This is what you need to know about ebook preparation before turning over files to be converted to an ebook.
Ebook preparation is something the self-publisher does before handing-off the file to convert to an ebook. There are several different formats for ebooks. The most common are mobi which is for Kindle, and epub formats for Apple devices including iPad, Nook, and more that also use epub formatting. The following are some tips for ebook preparation that will help the conversion go more smoothly. Optimize your book file for best reformatting. This is essential ebook preparation.
Ebook Preparation for Conversion to Ebook
- Format your book. Set-up Style sheets, Character styles or Paragraph styles, Body text, or Headline styles, and use them throughout the book. If using a word-processing program, use the menu bar for style formatting. Avoid using a space bar to line up text.
- Front matter set-up. The first page in a book is the title page. The second page is the copyright page. The copyright page contains the ISBN. It should be a different number from the ISBN used in a printed version of the same book.
- Font. If opting for a basic set-up, as in a novel, use a common typeface found on all computers, such as: Times, Times New Roman, Courier New. If additional fonts are used, they must either be embedded in the document, PDF or manuscript, or supplied when presenting the file for eBook conversion.
Symbols might not convert in a Word document, when symbols like the copyright mark, bullet, em dash, curly quotes, apostrophes, and brackets are present, use the symbols available in the text font.
Type size. If opting for the basic layout, make the text type size 14 point, subtitles 16 point, and titles 18 point. Using larger or smaller sizes may be hard to read, or cause problems in page flow.
More Ebook Prep
- Text and image spacing. For basic ebook set-up, you can use an image between lines of text. However, you cannot wrap or flow the text around an image.
- Charts and tables. Charts and tables are a Complex level of difficulty. It is helpful to provide an additional Word doc that includes the text from such charts.
- Links to web pages must include the entire URL (http://YourLinkHere.com). Caution: This link must always be valid for the life of the eBook.
- Page numbers. Do not include headers, footers and indexes as they will be eliminated. You can leave the Table of Contents page.
- Images. We want to end up with 72 dpi (dots per inch or ppi, pixels per inch) images for eBooks, and in RGB mode. Please size your images before placing in the document. Use PNG, TIFF, or JPG format. Advice: JPGs are known to lose resolution when saving. We advise using tiffs or PNGs. FYI: Books printed on press need 300 ppi (or greater) images, and at the size they will be when printed. If doing both print and eBook, it is best to do the print set-up first, and then scale down the images and convert to RGB. For print, you want the maximum resolution. RGB is the mode for monitors and eReaders. CMYK is for printing on press.
Full-page image sizes: Height, 800 to 1,000 pixels. Width, 550 to 700 pixels.
Cover: Use images that are at least 1400 pixels wide, portrait orientation. Do not use horizontal or square images. To be best read on an eReader, use a height to width ratio of 1.6.
Logos: Height, 75 to 100 pixels.
And Finally …
- Index. Each index entry should link to the text. Do not use page number(s). Ebooks reflow the text to fit the page. In Word, add a bookmark to the text word (or phrase) to go into the index. Link the index entry reference to the bookmark.
- Remove blank pages. Blank pages are often needed in print books to page sure print pages fall on a particular right or left hand page (recto or verso). Blank pages are unnecessary in ebook preparation.
- Saving. Save the book as a single file, rather than individual chapters.
- Proof your book. We do not correct errors.
- ISBN. You may already have an ISBN for a print book. But, another ISBN is needed for an ebook. No barcode is used, so you don’t have to buy a barcode for ebook preparation.
In conclusion, these are the basic ebook preparation steps that self-publishers need to follow before handing off a file to us.