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eBook Formatting

eBook formatting is vastly different from print formatting, as eBooks are meant to have flowable text and allow the reader to change structured items such as font, font size, margins, and occasionally leading the effect these changes have need to be considered when formatting.

Spacing – eBooks should never have more than 3 hard returns in a row nor should there be hard returns prior to a page break. Doing so can cause your ebook to have blank pages at some font size settings.

Headers – eBooks should not have headers as most eReaders add a header of their own.

Folios – eBook should have no page numbering, since the text is adjustable the page count will vary.

Fonts – use a basic default font, the reader will be able to set to specific fonts on most devices so choosing a font is irrelevant.

Breaks – always use page breaks as section breaks will not translate.


eBook Formats

The two common eBook formats are .mobi which is used for Kindle devices and .epub which is used for most others. When formatting an ebook these are the two file types you want to end up with.

If you are formatting for an aggregator you will likely need a .doc format. In this case always read the aggregator style guide prior to doing so as some specifics are required for styles, page breaks etc.


eBook Conversion Software

The two pieces of software I always recommend for eBook conversion are Calibre and Sigil both of which are free online. Calibre can be used to convert your file to .epub and .mobi. Sigil is an excellent .epub editor which allows the user to edit the file via a WYSIWYG controller or directly via HTML


eBook Distribution

Direct Options

Kindle – KDP https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

Nook – PubIt http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home

Kobo – Kobo new service http://www.kobobooks.com/kobowritinglife

iBooks – iTunes Producer http://www.apple.com/itunes/content-providers/faq.html

There are a number aggregators that I know of that currently do not have an upfront signup fee.



Smashwords – will distribute to all but Kindle – http://www.smashwords.com/

Draft2Digital – will distribute to all but Kindle – https://www.draft2digital.com/

BookTango – will distribute to all of the top 4 – http://www.booktango.com/

LuLu – ill distribute to all of the top 4 – http://www.lulu.com/

Book Baby – will distribute to all of the top4 – http://www.bookbaby.com/

*Note – Book Baby has an upfront cost and does not charge commission based distribution fees


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