?)
Enable digital rights management
Do not enable digital rights management
Book content file:

After you have chosen your DRM option, the Browse button appears. 

Click the Browse button, go to your Kindle file and select it.

After you have selected your Kindle file, the Upload button appears.
Click Upload.

The Amazon Publishing program will upload your file and create a new version with your Book name, your author name, and your cover page.

After it has created your new book (which will take anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes or so), it will display a new message in green type.

Upload and conversion successful!

Now your sample is finished and you should download and preview it.

Ignore the first preview option (which displays your book in an older, less useful previewer, and go the “Download Preview” option.

Download your Kindle ebook, and read it on your actual Kindle device.

After you are sure everything is ok, come back here, and go through all the steps to UPLOAD your final file to Amazon.

Before you actually UPLOAD to Amazon, you will, of course, want to go through all the steps and read the instructions to be sure you know what to do.


  1. Dear CJ,

    Let me start by apologizing for the length of this comment. I hardly know where to begin, I'm so new at all this. I've just now opened a Google account, because it's the only thing I recognize in the list of "Select profile" needed to submit a comment. I'm not even sure where to look to find your reply. In Google or (hopefully) on your website where my comment is being submitted?

    I have written a nonfiction book of a scientific nature for young adults using an old version of MS Word (2002) and have now reviewed a sample chapter of it — both as a .doc file and as an .htm file (via Save as Web Page, Filtered) — using the downloaded Kindle Previewer Version 2.71. The book uses some fairly elaborate formatting, includes three fonts, and contains a good number of graphics (images) and tables. Alas, it seems to be more than the Kindle converter can handle. I can (reluctantly!) make some adjustments to my formatting to address some of the unfortunate conversion results in the text layout and I can probably learn to live with the ones that can’t be fixed. (I recognize the limitations of Kindle devices on this score, due to the text flow nature of these devices.)

    However … the problems I am facing with the graphics at this stage are show stoppers. I’m hoping you might be able to steer me toward a solution. Some of the graphics are pictures I have inserted “In line with text” (as recommended somewhere – probably on your website) from the internet. Others are drawings (positioned “In line with text”) that I have created in the document using the Word Drawing facility. One graphic that I’ve used over and over again is clip art.

    The good news is that many of the conversion problems (for both text and graphics) from the .doc file were missing from the .htm file. The bad news is that the .htm file (unlike the .doc file) gave me totally unacceptable results on the graphics for two of the seven devices covered by the previewer, namely the Kindle (3rd generation) and Kindle DX devices. These two devices (a) gave hopeless images of the Internet pictures — black and white reversed, poor resolution, unreadable captions; (b) did not display much, sometimes none, of the Word Drawing images; (c) almost a full page of text was missing immediately following a full page Word Drawing that was completely missing; (d) produced unreadable text within the Word Drawing text boxes that I used here and there throughout the chapter along with a Word Drawing icon that was now completely missing.

    My questions are as follows:

    1. Do all the results (good and bad) from the Previewer accurately reflect the devices it is simulating? In other words, can we trust the Previewer? (If not, then what???)

    2. Why would five of the devices (Kindle Fire, Kindle HD, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle iPad, and Kindle iPhone) produce quite good results on all the graphics, while the other two produced hopeless results? What can I do about this???

    3. Why is the Drawing facility in Word never mentioned as a source for graphics (images) in all the Kindle publishing literature I’ve read. (I used it a lot.)

    Many thanks for your time.

    1. Hi Ken,

      Yes... that is long... and it will take some time to prepare an answer.

      I WILL do that, however, and will do my best to get you started... just check back a bit later.


    2. Ken,

      The Amazon "downloadable" Previewer has been changed recently, and now doesn't work for all devices and doesn't work at all for some people, so I can't answer that question.

      Keep watching for an update, as it surely will be updated again soon.

      In general, even when it's working well, there is no reliable method other than testing on the actual devices.

      Among the people I know who do conversions as a profession, it is considered a necessity to test on all devices.

      Before I can help you with the images problem, I need to know what extension they are... and whether you can convert them to JPG.

      If you can do that... convert them to JPGs... that may solve your images problem.

      I don't know why the instructions don't talk about MS Word graphics... but, as far as I can recall, they don't refer to images by "brand name", but by extension... so that may be the reason.

      There are some extensions (different image formats) that HTML does not convert properly... possibly the reason you got good results by uploading the DOC file directly, but not by converting to HTML.

      Try converting your images to JPGs and let me know what happens.

    3. CJ,

      I just want to thank you immensely for steering me in the right direction in the Kindle conversion of a book that is filled with various odd-ball graphics. I had painstakingly created most of them using the Word Drawing facility. Some of the drawings contain a good number of individual components grouped together in Object format.

      It’s taken many frustrating hours of trial and error battling with MS Word and MS Paint (which seems to have a mind of its own), but I finally managed to get all the graphics suitably (the operative word here) converted into JPG files and inserted back into my document in Picture format.. As a result, all my major Kindle conversion problems have gone away.

      Yes, there are numerous minor problems remaining, but they are not show stoppers. Some of them are clearly Kindle device limitations that I have no control over. Others are minor formatting nuisances and font readability within the graphics that I can continue to experiment with and fine tune. (I may have to compromise between one Kindle device and another on some issues).

      But I now know what changes I have to make and how to make them to complete the book. One chapter down (well, almost). Only seventeen more to go. For the first time, I am optimistic that I can produce a readable book (Adventures in the Science of Cosmology) for young adults on all of the seven Kindle devices currently covered by the Kindle converter — except for the iPhone which appears totally unsuitable for this sort of book.

      You suggested that the only way to know for sure that a book will convert properly is to test it on all the actual Kindle devices rather than rely on the current Previewer (V 2.71). I totally agree, but as I am not pursuing a professional writing career at my age, I’m not about to purchase six or seven Kindle devices. I guess I’ll have to take my chances on the Previewer.

      I thank you again for your patience and knowledgeable advice and hope you will continue to be available for all us struggling writers.

      Ken Dixon

  2. Hi Ken,

    Thanks for reporting back!

    I was hoping we'd have a new Previewer by now... but no such luck.

    I think you are on the right track... none... or very few, anyway... can check on all devices... but my experience suggests that getting it right on one of the "basic" Kindles... for me that is the Kindle K3... also known as Kindle Keyboard is a good goal.

    That sounds interesting..."Adventures in the Science of Cosmology for young adults"... are you a scientist in that field?

    Yes... I will stick around to help struggling writers... at least as long as a fair number, as you just did, report their successes now and then!


    1. CJ,

      First, a question – When you suggest focusing on one of the basic Kindles … Kindle K3 … also known as Kindle Keyboard “to get it right”, which one of the seven devices currently covered by Kindle Previewer 2.71 would that be??? The seven are listed as:

      Kindle Fire
      Kindle Fire HD
      Kindle DX
      Kindle for iPad
      Kindle for IPhone

      Secondly, an observation – I have no idea, of course, whether or not the previewer is accurately reflecting the devices it is simulating, but it does seem to be performing OK except for two oddities. (1) The font size it shows for Paperwhite is ridiculously small compared to the other devices and (2) when I reviewed V5 of my sample chapter yesterday (with only very minor changes over V4), I experienced a problem that I had not had with my previous versions of that chapter. The previewer failed on an “internal error” whenever I tried to switch to the Paperwhite device. Today, after some extensive testing, I discovered that

      (1) this error occurs no matter which device I select in the Set Default Device Mode drop down menu before opening my chapter

      (2) if I return to Home after the internal error occurs, then open my chapter again, the problem disappears (fortunately).

      (3) if I close the Previewer and then reopen it, the problem returns.

      Thirdly, an answer to your question about my background – No, I am not a scientist in the field. However … my formal university education and initial working years were in engineering before I switched to a computer career involving systems engineering, education, and finally technical writing. When I retired I studied astronomy (a long time -- albeit neglected -- interest of mine) and earned a Masters degree in the subject. Young minds today need more stimulation in the sciences (and associated math). My book, written in an informal chatty style sprinkled with humor (I’d like to think) is an attempt to provide some of that stimulation for those kids who might be receptive to it. Unfortunately, while some literary agents have been quick to praise it for its writing style and overall structure, none of them are willing to take it on for publication. It’s obviously not the sort of book that will appeal to a large readership, especially when the author is in the twilight of his life with no “platform”. Alas, my name is not Stephen Hawking. Such is the publishing world, especially for nonfiction. Meanwhile, this Kindle self publishing effort helps to keep my mind from turning to mush.

      Cheers, Ken Dixon

  3. HI CJ, do we have to own a Kindle device to preview our book? I don't own one but wanted to upload to Kindle amazon so my friends (or anyone else) who do own Kindles could buy it. I do want to get this right b4 putting it up for final publishing!

    1. Dixie,

      No, you don't have to own a Kindle device; you can preview your eBook using the Kindle Previewer.

      Yes, you should not upload it to Amazon Kindle until you are sure it's ready, but you can email it to your friends and they can view it with the free "Kindle for PC" viewer right on their own PC's.

      There's also a Kindle for MAC... for your friends who own MACs.