Mistake One - Avoid creating an ebook on a blank Word document (unless you know what you are doing)

Unless you are really good on Word, I suggest not using a blank Word document to create your book.


Are you thinking of writing an eBook? If so, and you are planning on using Word, before uploading to Kindle Create, I would like to share with you the mistakes I made. Hopefully, you read this first and avoid following in my footsteps!

Now, before I start, please be aware that I am not an expert. I am simply someone who decided one day to write an eBook. With no help from anyone else, I fumbled my way through the process. Looking back now, I can see I wasn't fully prepared, and the mistakes I made were silly. What I was... was too eager. I couldn't wait to finish my book and gave no thought to the process. But hey, we learn by our mistakes. Or rather... you can learn by mine!

Over the next few posts I will talk about how I got it wrong... and the consequences of my errors. Before explaining a better way...


After a moment of madness, I decided today was the day I would create a masterpiece... the book I had always wanted to write!

Like an eager beaver I rushed out and bought Microsoft 365, swiftly installing it and opened a blank Word document... and started to write! I thought I knew what I was doing, I created chapters and everything!

I wrote for days and days, weeks and weeks. The ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. It was nearly three months before I stopped, realising I had reached the end - I had over 200,000 words on my Word document!

Wow, I knew there was enough material to turn my story into three instalments, (the trilogy I had envisioned) so I set about breaking it into three books. Easy right?

Yeah, I thought so... I opened two new Word documents, cutting and pasting like a demon, until my story was in three neat little packages! Then I opened Kindle Create and moved over my first book! Because I had read somewhere that KC took care of the presentation, and all I had to do was offer it my words!

Kindle Create did its thing, spitting out my beautiful book... in a jumbled mess! My paragraphs had disappeared, blank spots adorned the pages... it was utter carnage. I tried to rectify it on KC, which was a nightmare. KC works more like a word processor and making vast changes are not that easy to do. It soon became apparent that it wasn't possible to make the corrections this way.

I couldn't understand what had gone wrong and spent days freaking out, scouring the internet for answers. After uploading it to KC a few more times, thinking I'd messed the transfer up - I managed to make things worse. Because I now had ten versions of my book on KC, which were all wrong, and cluttering the place up. I WAS HAVING A MELT DOWN AT THIS POINT!

Tearing myself away from the situation (and telling myself I didn't want to write a book anyway) I gave up. My laptop was stashed out of sight, and I turned back to reading instead. It lasted two days before I caved, knowing I couldn't rest until I had it figured out...

I read lots of theories, I even implemented some suggestions, but I still couldn't get it right. And then I dropped on a site that answered my prayers... a piece by Kay Franklin. This kind lady had created a template for Word, to be used before transferring your piece to KC. She took care of the layout, margins, chapters, just everything. All you had to do was write your words and the template took care of the rest. And it was free to download!!

So I did... Only I had to cut and paste everything again, which was time consuming. But the end result was fantastic. You can add your own touches, like changing the fonts and sizing, but it's set up correctly, and more importantly, is compatible with KC. When I uploaded (while holding my breath), I was ecstatic to find it actually worked. It looked just as I'd imagined and I decided I did want to write a book after all!

(I felt embarrassed at this point, because I'd never even heard of formatting. But it's something I won't forget in future)

It really is an amazing tool, that I still use now. Only now I bypass the blank Word document and always write my book on her template from the very start.

I know there are other programmes out there that are specifically for creating books, because I tried some of those too. But I couldn't get on with them. Even after all the issues I faced, my personal preference is still Word.

If you find yourself in the same kind of situation and want to try out the template yourself, I've added a link to her site.

Next time...

My next post re mistakes will be about editing your piece on Kindle Create... or rather how to avoid the mistakes I made whilst doing so...

but before that I have another lined up - REVIEWS - and how so few of us actually leave them!

If you have any questions or comments you can contact me via any of the methods below. Always dreaming... Tia KENZIE x