Novice Self-publishing 7: preparing to upload.

The safest way to upload your paperback manuscript to Amazon is as a PDF file.

Before converting your Word file to PDF, run the checks below (again).

They can all be found in the File tab, to the left of the toolbar, which takes you here…

Embedding fonts

Whether or not you convert your file to PDF before uploading, you need to embed the fonts you want in your publication, This ensures that any non-standard fonts are faithfully represented in your PDF file and your printed book.

This can be found in the File tab under Options/Save.

  • In the left-hand menu, click on Options and select Save from the new menu that appears (see screenshot below left)
  • Scroll down the main screen until you come to the option to embed fonts.
  • If not already ticked, select the box to embed fonts.


This can be found in the File tab under Options/Advanced.

I haven’t addressed images in this series as we didn’t need them for our anthology, but I’m fairly sure this step should be taken before saving any images in your file.

If you have images in your book, search the main screen of the Options/Advanced menu for Image Quality (see screenshot above, right)

Select do not compress. For print, you need high resolution images.

I’m fairly hazy about images myself, other than knowing you need lean, fast-loading images for web and e-books, but high resolution for print.

There is plenty of guidance out there, both from Amazon’s KDP Jumpstart pages and elsewhere on the web. Any of them will offer better advice than I can.

Inspect document

This is an icon in the main body of the File tab

  • Select the Check for Issues icon to Inspect Document.
  • In the box that appears with a list of checks, unselect Headers and Footers. Leave the others checked.
  • If you haven’t recently saved your file you will be prompted to save it now. Do so.
  • Run the inspection.

A first inspection will probably find the following:

  •  Personal information. Remove this from your file. There is a good chance it isn’t even your name if you’ve used someone else’s template. Whether it is or not, it’s information you don’t need cluttering up your clean file for upload.
  • XML. Remove XML, even though more will appear the next time you save. Word constantly adds XML in the background that us mere users apparently don’t need to know about, bless us. Run this check last thing before converting to PDF.
  • If you didn’t unselect Headers and Footers before running the search they will have been found during the inspection. Don’t remove them (unless you want to lose page numbers, etc).
  • Check your manuscript thoroughly before you save it again. If anything unexpected has happened, you still have your previously saved file to revert to.

Save to PDF

  • Go to File/Save As.
  • Click on Browse to bring up a box.
  • Below the File name, click on that little down arrow to the right of the Save as type box, where it tells you it’s a Word Document (.doc or .docx).
  • In the list that appears, select PDF.
  • At the bottom of the Save box, select Optimise for … printing.
  • Click on Save

Check every page

This will be the file you upload to Amazon.

If anything needs changing, amend it on your Word file and re-save to PDF.

Upload to Amazon

When you get to this section of your KDP account, Amazon will guide you through the upload – and will tell you if your manuscript needs further tweaking. 

To check  all is as expected, you can order a proof copy (which will have a banner across it saying it is a proof copy) or – if it looks good online – publish it and order an author copy (which you can sell or give away). Either way you pay for postage.

If your file is good enough for Amazon it will be good enough for your local print companies – as long as you’re confident you can sell the number of copies you’ll need to order.

Good luck with your upload.

This is the last in the Novice Self-publishing series –unless you’d like me to provide more detail on any point. 

Let me know.

5 thoughts on “Novice Self-publishing 7: preparing to upload.

    1. I suspect that’s why so many bloggers recommend that authors invest in a professionally produced cover – even those who aren’t advertising the service themselves. It’s all a learning curve.

      Liked by 2 people

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