Generally speaking fiction books don’t use images, although I have formatted a few that do. The majority of non-fiction books have images of some sort, whether they are diagrams or photo’s for a memoirs style book.
If you’re planning on formatting your book yourself then there are some things you need to be aware of regarding images. These points refer to using Microsoft Word to format eBooks which I successfully use for clients and have done for the last 2.5 years. I have recently started formatting in a .docx file, as this provides the option of compressing images (see point 4).
- Firstly the images will need to be inserted ‘inline with text‘ rather than with text wrapping. This means you can’t freely move them round the page and have text surrounding the image. The image can only have text above and below it, many people don’t realise you can’t wrap text around images in eBooks.
- I find it is more aesthetically pleasing to centre an image, it keeps things symmetrical, especially if your images are all different sizes. You should ideally use a style to centre the images, as this is more likely to stick after conversion.
- I have had some issues in the past with JPG’s showing with black lines around them once converted to Mobi/ePub. I got round this by using PNG images instead, but these do tend to be larger in size, which leads me onto my next point…
- Once you have inserted all your images, ideally you should compress them all to 220 dpi or smaller. That way they are still good enough to be read on a screen, but also keep your file size down which means your Amazon delivery charge will be less and your royalties more!
- There are more detailed instructions about images, see the Smashwords Style Guide (Step 13).
Do you have problems with formatting your books into eBooks? Comment below and I’ll create blog posts with some advice.