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Self-Publishing… Oh, the Moving Parts!

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As I hurtle headlong towards my self-imposed launch day of March 8th, the To Do list is waffling between a satisfying series of checks and the inevitable daunting additions that hadn’t even occurred to me!

Am I enjoying the process? Absolutely! Is it riddled with moments of elation as well as bursts of sheer panic? Oh yes! And, the unexpected, that every good planner knows should be factored into the timeline (especially when attempting something you’ve never done before).  I always appreciated my publisher of @Home in Dubai (Jo Parfitt at Summertime Publishing) but I’m starting to have a whole new appreciation.

Here’s one item that I thought would take just a few minutes…

The Kindle Template

I really thought I had this one locked down. I had taken a few online webinars and bought a video series and template and even tested it on a short e-book. I was ready to roll. Not! There’s a little thing that is required for the upload to Kindle DirectPublishing – the hyperlinked ‘table of contents’ (TOC). My template had one conveniently included so I began to happily input all my content to the template, until I ran out of chapters in the TOC. My test ebook had the same amount of chapters as the template (10) so it didn’t occur to me that I might run into problems with Mental Pause’s 19 chapters.

So, back to the video I went to seek out the section on how to add additional chapters. I knew that the presenter worked on a PC but so far I had been able to adapt to the Mac. With a sinking heart, it started to become obvious that there was no ‘quick fix’ for the Mac and the steps outlined to add chapters on a PC didn’t exist on the Mac.

After an entire day of research, a lot of struggling and messing up of formatting in my ebook layout, I finally came out victorious. I had to combine the advice from several different blogs and spend some time scratching my head but I figured it out. Thanks to author and blogger William Hertling for providing the closest solution, enabling me to fill in the final blanks!

Here are the steps:
  • Scroll through your document, and for each chapter title, select the text, and then click Insert - Bookmark. Type in the name of your chapter (or you can just call it Chapter 1). Do that for each chapter.
  • Insert a new page near the front of the book. Call it "Table of Contents". Then type the chapter names, one on each line.
  • There are two Amazon book marks that are required, the Table of Contents and the first page of your book, so make sure you create those while establishing your bookmarks: Highlight the text ‘Table of Contents’, and click Insert - Bookmark, and name it ‘TOC’. All uppercase. Go to the first page of your book – where the text begins and put your cursor at the first letter of the text. Again click Insert - Bookmark, and name it ‘Start’.
  • Once all your bookmarks have been created go back into your table of contents and highlight the name of chapter 1 and then click on 'insert-hyperlink'. Inside the pop-up window, click the 'locate' button and there are the bookmarks you've created! Choose the relevant bookmark. Follow the same steps for each chapter listed on the Table of Contents.
Voila! That's it. Easy when you know how, right?

The good news is that I have successfully uploaded to Kindle and it looks great. Next I’ll be going through the print layout for final proofing and then uploading to CreateSpace for POD. Wish me luck! 

On a different note... if you want to get notified when Mental Pause launches just fill out the handy form on my website. You can even get a sneak peek and read some chapter excerpts on the blog, Mental Pause - The Novel!

Next time: Converting to other ebook formats! Another day-long adventure.


You are very brave to do it yourself. Thank you for the helpful info - I may try to do it myself with my next book. Best wishes for your launch - very exciting!!
Anne OConnell said…
Thanks Melissa! Either brave or nuts...maybe a little bit of both :) I'm glad this was helpful. There's a lot more to the template and the source I used was Shelley Hitz at Her materials are great.

Thanks for the well wishes. I'm just excited to get it out there (and maybe start working on the next one).

Happy writing,

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