This is the most difficult and confusing phase in the process of releasing an eBook for many writers.
They’re enthusiastic to write a fantastic book that will benefit their audience, but they become bogged down by the technical aspects of preparing it for publication.
But…you can stop worrying now!
In this piece, I’ll show you six easy ways to format your eBook like an expert.
Following these instructions will ensure that your eBook is precisely formatted for every popular device – without the worry, hassles, or confusion!
But first things first.
Which eBook Format Is Best?
There are several common eBook formats. None of them are better or worse than the others since each is optimized for viewing on a certain device. The only ones you actually need to be aware of are:
- PDF eBooks: These are perfect for computer reading but may be difficult to view on smartphones. Because Word and Pages allow you to instantly convert a document into a pdf, this is often the simplest and cheapest format to generate. Are you not using Word or Pages? No worries. Make use of a free online PDF converter, such as Small PDF.
- EPUB eBooks: EPUB is an abbreviation for “Electronic Publication.” This is the most common eBook format and can be read on almost any device, with the exception of the Kindle. This is also the format required if you want your eBook to be read on NOOK.
- MOBI eBooks: MOBI was created specifically for usage on the Kindle (or Kindle app). While you may still format your eBook in MOBI, the newest version of this format is AZW/AZW3 (see below).
- AZW/AZW3 eBooks: This is Amazon’s proprietary format, so use it if you want to sell there. This format is compatible with the Kindle and Kindle apps, as well as most PCs and smartphones.
As you can see, there are no correct or incorrect forms. The format(s) you pick will depend on how and where you wish to sell your eBook.
In general, it’s ideal to provide a few distinct alternatives for readers to pick from. I always provide PDF, EPUB, and AZW/AZW3 files.
How Do You Format a Word or Pages Document for Your eBook?
Before we go into your formatting options for your eBook, let’s first talk about how to write your first draught.
You’ll most likely be using a word processing tool like Word or Pages.
I’m assuming you’re already familiar with these applications; however, formatting your document for an eBook is a little different, so keep reading!
KISS is a useful rule of thumb to follow when formatting your first document.
Do you remember this outdated acronym? Keep it Simple, Silly! is a fantastic rule of thumb for eBook formatting.
Whether you’re preparing your book for self-publishing or sending it to professional ghostwriting services, make your formatting as basic and uniform as possible.
This generally implies using: while producing your document in Word or Pages.
- Text in black and white (font size of 12 is ideal)
- Line spacing of 1-1.5 for a simple typeface such as Times New Roman or Arial
- There are no sophisticated visuals (or no graphics at all)
- Only basic formatting choices such as bold and italic are available.
- Margin requirements
- Each page has a page break.
- Each chapter begins with a section split.
- There are no page numbers or headers/footers.
- After each paragraph, add a single space.
- There are no fancy components like text boxes or numerous columns.
Furthermore, you should include certain elements that you desire in your final eBook. These are some examples:
- Making use of headings for chapter titles
- Title and copyright pages
- Page “How to Contact the Author”
- Table of contents (this is why using heads for chapter names is critical)
While these recommendations aren’t technically required, they will make converting your Word or Pages file lot faster and easier (and maybe cheaper) in the end!
Remember that the services or tools described below will all have somewhat different specs, so study their help instructions before polishing up your document!
6 Methods for Publishing Your eBook
The technique you use to format your book will be determined by a number of criteria, including your budget, technical competence, and the amount of time you want to devote to the process. Again, there is no such thing as a good or incorrect decision; just the one that works best for YOU!
1. Make a PDF eBook (free)
If all you need is a basic PDF, you can surely do it yourself for free.
Word and Pages both allow you to save your documents as PDFs: Simply pick “Save” and then PDF under Export Formats in Word. In Pages, choose File à Export to PDF.
It should be noted that these solutions are not always the greatest at keeping your hyperlinks “alive.” If this is a concern for you, you may use Smallpdf to convert your paper to PDF for free while keeping your links active.
2. Make use of Calibre (Free)
Calibre is a free, open-source eBook organizer and conversion application that can effortlessly convert to any format, including PDF, EPUB, MOBI, and AZW3.
Simply download the application, upload your eBook file, and select the format to which you want to convert. After that, you just save your converted eBook files to your computer and you’re done!
3. Make use of Kindle Direct Publishing (Free)
Would you like to sell your eBook on Amazon.com? Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is your one-stop shop for correctly formatting and converting your eBook file to AZW3 format.
After you’ve prepared your Word document according to KDP’s rules, you’ll utilize Amazon’s other free tool, Kindle Create, to finalize your eBook.
Check out Kindle’s eBook Manuscript Formatting Guide for an overview of the full process.
4. Make use of Barnes & Noble Press.
If you want to sell your eBook primarily on BarnesandNoble.com, use Barnes and Noble Press, their self-publishing service.
This is one of the most user-friendly tools for formatting your book. To begin, read over their formatting standards to ensure that your Word document is correctly structured.
Following that, you’re directed through the formatting process, which consists of giving your book a name, submitting your manuscript and eBook cover, and finally downloading your finalized EPUB file.
It’s THAT simple!
5. Use an eBook Formatting Tool Like Vellum ($199 for Unlimited eBooks)
Check out Vellum if you want to generate several eBooks and/or want additional formatting options than the tools listed above.
While it is a more expensive choice, this application will improve your formatting by allowing you to simply add inline graphics, image descriptions, chapter heading images, and more. if you want to format your book an affordable price then you can also take book formatting services
Please keep in mind that Vellum is presently only accessible for Mac users. Scrivener is a comparable application for PC if you’re seeking anything similar.
6. Employ Someone to Format Your Book
Fortunately, if you lack the expertise or desire to format your eBook for publishing on your own, there are a plethora of excellent firms available to assist you.
The even better news is that turning your Word or Pages document into an excellently produced eBook will not cost you an arm and a leg! A simple eBook should not cost more than $100 to be translated into numerous common formats.
You might look at eBook conversion providers like eBook Launch, BookBaby, and Pressbooks.
Congratulations if you’re ready to format your eBook for publication!