Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Get your ebook published! Format Right!

They say there is a novel in everyone. It could be fiction or non-fiction. But, if not formatted properly it would be a reader's nightmare. So you would do well to get into formatting before you start or even now that you have reached the self publishing stage. 
Formatting right for e-books is not a choice; it is a compulsion for the modern day e reader's viewability has a set pattern

E -publishing calls you the publisher so it is unavoidable to FORMAT! Tomorrow will be a breeze i think! YES!  I Believe! But let's be honest - nobody gives a newbie writer a huge deal unless you're Stephen King or J.K. Rowling! So i'm glad there is indiE-publishing! I truly believe e-publishing is here to stay.

Useful Tips that helped me format my book

Get your file saved in another location or folder and leave that one alone.

Keep the show/hide feature from the menu or word options Display so you can see the extra paragraph/carriage returns and other formatting marks. The tab space has circle in front of the return symbol and the tabs have arrows. the extra space bar has an extra dot and enter has a mirror image of P!

 Remove all the extra spaces and paragraphs created with space and tab (an absolute no no if you want your file to flow seamlessly in the e reader - kindle, i pad, i phone...
 Just click 'Replace' in the right hand side enter ^t in 'options' and leave it blank in 'replace with' field. To remove the extra spaces in Options in the replace filed click  'two 'spaces by tapping two spaces literally, in the modify field replace the extra space with one. I literally shouted out in joy seeing the document, it looked so sparkly clean, like a house at Christmas.

Add a page break after every chapter. Instead of using other errors that will corrupt it for Kindle, Smashwords...

Use paragraph enter/returns just once.

If you are uploading into Kindle, check your book in the Kindle previewer. A tip when you do that save the file you uploaded as draft until you are satisfied for the book will be online within 12-24 hours approx. These simple tips could help you.

Linking to chapters with the TOC in Word

Word has a nifty TOC (table of contents). And, is easy if you have chosen one style for heading i.e. you chapters and another for your title and one for the body text. To ensure you are using the same style - right click and choose modify over a heading style and choose Times New Roman, Arial  Bold which are the fonts in most e readers. After you click modify, choose the point size as 14 here. Click for tips on TOC here.

I found this out after my toc included my title author name and a line from one of the paragraphs. Once i realised the toc wasn’t working on the kindle previewer, i worked on the above hints with TOC. Check them here.

Go through the smashwords style guide,which is also available free as a PDF. It is by Mark Coker and works on most e - publishing services.

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