Print Book Setup

This post covers how to setup print books for Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform.

Amazon provides two formats on KDP – print and ebook. Even though book content is basically the same, the process to setup the versions is different. Print books have margins, bindings, headers, page numbers, and various page sizes. Amazon provides a zip file of templates for several book sizes. While it is best to download these directly from Amazon, you can preview them at this Dropbox link. I selected the 5.5×8.5 inch format for Story Secrets from Scripture. While it is possible to specify a custom size, only the standard sizes qualify for the most distribution options through Amazon.

Interior Pages

I found it easier to create each chapter as a separate Microsoft Word file. Since print books have facing pages, I specified “mirror margins.” Print books must conform to several rules. The book title generally appears as the header on even numbered pages and the chapter title appears as the header on odd numbered pages. However, typically the header is not displayed on the first page of each chapter. Below are three pages from Chapter 5, Finding Stories.

Using paragraph styles is essential in ensuring consistent formatting. The image below shows the main styles I used in Story Secrets from Scripture. You can see these illustrated in the pages above.

Once I completed all of the chapters, I saved each as a PDF and then merged them into a single PDF. This PDF is considered the interior file for the book.

Cover

A paperback book has three main sections: front cover, spine, and back cover. Amazon has a calculator to determine with width of the spine and the overall dimensions for the cover. Story Secrets from Scripture has 112 pages, so the dimensions of the cover file are 3456×2625 pixels at 300 dots-per-inch. This allows for the final dimensions of 5.5×8.5 (plus the spine) with extra room to allow graphics to bleed off the page. Below is my cover with the guidelines from the Amazon template.

I created the cover using Procreate on my iPad and exported it as a PDF. This file became the cover file.

Published

Once the files were approved by Amazon the book was published into the Amazon marketplace.

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