You’ve written your book, and it’s time to publish it to Amazon’s Kindle Bookstore. Not so fast. Before you hit the Publish button, take the time to review and proofread your new book.
I love Scrivener, because compiling an ebook to any ebook platform is a breeze. It won’t take you more than a couple of minutes, once you’re used to the process.
If you’re not familiar with Scrivener, download a free trial. It’s available for both Windows and Mac people. I’ve been using it since it came out in beta years ago. It makes writing and publishing your books easy.
Test-reading your ebook, anytime
You don’t need to wait until your ebook’s done before you check out what it looks like on the Kindle, or whatever platform you’re using. I like to review my ebooks at the first draft stage, and at at subsequent drafts too. You can see what your ebook will look like, and make revision notes.
Amazon uses the MOBI format (here’s a good brief discussion on ebook formats,) so choose that format when you compile.
Before you test-read, add your cover image. Amazon uses a 1:6 ratio, and recommends that: for best quality, your image would be 1563 pixels on the shortest side and 2500 pixels on the longest side.
Drag your image to any folder in Scrivener, but NOT into the Draft folder. All the images in your Scrivener file will be shown when you’re going through the formatting options during the Compile; just select the one you want to use from the list you’re shown.
Compile your ebook into MOBI
To test-read your ebook hit the Compile button on the toolbar. All the options look complex, but you’ll soon get used to them. You can change the options at any time, to create another MOBI file.
Once you’re in the Compile dialog, make sure that you’ve chosen MOBI, as in the image below.
Go through the options (the Scrivener manual will help if you’re doing it for the first time.)
Hit Compile in the dialog box when you’re done, and your MOBI file will be created.
Tip: remember WHERE you saved it. Invariably one of my students will contact me telling me that he’s “lost” the file. Save it to the desktop for now, you can move it later if you wish.
Right-click your MOBI file, and open it in the Kindle app on your computer.
You can see my new ebook in the Kindle app on my Mac in the image at the top of this post.
If you’d like to see the ebook on another device, like your Kindle or iPad, choose Send to Kindle from the right-click menu. Download Send to Kindle here, if you don’t have it.
You can also download and use the Amazon’s Kindle Previewer. I don’t like this app much, but it’s useful because it shows you what your ebook will look like on the various Kindle devices.
So there you have it. You’re ready to test-read and review your ebook. If you’ve completed the final draft, make sure that everything’s just the way you want it, and publish it on Amazon.
That’s all there is to publishing your ebooks in Scrivener. It couldn’t be easier, because you can test-read your ebooks at any time.
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Updated: October 28, 2016
I’ve updated this article because I’ve received so many questions about writing a novel from NaNoWriMo participants this year.