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  1. #1
    Member DaBlaRR's Avatar
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    ebook formatting

    As I am getting my last bit of edited material back from my editor, I have been formatting my novel for print.

    That's easy enough, once I know about all the settings in word etc etc.

    But, for an ebook, I understand that the formatting has to be different then the print version.

    Is there an easy way to convert a formatted print version into an ebook? Or do I have to completely change everything?

    I'm new to this.
    disclaimer: I type to ask quuuesstions... if for wutever reeeson i mistake a their with there, or a two with to... or anything of the sort... forums is where i can lazeee tipe and not put effort in... i am not a professional...

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  3. #3
    It's not all that hard.

    • Delete any headers and page numbers, and be certain there is nothing left in the header field.
    • Create a table of contents. It's time consuming, but one way is to bookmark the title of each chapter. Something simple, like ch1, ch2, ch3...ch31. Then create the table of contents page and link each entry to the associated bookmark.

    If you're using Word, it's important to not have any hidden bookmarks. To identify/eliminate them, go to the create a bookmark page and uncheck, then recheck, "Show Hidden Bookmarks," to make them appear.

    • Create your first page, with the copyright date. For Smashwords you also must have: "Published by Continuation Services at SmashWords.

    In addition you need the disclaimer, something like:

    This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


    This novel is a work of fiction. All characters and events in this book are fictitious and created by the author for entertainment purposes. Any similarities between living and non-living persons are purely coincidental.

    • For Smashwords you need a front cover image page.

    • I separate chapters with two blank lines followed by a centered followed by a manual page break and then two more blank lines and the chapter number. I indicate scene breaks by centered

    Smashwords will accept a Word file directly, but it must be in .DOC format, not .DOCX (though that may change, and even may be, now)

    Kindle will handle Word files, but the resulting file is huge, and they charge more to deliver the product. You can convert it to Mobi or AZW3 format for a much smaller file using Calibre. It does have a few glitches, though. They recently made a change, and now, to get consistently formatted chapter and scene breaks you have to enable heuristic processing, and then uncheck everything but, "Ensure scene breaks are consistently formatted." You can do a final edit of the resulting file on your phone or ereader to check format. I find that handy because with the words in unfamiliar locations on the screen you're forced to read what's there, not what you expect to see here.

    There's probably more, but that's all that comes to mind at the moment.

  4. #4
    There is also a discussion thread
    with a link to an easy Guide to Creating an e-book
    http://www.writingforums.com/threads...ating-an-eBook
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  5. #5
    Member DaBlaRR's Avatar
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    Thank you for your help guys. And I am not sure about what exactly I am doing for Kindle yet.
    disclaimer: I type to ask quuuesstions... if for wutever reeeson i mistake a their with there, or a two with to... or anything of the sort... forums is where i can lazeee tipe and not put effort in... i am not a professional...

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  6. #6
    I use Calibre, which is free E-book management software. It can convert pretty well any format to any other, so once you have your book in one you can quickly create the others. I have put MOBI, EPUB and PDF versions of my novel on my website with the aid of this package. You do need to consider all the details of exactly what you've included in your text though as some things don't survive conversion so well as others. The answer is not to get too fancy. You are only basically attempting to convey words to your readers after all. Also bear in mind that E-book readers are personal devices which present the text to the reader in the format that they prefer, so don't assume that it will look exactly the same to them as the way you see it. In E-books the textual content and the style in which that text is presented on the screen are distinctly different things and you are really only in control of the first, so don't fuss too much over the second.

    I should mention that I gave up using word processing software, both Microsoft Word and OpenOffice, to write because they make such a mess of the underlying files by the time you've edited the text umpteen times. The final result can be quite quirky and a problem for conversion systems. Nowadays I write in HTML directly, which ensures that I have complete control over how the text is handled and that no superfluous junk accumulates amongst it, but that isn't an approach that I'd suggest others should try unless they are comfortable with using HTML. I made the changeover initially by converting my old word processed text to HTML and then purging all the generated rubbish out of it with the software equivalent of a fine toothed comb and a critical eye. This means that I know exactly what oddities exist in the text and whether they are compatible with E-books. For example, at one point I use superscript text out of necessity, but exactly how right that will look on any E-reader can't be taken for granted.

    Apart from uploading work to websites I find the E-book format to be useful for giving copies directly to individual people to read. Nowadays many people have E-readers or devices with that capability and if they can pop your story into theirs easily then there's that much more of a chance that they'll eventually read it.
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