Successfully reported this slideshow.
Your SlideShare is downloading. ×

Do’s & Don’ts of eBook Formatting

Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Upcoming SlideShare
Can an Ebook Look Good?
Can an Ebook Look Good?
Loading in …3
×

Check these out next

1 of 15 Ad

Do’s & Don’ts of eBook Formatting

Download to read offline

When I receive manuscripts from authors there is usually some strange formatting going on. I have noticed that the authors I work with the most, take the time to look at what I do when I format their eBooks and try and get the original manuscript over to me in a better state.
I thought it might be useful for me to go over a few things I immediately change when I format eBooks, so if you want to format your own eBook, or even get someone else to do it for you, you will know what to avoid.

When I receive manuscripts from authors there is usually some strange formatting going on. I have noticed that the authors I work with the most, take the time to look at what I do when I format their eBooks and try and get the original manuscript over to me in a better state.
I thought it might be useful for me to go over a few things I immediately change when I format eBooks, so if you want to format your own eBook, or even get someone else to do it for you, you will know what to avoid.

Advertisement
Advertisement

More Related Content

Recently uploaded (20)

Advertisement

Do’s & Don’ts of eBook Formatting

  1. 1. Jo Harrison Virtual Assistant www.ebook-formatting.co.uk
  2. 2. Edit and proofread your work before formatting... It’s far easier to format a manuscript for eBook when it has been thoroughly edited and proofread. To format the eBook and then have to make changes is not especially difficult, but if you have already converted the eBook to ePub or some other version it creates more work to go back and do it again.
  3. 3. Press enter at the end of each line... This isn’t necessary at all, when I receive documents like this I wonder whether the writer is still using a typewriter. In all word processing software you can continue writing and only need to press enter at the end of a paragraph.
  4. 4. Use page breaks... This is really important, if you want your chapters to start on a new page on e-readers then you need to add a page break at the end of your chapters. Don’t use any other kind of break in an eBook as these won’t convert well.
  5. 5. Use a lot of bullet points or numbered lists... Bullet points and numbered lists don’t convert well into an eBook if you’re using Word to format. I have found if you do use them then keep the points short, sentences are justified when converted and if they are too long the bullet points or numbers just don’t line up nicely.
  6. 6. Use styles... Again this is important, if you want something centered, bold, or italic, such as for chapter headings and book titles, then create a style. This is explained really well in the Smashwords Style Guide.
  7. 7. Use different fonts... By all means use different fonts for the titles or chapter headings, but within the body of the text you must use the same font and size otherwise the end document will again just look ugly after conversion.
  8. 8. Use a standard font such as Times New Roman... Standard fonts such as this convert nicely into an eBook, if you use fancy fonts then they may be unreadable or may not even convert at all. I have just started using Garamond as an alternative to TNR and it works really well, and looks more professional in my opinion.
  9. 9. Use the spacebar or tabs to create indents... There is a correct way to create indents as you type, and to save me explaining it here, check out this blog post eBook Formatting: How to Properly Indent Paragraphs (Book Baby). It also explains how to remove all the tabs in your document if you have used tabs. You can also see how to remove these and spaces in my post 5 Little-Known Tips to Improve your eBook Formatting.
  10. 10. Use curly quotes... I guess this is just personal preference, but why use straight quotes when the curly quotes convert and look so much better. The same goes for apostrophes.
  11. 11. Use paragraph returns to create space between paragraphs... You don’t need to use returns to create space between paragraphs. When you open up the paragraph dialog box, instead of creating an indent, add space after returns (at the bottom), I tend to use 12pt. Don’t use the line spacing's: Multiple, Exactly or At Least – they won’t convert well!
  12. 12. Keep it simple... When you’re formatting for eBook you need to keep things as simple as possible. Any flashy formatting will not convert well to Kindle or other formats. Above all, ensure you don’t spend all your time making the eBook look aesthetically pleasing on the screen and think about how you want it to look on the Kindle or other e-readers.
  13. 13. Use more than 3 paragraph returns in succession... According to the Smashwords Style Guide, 3 paragraph returns is the maximum you should use in succession, this creates space, but should not create blank pages and ugly white space.
  14. 14. It yourself? Download the Smashwords Style Guide. Along the way you will pick up tips and tricks to improve on the formatting. It may take you quite a long time to do the formatting yourself the first time, do you have that time? If not, then why not outsource the work to someone who can do it for you. There are some great eBook formatters out there, some format in Word and some do it in html.
  15. 15. Visit my website: www.ebook-formatting.co.uk Check out my ‘Format your own eBook’ Template www.ebook-formatting.co.uk/format-your-own-ebook Sign-up to my free eBook Marketing Mini-eCourse www.ebook-formatting.co.uk/ebook-marketing-mini-ecourse Jo Harrison Virtual Assistant Follow me on: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube | Slideshare | Google+

×