Aug 26, 2014

Writing first eBook - MS Word formatting tips

When I was first writing my eBook, I was not new to MS Word. But later I found its a very powerful and only tool to write eBook with so ease. After completing my book, I started searching for how to format the word document so that it fits as an eBook and is ready to publish. Hell lot of search results and plenty of pdf's that's the result, if you search anything in google. Because Internet is plethora of everything, you want to find something you use Google, but even after that, you need your brain to filter and that still requires time: to at least go through all the top results and decide on one. Many sites like smashwords have a guide, but mine is very small, and that's what help you, because most of the formatting tips you might be already taking.

Note - These are basic formatting tips, to give you a start.

1. Don't decide early on font size of Title, Sub-title, Heading, Sub-heading, instead look tabs as shown in below picture and use them -
Now if you want to add heading, you write in normal text, then select the text and click the tab.
Its general notion, Heading1 is the Chapter heading, and Heading2 is some heading inside a chapter (i.e. Heading1), and so one.
Like for example -

And later I will change the fonts, like below -

Change Topic1 & Topic2 to Heading2, and finally -

2. Contents or "Table of Contents", like shown below is generated -
Based on the heading1 & heading2 we wrote previously we want to generate Contents, if will be done in the same document. Go to the top of the document, i.e. where you want the contents (Table of Content).
In 2007 we go to References -> Table of Contents.
And Table of Contents generated will be like below -
And time I add new Chapter or topic, I will have to update the Contents, and that's done by a click -

3. Add Page Numbers -

4. Avoid "Space" key from keyboard. Instead use Indent

5. Want page break - like for example every chapter should begin in new page. Do not use "Enter" key, instead use "Page Break" -

6. Control spaces between lines. This happens like for example below -
What is want is, Different between Line1 & Line2 should 0. Difference between Line3 & Line4 should more than difference between Line3 & Line2. Possibly final outcome like below -
I want 0 difference between Line1 & Line 2. Select both lines and click on "Line &Page break" -
then select the spacing -

7. If you are inserting images, take caution. Do not unnecessary insert images, where intended message can be displayed using simple texts.  Because of different dimension of devices, its really hard to predict image will be view-able or perceived similarly on all devices.

8. Download Calibre( Its easy to test in Calibre. Upload your doc file, convert it into epub format and view. try to resize the simulator to test - how eBook will look on different devices of different sizes & dimensions.
Note - Some platforms expect epub format some expect mobi format. Smashwords uses epub, Amazon (Kindle) uses mobi.

9. Publishing on Kindle is easier than you have ever imagined. After you are done with basic formatting tips given above. You can directly publish on Kindle. I have tested this.  

1 comment

  1. Formating is also very important aspect of writing e books to make it more effective to attract people. Thanks for sharing such informative tips about fonts and all.



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