How To Format Word For Ebook Publishing – Video Tutorial

How To Format An Ebook In Microsoft Word

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

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent teaching English and writing, as well as testing and taming new technology.

2 thoughts on “How To Format Word For Ebook Publishing – Video Tutorial

  • May 4, 2018 at 11:39 am

    I think it’s fundamentally wrong to say that everyone’s manuscript will be full of incorrect formatting. None of mine have ever had different font sizes, different fonts, or different paragraph styles and I won’t be the only one.

  • May 3, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks for this. Will be very useful for when I start my e-book.


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