Tools – Publishing with OpenOffice and KDP

After I finished writing Shaper of Stone, I wanted to send the file to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP).  I had written my novel in OpenOffice which isn’t a format that KDP will accept.  To publish my novel, I had to first convert my document.

KDP will accept several different formats, but really only three should ever be considered: EPUB, MOBI and HTML.

KDP also accepts doc files.  The files that you get when you save something written in MSWord.

At first, I thought I would just save my OpenOffice document as a DOC file. I do it all the time when I need to share files with friends who don’t use OpenOffice. That would be pretty easy and it should work without any problems. Right?

Well, it doesn’t take too many searches to realize that working with a DOC file might create undesirable results.  Bad Fonts, poor hyphenation and strange background colors might be the least of my worries.

So, I tried Calibre.  Calibre is an ebook management tool.  It will read an OpenOffice document and convert it to an EPUB or MOBI file.  This worked wonderfully for me. I could take the MOBI file that it produce and drop it on my Kindle with no problems at all. Well, there was one thing.  They hyphenation wasn’t consistent.

After trying a few options and only making it worse,  I decided to follow some of the advice given to folks who work in MSWord. I was going to export the file as HTML and upload it.

Yeah. That didn’t work out any better.  It was close, but not exact.

Exporting OpenOffice to HTML didn’t give me what I wanted, but it did give me a file that I could easily edit. I could now fix the few problems that I had.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a easy guide to follow. I went through a lot of trial and error before I got it right.

As I am finishing Shaper of Air I have been able to take advantage of the tricks I learned writing and publishing Shaper of Stone. This time it was easy.

You can see how I converted OpenOffice to HTML for Kindle by clicking on this link.