Yesterday I took my first tentative step into the world of self-publishing through Kindle Direct with my short story Written In the Stars. It was an experience that probably would have been a lot easier if I hadn't tried to research it first.
Being the girly swot that I am I took it upon myself to find out as much as I could before I got started. What I read really scared the bejesus out of me. There was all this information about converting word documents into html code that had me diving for the drinks cabinet and warning my other half that I would probably be needing his help very soon. When I actually got around to checking out Kindle Direct itself, it was extemely easy and simple to use. It's actually easier than creating a blog...except for one minor thing - indentation.
OMG. The Kindle Direct instructions state that every first line in a paragraph is automatically indented, and if you want to indent other lines, you must do it manually and not through the tab key. I tried it their way, but when I previewed my book some lines were indented and other were not, meaning I had to go back and fix all the errors...Only problem was after I fixed them, when I previewed the new version other lines were not indented. The most bizarre thing of all was that when I scrolled back up a page I'd already checked, different lines were now indented and other weren't. After a couple of hours of this I was at my wits end!
Thank god you can preview and edit books as many times as you need to before publishing, and even after publishing it's extremely easy to take books down and re-edit them. I think I must have hit a record for the number of times I previewed my book.
To cut a long story short, I simply took out all idents, justified the text to the left and added double spacing between paragraphs. It worked and Kindle Direct DID NOT indent every first line in a paragraph. I actually think it looks quite good. If you'd like to shell out a whopping 99 cents you can take a look for yourself, and possibly read my short story while you're at it!
In future I'm probably going to stick to this format because it will save me a lot of headaches, unless someone has got some advice about how to overcome this glitch in Kindle Direct. I notice many other ebooks have no problem with indentation, so there's a (remote) possibility the problem is with the user!