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Steps to convert your manuscripts to eBooks - Part 1

02 August, 2018

With digital devices flooding the marketplace, authors and publishers for genuine reasons have started converting printed materials to eBooks. Though there are a lot of professional service providers who can help you with eBook conversion and formatting, it would always be beneficial to have an idea about the various steps involved in digital book formatting. Let’s have a look on the same.


Formatting tips for your digital books

Indenting paragraphs

When it comes to indenting paragraphs, most of the companies offering eBook formatting and conversion services suggest to avoid using the spacebar and tab key. You can alternatively use paragraph settings available in the Word’s formatting pallet. By this, indent setting to first line for every paragraph can be done. The process of conversion will proceed without hitches and you can keep your readers satisfied.

After intending every paragraph if you want to erase all tab indents, there is a great option on which you can rely. Simply apply ‘Find’ and ‘Replace’ option in Edit menu. In Find field put ‘^t’ and leave the Replace field empty; the job will be done.

Inserting page breaks

Most of the eBook conversion companies believe that there is no ideal pagination for eBooks. As the dynamic texts in a book flows on multiple devices, there are no fixed page numbers.

However, page breaks are something vital as it directly influences the reading experience. Page breaks must be inserted at every chapter’s end, before you start a new page and also when you want a photo to appear along with its caption.

Inserting page breaks is quite easy in case of Microsoft Word. Place the cursor where you want to provide the break. You can find the ‘Break’ option in the Insert pull-down menu.

Most of the text processing programs have same or almost similar functions for the said purpose.

Text justification

Justification of text is important to keep a professional look for your work and also for assuring hindrance-free reading experience.

A king part of companies indulged in eBook formatting services recommend to use centered or left justification for obvious reasons. By this, you readers can comfortably tailor their experience on any e-readers.

Right justification demands you to left align all the lists and bullets. This kills time and takes a lot of effort. To make the conditions worse, certain e-readers override the settings.

It is always better to evade mixing justifications. Also full- justification may lead to some uncomfortable breaks in lines when a book repaginates.

Inserting margins

Are you concerned about how the margins of your eBooks should be? It should be uniform and small. Unlike in the case of printed books where you see larger margins on left side, margins in case of eBooks should be of same size at both sides of all the pages.

Most of the companies offering eBook creation and formatting services recommend 0.5 to be ideal. With smaller margins, there are negligible chances of any text loss when readers tailor their reading experience. Margins must be positive numbers or else if you accidently go with negative numbers, words may leave out from the book.

Image formatting tips

Image formatting must be done correctly. The first thing is that you should shun away from wrapping text round the pictures. In-line pictures with the writings below and above avails superior results.

Search engines favour images with same description as that of the image below it as well. Better formats for images would be .png and .jpg. Size for cover graphics should not exceed 800px height and 550px width. Other images can have a height of 600px and width 500px.

Take care while you resize the images. Don’t drag it into the Microsoft word file and adjust but do it outside. Adjusting in Word file changes only the image appearance but the actual size remains the same and thus when conversion is done, formatting issues pop up while reading on digital devices.

Also check our another article – few more steps to convert your books manuscripts to EBooks- Part 2

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