Format Your EBook: Introduction

The following pages don’t actually teach you how to create an eBook. That would require converting your Word file into another format (such as EPub or Mobi) which is entirely unnecessary if you’re using KDP or Smashwords.

Instead, this guide shows you how to prepare your manuscript so that it’s ready for upload to KDP. KDP will convert it to the right eBook format(s) for Amazon. The final part of this instructional explains the minor differences in formatting required for upload to Smashwords.

The preparation work is designed to ensure that your book is capable of passing through the conversion process smoothly, whilst maintaining its essential elements. Following these instructions, your book should emerge looking professional and consistently formatted.

The number one secret to this is simplicity. Many people download books onto six inch, black and white, eReaders. They’re interested in clarity, neatness and the font flowing smoothly when they change its size to best suit them. They don’t want to be distracted by uneven formatting or weird symbols popping up mid-sentence because the text hasn’t converted properly.

If you’ve written a novel this isn’t difficult to achieve as it’s unlikely you have flashy graphics or other complicated formatting.  Although I mention the basics of how to insert pictures, this guide is primarily for text-based books or those with just a few pictures, here and there. It isn’t desinged for use with complex, fixed-format eBooks, such as graphic novels, cookery or illustrated children’s books. If you have one of these, I suggest you use the design software provided by KDP or hire a professional.

If, however, you have a relatively simple book, with few or no pictures, this guide should suffice to produce a professional-looking eBook.

Again, my apologies to Mac users. These guides are based on the Word for Windows environment. Although many features are identical, the exact method of carrying out a command may well vary. If you’re unsure how to do something on your version of Word for Mac, you should be able to find out by googling or consulting a YouTube video.


Please navigate to the first part of this instructional: Preparation