12 Steps to Format an eBook

12 Steps to Format an eBook

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After formatting books for some time now I decided that I would create a very simple Microsoft Word template which authors can use to write their books (for those who like writing in Word obviously). It’s basically a blank document, but the styles I have set-up are all ready to be used to create a clean eBook for uploading to Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. I’ve also created a very simple PDF explaining how to use the template with a few tips on formatting.

I don’t want to put myself out of a job obviously so I decided there would be a small charge for the template and instructions. I will also charge a nominal fee to check an eBook which has been formatted using my template, if necessary then quoting for any amendments.

It’s currently in testing phase, but so far it looks as though it works well.

I hope to launch it next week, and it will be available to download from my website and payment can be made via PayPal, so very simple. There will be a money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied with the purchase, of course.

12 Steps I follow to Format an eBook

To give you an idea how I use this template myself, here is a quick overview of the steps I take when I have a new eBook to format for a client:

  1. Open the document the client has sent, select all and copy
  2. Open a new document (based on my eBook template) and select paste special>unformatted text and insert the contents of the other document (NB. all formatting will be removed – if you have a lot of italics/bold formatting then there is another way of doing this)
  3. Save the document as a .doc file
  4. First things first I find/replace any double spaces with single spaces (press the space bar twice in the find box, it’s that simple)
  5. Remove all tabs (find ^t)
  6. Remove any extra spaces around a paragraph return (again easily done with find/replace)
  7. Put back all page breaks, there should be a page break at the end of every chapter to ensure chapters start on a new page
  8. Select all and apply the style ‘Indent’ if the book requires indents
  9. Go through an apply the style ‘Headings’ to all the chapter headings
  10. Remove the indent from the first paragraph of all chapter and section breaks
  11. Go through and add back all the necessary formatting, italics, bold or underlining
  12. Add bookmarks to all chapter headings and write out the table of contents and hyperlink

As I said, this is just a quick overview of the necessary steps I take.  Depending on the complexity of the original formatting and the clients needs there may be further steps to follow. At the end of formatting I upload it to my account on Amazon KDP and view the eBook in the previewer to check everything is in place.

Here are some more of my tips for eBook formatting:

Do’s & Don’ts of eBook Formatting
eBook Formatting – Creating a Linked Table of Contents Manually
eBook Formatting – Use Excel to type your TOC Chapters
5 Little-Known Tips to Improve your eBook Formatting
Self Publishing your eBook the DIY Way!

Hopefully this gives you an idea what’s involved in formatting an eBook in Microsoft Word, please watch out for the template launch next week, for the first 14 days it will be offered at a special offer price.

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