Month: June 2018

How to Format Picture Books for Kindle

How to Format Picture Books for Kindle

If you are writing a picture book, then you may have heard that formatting is a nightmare. While it is true that formatting can be difficult for Amazon Kindle, it is not impossible and with a little practice you can get good enough added to where you are no longer having trouble.

The two things that you have to be most concerned about when it comes to having a children’s book published in digital form are the specific formatting that you are doing with your text, such as short rhymes instead of full paragraphs, and the images that you are including. There are a few things that you want to keep in mind when it comes to formatting picture books for Kindle, and we will go over those tips here. The thing that you want to keep in mind most is that practice makes perfect. No amount of tutorial information is a substitute for practice and experience.

How to make a book trim sizes examples for print books

Make Pictures as Small as Possible While Still Maintaining Quality

First, you want to make your pictures as small as possible while still maintaining quality. There are two reasons for this. First of all, smaller pictures are going to be easier to work with in Microsoft Word and with Amazon Kindle. But the main reason that you want to make your pictures the smallest possible is that when it comes to picture books, you are going to be making less per book because Amazon actually charges you a fee depending upon the size of your book. This is fair because they are the ones storing the book and sending it to people, but if you make your pictures too big, you’re not can be making any money on your book at all. When it comes to a book without pictures, this is only a few cents, but when you add pictures and it can be several dollars.

Use Microsoft Word’s Formatting Tools to Create Your Look

You should also learn everything you can about Microsoft Word and all of their formatting tools so you can create the look of your book. There are lots of formatting tools the Microsoft Word uses that you shouldn’t when it comes to formatting for Kindle because they will be regarded as junk characters by Kindle. You have to learn which Microsoft formatting tools work well with Amazon Kindle and which ones do not.

Use the Microsoft Word Kindle Add-on for Preview Purposes

Finally, you definitely want to download the Microsoft Word add-on Kindle previewer, because you will be able to see without having to upload your book how it is coming along and make any changes quickly. There is a better previewer when you actually upload your book and cover on the Amazon Kindle website, but it can be tiresome to upload it and check to see if your changes fix the problem. The Microsoft Word add-on previewer is a big help if you’re going to may making a lot of changes – and if you are uploading a picture book then you definitely are.

If you need an all-in one tool that makes formatting a book easy, check out Reedsy’s guide and software

How Long Should My Novel Be?

How Long Should My Novel Be?

“How long should my novel be?” is one of the most frequently asked questions among new authors. In fact, a lot of seasoned veterans ask this question, too.

The word count of your novel is just as important as the topic, the title, the plot, and the characters. Why? – Because you want to make sure that you don’t lose the attention of your readers, yet you also want to ensure that you can effectively develop your story and answer all questions. If your novel is too short, you may leave a lot of readers asking, “What happens next?” or “That was all?” If it’s too long, your audience may end up getting bored and put your novel down before they finish.

So, how long should your novel be? That’s a tough question to answer. The truth is, there isn’t a definite answer. Subject matter, details, character development, and various other elements will certainly play a big part in determining the length of your book. However, there is another key element that will also have a big influence on the length of your novel: your audience.

Though you should certainly stick to your natural style, you definitely want to consider the age of your target audience. Why? – Because it definitely plays a huge part in their attention span.

Word Counts for Different Book Types

You can get a good rough idea for the word count of your novel by categorizing the type of novel you are going to be writing and your target audience. Obviously, an 8-year-old isn’t going to have the attention span to read something a book that has a hefty length like “War and Peace”, just like adults aren’t going to be too keen on reading a novel that only has a few chapters.

With that said, here’s a look at the average word length for novels based on their intended audience and their genres:

Audience

  • Children’s chapter book. No less than 1,000 words and no more than 10,000 words
  • Middle grade chapter book. No fewer than 20,000 words and no more than 50,000 words
  • Young adult novels. Between 40,000 and 70,000 words
  • Adult fiction. Up to 100,000 words, but no less than 40,000.

Genre

  • Romance. Between 50,000 and 100,000 words
  • Science fiction and fantasy. The average length should be between 90,000 and 120,000 words. You can try to stretch it longer, but if you go over 150,000 words, you’ll test the patience of your audience.
  • Historical fiction. The average length for this genre is the same as science fiction and fantasy.
  • Mystery, thriller, horror. A length of 70,000 to 90,000 words is recommended, as this is the ideal amount to build suspense, reach a climax, and come to a conclusion.

Of course, these word counts are recommendations. There aren’t any solid rules that are set in stone; however, in general, it seems that these counts are pretty standard and appeal to the audiences who each type of book is intended for.