Ebook Conversion Tips
Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on July 27, 2011
I’ve just successfully converted a backlist title and uploaded it to Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. How did I manage the formatting? I’ll share my insights with you, with credit due to other authors along the way whose advice helped me and is incorporated here.
I’m assuming you know how to do basic operations in Word.
When you write your initial document, do not use Tabs. Instead, use Paragraph, Special, indent first line 0.5. This will make things a lot simpler. Otherwise, you’ll have to go through and indent the first line as above and then eliminate all tabs (I think it’s Find ^t and Replace with nothing).
Save your file under different names, one for Kindle and Nook conversions, and another one for Smashwords. Save these as a Word Doc. If you have Office 10, save them as a doc file, not docx.
Working with each of these two files, Single Space the entire document.
Use a Times New Roman 12pt font. I tried it with a 14 pt font and it came out too large on my Kindle.
Remove section breaks (Look for paragraph symbol to reveal codes in Word and also eliminate any odd spaces before paragraph symbols)
Remove headers and footers and page numbering.
For space breaks, use 3 lines. On the center line, do this: <><><> (look on your keyboard; it’s shift key-comma; shift key-period, repeat two more times)
Chapter breaks with Kindle and Nook: Do two returns at the end of a chapter then a page break. My chapter heading begins 6 lines down on the next page and is centered. Space down two more returns from chapter title to begin text.
Chapter breaks with Smashwords: Do two returns at the end of a chapter then a page break. Do not space down the chapter title; center it at the top. Again, do two returns between the chapter title and the text.
Prepare front matter excerpt if desired, copyright page, and any additional material, i.e. About the Author, Glossary, Author’s Note, etc. For a backlist title, the copyright date is the date of original publication.
Smashwords requires special wording on the copyright page. Please read their Style Guide.
For Smashwords, don’t have more than 4 empty lines at a time. You can, however, use page breaks despite what you might have read elsewhere.
In a nutshell, that’s how I did it. Do you have more tips to add?