Top tips to format your eBook in MS Word

Or 12 things I wish all authors knew about working in Microsoft Word

(Courtesy of ePubTemplates.com)

Here are the most important things you will want to keep in mind as you work in MS Word (whether you utilize our template or not). By sticking to these best practices, you’ll avoid formatting problems when you upload .doc your file for conversion.

  1. Keep your file in .doc format (Word 97-2003), no matter what version of Word you are using.
  2. Limit the number of different styles you use in your file. Stick with the ones in the epub template or create some of your own.
  3. Avoid blank carriage returns / empty lines (spacing should be defined in the style).
  4. Don’t use tab or spaces for indentation – indents and paragraph spacing should be defined by the style.
  5. Use Heading 1 for chapter headers, and Heading 2 for sub-chapters (for sections you want include in the ToC).
  6. If you copy and paste from other sources, use paste unformatted or notepad to clear all the formatting (this is the #1 source of formatting issues).
  7. Utilizing the Document Map feature in Word will help stay on track as your build your ebook.
  8. If you insert images – maintain smaller file size and use .jpg images.  96 DPI is the highest resolution most eReaders support.  (Note: Amazon has a 50 MB file limit size & BN has a 20 MB limit – and if you file is larger than that, you won’t be able to publish it!).  Also, all images should be inserted ‘in-line.’
  9. If you need to align text on a page for dual column lists, recipes, etc.. then you’ll need to use a table.
  10. If you need callouts, don’t use the border function in word. Instead, create a 1×1 table and put the text in it.
  11. The conversion from .doc to Amazon Kindle only supports 10, 12, 14, and 18 sized fonts. If you use something different it’ll be converted to the next closest size. Remember, as an eBook, the reader gets to determine font size.  You can only determine  the proportion of the font in regards to others within the eBook.
  12. Manual Page Breaks are bad! They will force the Kindle Fire to left align the text on the next screen. If you want a page break, you must put it into the Style.

There are currently over 50 tutorials available through our website at http://support.epubtemplates.com.  Also, keep in mind the ePub Template is updated anytime Amazon changes it’s backend conversion process (currently in it’s 10th iteration). All purchasers of the ePub Template receive lifetime template updates.

Purchase the ePub Template at: www.ePubTemplates.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*