Amazon's Extra Indents are Driving Me Crazy!
Updated: Jul 8, 2019
I’m sure Amazon makes formatting harder than it has to be when you’re creating your ebook or paperback. Most of us indie writers have found formatting a pain at one point. Who hasn’t uploaded their book after going through the document and checking all the formatting, to then find extra indents on the paragraphs? This infuriates me and ruins the look of the text. Readers expect a quality product, so as a writer and publisher, I have to do my best to provide this.
I’d been puzzling over this issue recently when a copy of my paperback, Dead Again, came back with these over large paragraph indents. After a little research on google, I found out that Amazon adds in extra indents automatically, ignoring the indents Word puts in. In other words, the indents are being doubled up. Why would Amazon do this? Even when I’ve used Kindle Create to format a book, it still adds the extra indents. Surely there’s a simple fix for Amazon to ignore the indents? Whatever the reasons, I found a very simple fix.
I use Scrivener to write and compile my novels into a Word document ready for submitting to Amazon, who then do all the conversion to the correct format for Kindle. Knowing Amazon will put those paragraphs in, I have to remove the ones Word puts in. To do this, do a find on ^t and replace with nothing for the entire document. This will erase all the tab formatting. Next, select the entire document and go to the paragraph menu and choose first line indent. Make this 0.3. Now when you upload your document, there will be no extra spaces. As you can see from the picture, my paperback is looking great! So can yours.
This is a very simple work around until Amazon find a way to do this automatically. I also highly recommend using Kindle Create as it does have some great features, especially the ability to automatically add a contents page. I used to spend ages doing this on Word. I'll do an article on this app in the future along with a more in-depth one on formatting.
I Hope this tip is of use to other indie writers. If you found it useful, please subscribe to my mailing list and feel free to share any more formatting tips in the comments.
Kevin Grover is an indie author of supernatural thrillers. His books are on Amazon and his website, Indie Bookshelf, shares various tips and experiences about his indie career.