I created a series of videos: How to use Word to create a publishable manuscript. More than anything these videos are an introduction to what you can do on your own. It may involve a lot of trial-and-error but once you’ve done it, you have a template for doing it again. All these products and the sites are improving regularly to support the indie-publishing universe. There are bumps along the road with these, and I’m happy to respond to questions.

I’m using Word to format the manuscript. I’ll then upload the manuscript to the good folks at Draft2Digital (which I am using to distribute my non-Amazon ebooks) to convert it to the epub format what I then upload to KDP. Separately I will create ebook and paperback covers at Canva (how-to-create-covers is in parts 6 and 7).

Then we’ll turn the manuscript into a print-ready document in Word, which we’ll save in PDF and upload to KDP and which is uploadable to any number of other sites, including Draft2Digital and IngramSpark. This step is what makes an independently-published book look professional, and in the end like this:

In the first video, we explore Word Styles, which is what defines how a paragraph looks. This knowledge allows you to do an incredible number of things in Word, ultimately to create a document that has the hallmarks of something traditionally published, which is the point.

In the second Video, I walked through the creation of Sections in Word. This is crucial to get the page numbering structure correct and also is what allows one to not have a header on the first page of a chapter.

Part 3 is about doing some final work with the document in Word, particularly the table of contents and cover page.

Part 4: Taking what we have, creating an epub document for uploading to KDP and elsewhere for distribution.

In this part, we take our document and use it to create a print version.

Part 6: How to use Canva to create an ebook cover.

Part 7: Creating a paperback cover on Canva

Part 8: Uploading that cover to KDP.

Part 9: Hardcover 1: Using to create a hardcover version. I had to make two parts for this because the first one was not for general distribution and the other, Part 10, goes to limited distribution through Lulu Bookstore.

Part 10: The Last Step for hardcover.