I spent a great deal of time on line researching the best ways to prepare a manuscript for Amazon Kindle (e-book) and Createspace (paperback). It seemed that every piece of helpful information omitted something that prevented me from moving forward until I managed to dig up the answer elsewhere. It took hours.

Amazon's directions are minimal, and I understand why. There are simply too many writers using too many different computers with too many different systems from too many different years to address every situation in a satisfactory way. I'd like to think I've omitted nothing in my 'help with indie publishing' although I probably have. I'm sure every author has his/her own set of criteria to accommodate. Still, I hope the information that follows will be helpful.

Because I already had several paperbacks listed on Amazon, I began with e-book publishing, uploading the kindle version of each of my books. By luck, that turned out to be the smarter way to begin. Although at the end of your Createspace submission Amazon will offer to automatically turn your paperback into an e-book edition (saving you the trouble of formatting your own), you may not be pleased with the result. Amazon's Kindle defaults are pretty basic, and if you want to exert some control over font and spacing issues, thus making your e-book as easy to read as possible on any small-format device, then you should handle the formatting yourself.

My experience is with Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Amazon's paperback creater CreateSpace and those are the guides I present here. I used an older Mac running the OS X operating system and the 2009 Snow Leopard interface. Anything newer (which is just about anything) should work similarly and better.