Formatting is another most important part of an eBook. It makes an eBook looks formal in all ways.
Formatting is not easy as it needs practice. All self-publishing book needs configuration, specifically the two most common file types, like Kindle Mobi and ePub, which are widely accepted by most other eBook distributors, including Apple. In my view, if you want some excellent tips in eBook formatting, then I would definitely suggest you to get practice it for some time, either preparing to submit a Word document to the conversion service or automatically formatting the Word document to upload directly to an eBook store’s automated conversion system.
First, make it simple because simplicity is key. The importance, or we can say the beauty of an eBook file, is that we can read it on thousands of electronic devices from desktops to tablets to mobile phones. Regardless of the device manufacturer and operating system, the file is generally readable. Although the file can be read, it may not always display as expected, especially if the format is complex or you are using an older device. Simultaneously, newer devices or eBook readers can handle complex structures such as multi-column and table layouts. You need to make sure your eBook is designed for all devices, and in order to do that, you should skip using complex structures such as multiple columns on each page, drop caps, wrap-around images, and text boxes.
The following paragraph may sound ridiculous to some people, but you will be surprised at how often you see it. Do not use the space bar or the tab key to centre the text. E-readers ignore the space bar and multiple tabs because it will change the text to the left. Instead, use the Text Center button on the main Word tab.
There are at least three common ways to indent a Word document, although e-readers are considered only one of them. For the above reasons, don’t use multiple spacebar keys to create an indentation. Also, the use of tab keys by electronic readers is ignored. The correct way to indent is to use paragraph styles. Just expand the paragraph options on the main Word tab and select the type of indentation and size you want. I recommend a margin of less than 1 cm as the screen of an eBook can be pretty small, and a margin of 1 cm can be excessive.
You can use multiple small paragraphs to give your eBook amazing formatting, but in the end, you should provide a page break. This is necessary because it will ensure that your next chapter begins at the beginning of a new page.
Do not add titles or page numbers. Each eBook-reader automatically generates a title based on the title of the book and/or the author’s name. E-devices automatically generated page numbers. Also, note that the number of pages in a book depends on the device screen size and the user’s font size settings. Therefore, it is not advisable to include specific page numbers in the body of your manuscript.
Continuing with my previous point about pages, footnotes don’t work in eBooks because you can’t be sure where the page break will be. Instead, you can use footnotes at the end of each chapter or at the end of a book.
You can also include some images to make your eBook attractive, although there is a crucial issue to consider when selling through Amazon, namely shipping costs. When you purchase or download an eBook, Amazon charges some shipping fees from you. This fee depends on the size of the file. The more images you use, the larger the file size and the higher the shipping cost. This case is further complicated by Amazon’s royalty structure, where if you choose the 30% royalty option, they eliminate the fees. You can calculate shipping costs in your eBook price list, but if it’s a large file and you want to sell it cheap, this might not be the best solution. You will need to consider which royalty option is best for you, based on the price you want to charge for your eBook and the size of the file. I know It seems a bit complicated.
Here is a shortlist of body copy settings:
- Use a standard font such as Arial, Georgia, or Times New Roman.
- Use 10, 11, or 12 point size for body text.
- Use black text.
- The line spacing must be greater than 1.5.
- Use standard fields.
- Do not use leading as they will be ignored.
- If you want to highlight specific words or phrases, use only basic formatting tools such as bold, italic, and uppercase.
These are very important tips when preparing for e-book formats. If you can use these tips then most of your work is done. Most eBook sellers have different types of requirements and many still don’t accept Word documents for automatic conversion. Some of them, like Smashwords, have additional provisions, such as restrictions on font colors, restrictions on indentation options, and the need to specify them as editors. A quick Google search should provide you with all the information about your favorite store.
Unfortunately, creating an e-book from a Word document can be challenging because the process is automated. This is why many people hire professionals to create their books using HTML code. I think I have provided you enough details with the formatting. It is very important because no one will buy your eBook if it is not formatting properly. If you have any questions about this article or any other questions related to the e-book, you can leave a comment below. I hope you find this quick guide useful.