Before self-publishing, you need to know how to format an ebook in a Microsoft Word document.
It has probably taken months, if not longer to write your book’s manuscript.
Due to this, your Word file is almost certainly full of erroneous styles, formatting errors and different text or font formats.
It is absolutely vital to remove these inconsistencies from your ebook before publishing.
Then readers will enjoy your story, and not be distracted by irregular fonts, text sizes and paragraph formats.
There are only a few basic steps required for formatting a Word document before publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing. Once this is done, though, your Word file will also be suitable for most other publishing platforms.
The video below gives a step by step guide on how to use Word Styles to format an ebook.
However, before watching the video, it is worth pointing out a few of the most important steps.
1. Before starting, ALWAYS make a backup copy of your manuscript, and then rename your new working copy. If anything goes wrong, you can then go back to your original version.
2. The best Word file format for publishing is .docx. If your manuscript is in .doc format, do a ‘save as’ and create a new copy using the .docx file format.
3. When using Word Styles, keep them to an absolute minimum. Apart from the book title and credits page, which may use a few styles for aesthetics, the body of the book should only use three styles: Normal for text, Heading 1 for chapter headings and perhaps Centred for star breaks.
4. Ebook text needs to flow, without line spaces between paragraphs. Because of this, paragraphs must have a first line indent, so that the paragraphs are clearly defined.
5. Once your formatting is completed, check your formatting by using Calibre to see how your ebook will look in .mobi and .epub formats.
Further reading: How To Convert A Document From Word To Epub Or Mobi
I started my working life as a lithographer and spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of Lake Geneva and the Alps.
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