© 2011-2013 DedaSys LLC

All Rights Reserved

 

Welcome

Welcome to the LiberWriter user's guide.  Our goal is to get out of your way as much as possible so that you can concentrate on writing; this guide exists to point out some of the advanced features of LiberWriter.  If, at any point, you have questions, don't hesitate to contact us: http://www.liberwriter.com/contact

 

 

The Process

The LiberWriter process involves some collaboration between you, and us, with the end result being a well-formatted eBook.

  1. Sign up, and purchase an eBook workspace via the Amazon payment button on your "My Books" page.
  2. Create a new book, and upload your original word file (if you want us to convert an existing manuscript)
  3. Let us know - we'll give your book an initial once-over and start fixing it.
  4. We'll collaborate on doing any further fixing up that needs doing.
  5. When everything looks good, you can preview your book on either Kindle for PC or the Kindle itself.  See "Interacting with the Kindle" below.  If you would like, we can view the book on an actual Kindle as well.
  6. At this point, you are ready to upload to the KDP!  It turns out that we can't do that for you, due to some limitations in Amazon's program.  Read about the details here.
 

Getting Started

The first pages of your book are critical, and LiberWriter tries to make them as easy as possible.

Cover Image

First of all, you're going to want to create a cover image sooner or later, although you could certainly skip this and get to work writing your book.  If you don't have an image, we can help: http://www.liberwriter.com/kindle_book_cover_images .

Requirements:

  • The Kindle 3's screen is 600x800 pixels and does not do color.  You should probably supply a slightly larger image, in order to "future proof" your book, but the ratio should be maintained.  Amazon has more information here: https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/help?topicId=A2J0TRG6OPX0VM
  • The Kindle Fire, iPad, and Kindle for PC/Mac all display color images. 
  • This means that you should provide a color image, and check to make sure it looks good in black and white as well.
  • Make sure the thumbnail, or small version of your cover image looks good.  Look at the small images of books here: Kindle Store - that's how your book will appear to others, so make sure that even at that size, the cover attracts attention.

Dedication

You also may wish to add a page of thanks, or a dedication.

Copyright

LiberWriter adds a default copyright page to newly created books (but not converted ones) - all you have to do is add your name.  Your book is automatically considered under your copyright - you don't really need to file with the government: uploading the book to LiberWriter, and subsequently to Amazon's KDP is proof enough that you published the book when you did in case someone tries to copy it.

Marketing Material

Also included in the sample material in new books is some "marketing material".  Getting two or three positive, brief reviews for your book, and including them would be a good idea, for instance.  Also be sure to include links to your twitter page, web site for the book, and so on, if you have them.  LiberWriter also provides a marketing page, described in more detail here: http://www.liberwriter.com/documents/120/

 

Chapters and Table of Contents

Generating a table of contents is very easy with LiberWriter.  Each of your chapters should be a "Heading N" title, with N being 1 or 2, usually (which translates to an H1 or H2 tag in HTML, if you're curious).  To get started, open our on-line editor the the "edit" button on your documents page. The easiest way to create your chapters is with the C button on the bottom row of the menu bar.  Select the text you want to use as the chapter title, then click C.  That will create the chapter title, which is highlighted in a yellow color to indicate that it's a chapter title.  Don't worry though, the yellow will not show up in your book! When you're ready, press the ToC button in the toolbar.  That will populate the table of contents section of your book, utilizing all of the chapter titles, as well as automatically inserting page breaks before each chapter title.  When you add a new chapter, all you have to do is click the ToC button again, and it regenerates everything for you!

If you want your heading to appear on two lines: press shift and return together to put a line break.  If you just hit return, it won't work quite right.

Be aware that if you edit the table of contents yourself, and then click the ToC button, you will lose your changes!

You can also generate "subsections" with the S button.  These are also highlighted, and linked in the table of contents but don't automatically receive a page break.

 

Interacting with the Kindle

To really know for certain whether your document will work on the Kindle, the best way to find out is to view it on the Kindle itself!   LiberWriter makes that as easy as we possibly can: there's a send to my kindle button on the editor screen that you push, and we send you the latest version of your content.

We need you to do two easy things to make that happen, though:

  1. You need to give us your "free kindle Email" address, in the account settings
  2. You need to add @liberwriter.com to the "Kindle Approved E-mail List" in the "Manage your Kindle" area of Amazon.  Otherwise, anything we send to that account will be discarded.

After you've done that, just click the button, make sure your Kindle is connected via wifi, and your document will show up in a minute or two!

More information on this is available here: http://www.liberwriter.com/connect_kindle

What if I don't have a Kindle?

To really be sure your book looks good on the Kindle, getting one would be a good idea, but in the meantime, you can also get Kindle for PC here, for free: www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/pc (as well as PC for Mac: www.amazon.com/gp/kindle/mac ).

Once you have that registered, you can simply click the "download" button for your book in LiberWriter, on the My Books page, and let Kindle for PC (or Kindle for Mac) open it.

 

 

Uploading to the KDP

When your book looks good and is ready to be published, it's pretty easy:

  1. Go to your "My Books" page, and click the "download" link for your book. This will save the .mobi file on your computer.  The file will most likely be in the Downloads directory, but if you have Kindle for PC installed, it may be under Documents\My Kindle Content .
  2. Upload that file in the appropriate place in Amazon's KDP: http://kdp.amazon.com

The reason we can't upload it for you ourselves is explained here:

http://blog.liberwriter.com/2011/05/16/why-we-cantwont-upload-directly-to-amazon/

 

 

Toolbar

The Kindle doesn't give you a lot of options for formatting your book, and in some ways that's a good thing: the device lets readers select the font size, spacing and font they are most comfortable with, for instance.   Via the toolbar at the top of the editing page, we give you a number of tools to use.  Most of them are pretty easy to figure out - you move your mouse over them and a tooltip with a brief explanation pops up - and are basic things like bold, italic, center region, and so on.  As a reference, they're all explained below:

Editing

From left to right, these are:

  • Cut - cuts the selected text.
  • Copy - copies the selected text.
  • Paste - pastes previously selected text.
  • Paste as plain text - paste with no formatting.
  • Paste from Word - use this if you're pasting some text from a Micrsoft Word document.  It'll help clean it up some.

Undo/Redo

Undo and redo buttons are useful when you want to undo, or redo a change you've made to the document.

Find and Replace

The find and replace buttons let you search for words in the text, or search for words and replace them.

Select / Remove format

Select all selects the entire document you are working on.  Remove format removes formatting information associated with a bit of text.  For instance, if you had some text that were bold and italic, you could highlight it and use the 'remove format' button to make it return to normal.

Bold, Italic, Underline, Strike through

These are basic formatting buttons that do what they advertise: bold italic underline strike through.

Subscript, Superscript

These are useful for writing things like E = mc2 or H2O, although for more complex math, you'd probably just want to use an image.

Numbered List, Bulleted List

A numbered list comes out like this:

  1. Oregon
  2. Washington
  3. California
  4. Hawaii

And a bulleted list comes out like so:

  • Beatles
  • Beach Boys
  • Elvis Presley

Indentation

 

The four buttons are as follows:

  1. Move left or "decrease indent".  As you can see, it's grayed out in my screen shot because the text I was working on was all the way to the left already.
  2. Increase indent indents the block of selected text.
  3. Block quote.  You should use this to format long passages of quoted text.
  4. There is also a "first line indent" button so that you can make the paragraph start flush left, after, say, a scene change.  It's on by default, but you can press it to turn off the first line indentation.

Indented text:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Block quote:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Non-indented paragraph:

This paragraph starts flush left, and stays there; sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Hyperlinks

There are three hyperlink buttons.  The first creates a link like so:

  • If you click it with no text selected, it will ask you for a URL (a web address), like  http://www.liberwriter.com and then link to that.
  • If you select some text, you can create a link like this.

The second button unlinks text that has been previously linked.  The third button creates what is known as an anchor.  This lets you link to other places in your document.  For instance anchors are used in the table of contents to indicate the destination.

Images, Special Characters, Page Breaks, and Horizontal Lines

To insert an image in LiberWriter, start by clicking the image button.  You can either utilize images from the internet, in which case you copy their "URL" (for example, http://www.liberwriter.com/images/logo.png ).  To upload an image from your own computer, after clicking the image button, click the Upload button in the image dialog.  This will ask you for a location of the file.  Once you've selected the proper file to upload, go ahead and hit the Send it to the server button.  At that point, you can hit OK, and everything should be ready.  There are some more advanced options, but most of them are not relevant to LiberWriter.

A horizontal line looks like so, and is useful for separating sections of text - a sidebar, for instance.


The "special character" button is what you need if you have to insert letters that aren't on your keyboard.  For instance "la verità".

The page break button will insert a page break that the Kindle will respect.  By way of example, to start a new chapter, for instance, you'd create a page break followed by a title for the new chapter.  Keep in mind, of course, that the "new chapter" button does both of these things for you to make it quick and easy.

View Blocks and View Source

The "view blocks" button gives you an idea of the structure of your document.  Don't worry about it too much though, it is mostly just used to show groupings on the page.  This can be useful for understanding why certain elements are lining up together, for example.

The "view source" button shows you your document's HTML source code.  Press this button a second time to return to the 'normal' view.  Normally you don't need to worry about this button, but those who are curious for how things work 'under the hood' may find it interesting.

Styles

The styles menu gives you access to several styles not covered by buttons.  They are: BIG small and typewriter, which cause the text to be larger, smaller, or look as if typed via a typewriter, with evenly spaced letters, respectively.

Paragraph Styles

Paragraph styles are mostly important for the headings, which range from "Heading 1" (H1 in HTML terms) to "Heading 6" (H6).  LiberWriter utilizes the largest headings, Heading 1, as chapter titles.  If you use more than Heading 1, organize your headings logically, so that sub-topics are grouped within a chapter.

Table of Contents

The table of contents button generates a table of contents for your book, automatically, from all your chapter titles that are tagged with the Heading 1 style.  It will be visibile on the Kindle when you select "table of contents" from the menu.  Note: this button also ensures that chapters have a page break immediately before them.

Chapter

The chapter button creates a Heading 1 style for your text (see Paragraph Styles, above) in order to create a chapter that will be picked up by the ToC button and included in the Table of Contents.

Sub Section

The section button creates a Heading 2 style for the selected text in order to create a chapter subsection that will appear in the Table of Contents when it is generated with the ToC button.

Hide Toolbar

At the bottom right of the toolbar, there is a hide toolbar button that shrinks the toolbar.  If you just want to concentrate on your writing, rather than formatting, you might use this to eliminate distractions on the screen.  To get the toolbar back, simply click the arrow again.

 

Kindle Limitations

The Kindle is a fairly limited device in some ways: you simply can't do a great deal of formatting with it.  For self-published authors, this has a positive aspect, because what we produce at LiberWriter looks just as good as what is created at major publishers (sometimes better).

Fonts

The Kindle has two fonts that authors can use: the standard font, and a monospaced "typewriter" font.  Beyond that, you can't control the font or font size, much.  For sections of text you can set them to larger or smaller, but you would not want to do that for the whole document, because the font and font size are settings that the user selects on their own Kindle.  For instance, people whose eyesight isn't as good as it once was might choose a larger font to read with, to avoid eyestrain.  Someone else who likes to get as much text as possible per page might select a smaller font.  And you, the author, should not interfere with their choices - focus on the content, not how it's presented.

You can also make words or phrases bold or italic using the appropriate buttons on the toolbar.

Images

The Kindle screen is 600x800, and grayscale, meaning that while it can display images, they work best when they are simple and clear.  In other words, your coffee table book of stunning double-page panoramas from the Rocky Mountains is probably not going to work very well on the Kindle.  However, simple, clear diagrams will probably work well, as will photos of people.

Not all devices that Kindle books can be read on are black and white (the iPad for instance), so you should make sure your images work both in black and white and in color.

Captions are a "known problem" on the Kindle: reasonably large images will take up the entire Kindle screen, pushing the caption off to the preceding or following page.  There's no real way around this, but it turns out that most people with Kindles get used to this issue and know that sometimes captions are cut off from their images.

Pages

The Kindle doesn't have the concept of a "page".  Sure, you may click through a book, reading what appears to be a page at a time, but since you can change the font size yourself (see fonts, above), what appears together on one page for you might appear on several pages for someone else, if they use a larger font.  The Kindle uses a model where text "flows" into the available space, depending on the font size, screen size, and other factors.  This is necessary because content can be displayed on a wide range of devices with varying screen sizes.  It also means that you can't really do anything about "widows and orphans".

As an example, consider how much text is displayed on one "page" on the following Kindle-capable devices: 

What constitutes a page changes completely!

Videos

The new Kindle Fire device can do video, but eInk based devices can't, and likely won't be able to for the time being.  Also, since Amazon will take delivery costs out of the price of your book, adding large videos to it would make it more expensive.

Here's our recommended solution: link to the video on a site like Youtube or Vimeo.  You can do this easily with the link tool.  It does mean making the videos public, but you can always use them as an advertisement to drive people back to your web site, and your book by putting links next to the video directing users to your site for more information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Formatting Problems

Q. I transferred my document into LiberWriter from MS Word. I had a blank line between Paragraphs in Word, now there are two blank lines between paragraphs. Do I need to remove the extra line throughout the whole document?

A. What you see in Liberwriter may not be what you get in Kindle. If you do remove the extra blank line (leaving a single blank line as you had it in Word), the Kindle formatting will indent each paragraph leaving no blank lines between paragraphs. An easy way to troubleshoot these issues is to copy a small amount of text (e.g., one chapter) from Word to LiberWriter, send it to Kindle and review it. Then make formatting changes you desire and view again. When the Kindle text looks right, continue editing the rest of your book or document accordingly.

 

Q. The formatting looks wrong on my Kindle, do I have to go through the whole thing and fix it bit by bit?

A.  Probably not!  Contact us, and we'll see if we can fix things up automatically with a little bit of code.  More often than not, what seems like it might take a long time can be done quickly with a little bit of assistance.

 

How Long Does it Last?

Q. After I transfer my Word document to LiberWriter, can I transfer additional text or chapters later?

A. Yes. You can transfer text from Word to LiberWriter any time you edit your document in LiberWriter.  If you discover a typo in your document a year or two from now, you can always go back, edit it in LiberWriter, and reupload it to Amazon.  This is one way that eBook publishing is a lot less stressful than traditional publishing!

 

Q. When I finish and publish my Document on Kindle, does a copy remain available in LiberWriter?

A. Yes. You pay the fee once per book and there is no time limit or length limit. Thus your book or document is retained indefinitely so you can return at any time.

Images

Q. Can I insert images into my document?

A. Yes. The image button can be used to insert photos or other images anywhere in your LiberWriter. Remember that Kindle does not display color images so check to be sure the image appearance is satisfactory.  Amazon recommends that images be smaller than 127K, but these days it's probably ok to exceed that.  The correct ratio to use is 600x800, and the image should be that size or larger if you want to take up the whole screen on the Kindle.

 

Sending to Kindle

Q. When I finish editing and select “Send to Kindle”, where does it go?

A. Your document is emaild to your @free.kindle.com email address.  See "Connecting LiberWriter and your Kindle" for more information.  You will only receive the document on your Kindle if you follow the steps listed on that page, and if you are connected via wifi.   Keep in mind that when we talk about a Kindle, we mean the actual, physical device.  Amazon's KDP, on the other hand, is where you're supposed to upload your book once it's ready to go.

Uploading a Book Written with Mac Pages

LiberWriter does not handle files created directly with Pages, but since Pages can export files to the Microsoft Word format, you can then upload those to LiberWriter.

Here's the Apple document explaining how: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3705

If you can view the document's file "extension", the correct one is .doc or .docx - and not .pages.

Kindle for PC

Q. Where can I get software to read Kindle-formatted documents on my PC?

A. Go to http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311. You will need to sign into your Kindle account to download the free software.

Blank Pages

Sometimes, a blank page will appear in your book.  Once in a while, this is because we missed something when cleaning it up, so don't hesitate to ask, however, more often than not, the cause is a page break that randomly falls at the wrong place.

Since the Kindle doesn't have pages (explained above), the text flows differently on different devices, and occasionally, a page break falls where the page naturally breaks, causing a blank page.  In other words, the page goes right up to the end of the text, starts a new page, and then sees a 'new page!' instruction, and dutifully follows it.  Other than avoiding page breaks, there's not much that can be done about these.  Most people reading will simply move to the next page without missing a beat, so it's not something to worry about much.

Document Backups

Q. Can I revert to an earlier version of my document?

A. If you have not saved your edited document, exit LiberWriter and the next time you sign in, your previous version will appear for editing.  Every time LiberWriter saves your document, we store the old versions for safe keeping.  In the future, we plan to make these versions available, but currently, if you need to revert to an older version, let us know and we can help.

 

Q. I see several copies of my document on my Kindle. Can I delete old versions to avoid accidentally publishing the wrong version?

A. Kindle allows you to delete any document from your Kindle. Just follow the directions on your Kindle. To organize or delete Kindle content, and to find other useful tools, see: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375850

 

Q. Do you recommend any particular browser?

A. Yes!  Firefox and Google Chrome are the fastest browsers out there.  We do our best to make LiberWriter work with all browsers, however, we feel that those two are currently the best out there.

 


© Copyright 2011-2017 DedaSys LLC
Kindle is a trademark of Amazon.com.