C. Best Practices When Working with Word & the ePub Template

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Here are the most important things you will want to keep in mind as you work in MS Word and utilize our template. By sticking to these best practices, you’ll avoid formatting problems when you upload .doc your file for conversion.  Don’t worry if these don’t all make sense to you yet, they will after you watch our tutorials.

  • Limit the number of different styles you use in your file. Stick with the ones in the template
  • Avoid blank carriage returns / empty lines.
  • Don’t use tab or spaces for indentation – indents and paragraph spacing should be defined by the style
  • Use Heading 1 for chapter headers, and Heading 2 for sub-chapters (for sections you want include in the ToC).
  • 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).
  • Always keep your file in .doc format (Word 97-2003).
  • Utilizing the Document Map feature in Word will help stay on track as your build your ebook
  • 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.’
  • If you need to align text on a page for dual column lists, recipes, etc.. then you’ll need to use a table.
  • If you need callouts, don’t use the border function in word. Instead, create a 1×1 table and put the text in it.
  • 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.

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I’ll post a video walk-through of these 10 formatting tips shortly!

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6 Comments

  1. Francine Rudd
    Jul 11, 2012

    The conversion from .doc to Amazon Kindle only supports 10, 12, 14, and 18 sized fonts.

    Is this still the case? I wonder because in reading Building Your Book for Kindle this is not mentioned.

    Reply
    • brian
      Nov 05, 2013

      Francine,

      Yes, and keep in mind you are just scaling fonts in proportion to one another. Ultimately, the person with the eBook reader can choose whatever font size they prefer to read your book in.

      Thanks,
      Brian

      Reply
  2. Alan Boyer
    Aug 26, 2013

    Brian — I have some tables I posted from Excel in two columns, and at least one where I put 3 separate tables side by side.

    Will these work?

    Should these be converted to JPG?

    Reply
  3. Darcy MacPherson
    Nov 03, 2013

    Hi Brian
    This says keep the chapter heading labels at Heading 1, sub-Heading 2, etc.

    The actual template says Chapter 1 – can you clarify? Thanks

    Reply
    • brian
      Nov 05, 2013

      Darcy,

      The Heading 1, Heading 2 are paragraph Styles.
      I just referenced Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc… as samples of where you would apply the Heading 1 style.
      Hope that helps!

      Thanks,
      Brian

      Reply

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