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formatting question for self publishing (1 Viewer)

indianroads

Staff member
Global Moderator
I've published on KDP, and that works well for me.
I use the KDP 6x9 MS Word template, move my chapters in, format it with the TOC etc, then upload it.

I'd like to use a different scene (not chapter) separator. Currently I use asterisks, and that's fine, but I've read other self published books and seen more interesting separators. How do I find and upload a unique separator that KDP will be happy with?
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
Since ebooks are based on HTML formatting, I would think that the typical HTML symbols would work. There are usually some interesting combinations from standard fonts such as TIMES NEW ROMAN that you can access by clicking "insert symbol" and looking at "entire font" - just be sure that you are using a standard font. If you add a symbol from an unusual font, then when your ebook is rendered, if that font isn't available (either via embedding or on someone's device) then it will be displayed in a standard "serif" or "sans serif" font which may not have the symbol you used. Times New Roman is pretty safe though. Some books use actual "images" for the scene breaks but I have seen this done with white background and I use dark background on my device so it stands out as weird white boxes, so I don't like that approach personally.

Here is a chart of various special symbols and their HTML & Unicode info:

https://www.toptal.com/designers/htmlarrows/symbols/


Some cool times new roman scene break combos I've seen that are safe:

~ ~ ~

~~~

-+-

___

~/~

<>

^^^



All of this said, you may only care about printed books and there the sky is the limit!! You can use any image / gif / jpg, or webdings / wingdings from free fonts. Just be sure to save your PDF with embedded fonts.
 
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apocalypsegal

Senior Member
If it's for print, you can use any small element you like. Flourishes, or whatever... I think they're called printer's elements? Something like that.

For ebooks, it's best to just use the asterisk. If you try to use something from a font, like webdings or whatever, Amazon won't convert it and it will look ugly in the file. Otherwise, you have to make an image of it, and images add to the download costs.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
I've published on KDP, and that works well for me.
I use the KDP 6x9 MS Word template, move my chapters in, format it with the TOC etc, then upload it.

I'd like to use a different scene (not chapter) separator. Currently I use asterisks, and that's fine, but I've read other self published books and seen more interesting separators. How do I find and upload a unique separator that KDP will be happy with?

Just use an image file. Astericks is so...1984ish...
If you use an image file, make it light, but hi res, and it should work left justified (in the eBook).
 

Lee Messer

Senior Member
Since ebooks are based on HTML formatting, I would think that the typical HTML symbols would work. There are usually some interesting combinations from standard fonts such as TIMES NEW ROMAN that you can access by clicking "insert symbol" and looking at "entire font" - just be sure that you are using a standard font. If you add a symbol from an unusual font, then when your ebook is rendered, if that font isn't available (either via embedding or on someone's device) then it will be displayed in a standard "serif" or "sans serif" font which may not have the symbol you used. Times New Roman is pretty safe though. Some books use actual "images" for the scene breaks but I have seen this done with white background and I use dark background on my device so it stands out as weird white boxes, so I don't like that approach personally.

Here is a chart of various special symbols and their HTML & Unicode info:

https://www.toptal.com/designers/htmlarrows/symbols/


Some cool times new roman scene break combos I've seen that are safe:

~ ~ ~

~~~

-+-

___

~/~

<>

^^^



All of this said, you may only care about printed books and there the sky is the limit!! You can use any image / gif / jpg, or webdings / wingdings from free fonts. Just be sure to save your PDF with embedded fonts.
I was advised to use a single center aligned hash tag.
#
Kind of like that. ^^^
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Media Manager
Just use an image file. Astericks is so...1984ish...
If you use an image file, make it light, but hi res, and it should work left justified (in the eBook).
Also, you can just use the same image over and over again. I'd use a png with a clear background in case they invert the text.
 

VRanger

Staff member
Administrator
I was advised to use a single center aligned hash tag.
#
Kind of like that. ^^^
Should you decide to use an image, I wrote a guide for that last spring. Ralph is correct about an image with a transparent background, not just because of the possibility of inversion, but because the user may choose alternate background colors on some devices, when they are used in an eBook rather than print. So they could wind up with a cream background except for a white rectangle around the image. From reading I've done, a # may be interpreted by a typesetter as a blank line, rather than specifically a scene separator, so should you work with a publisher, it's a question I'd ask of their policy.

I got tired of using asterisks myself, because Word always wanted to format them as a bulleted line, and I had to go up and turn off the bullet format. LOL Now that I write the first draft in Scrivener, I just keep my scene separator graphic in a utility file I can pop open to copy and paste it.
 
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