Writing a book is easy enough if you have the drive and the know how, but styling a book is a whole different animal. When writing a book, you have the option to pay big bucks for an agent and a publishing agency, who will style and promote your book for you. However, if you’re on a budget, you’ll likely opt for the much less expensive option of writing an eBook, which puts you face to face with the task of styling it. Don’t get overwhelmed and distracted by the millions of ways you can style and compile your book; it’ll leave you frustrated and starting over time and time again. Rather, take our advice on how to effectively style your eBook from cover to back. (Hint – it’s not copy and paste).
Prep the Content
Once your content has been finalized and completed, you’ll need to prepare it for the eBook. If you take short cuts (copy and paste), you’ll find that everything runs amuck – formatting errors are everywhere. So, begin by saving an original copy (very important!), and then opening a duplicate of the same file, where you will make some significant changes. Simply delete everything that isn’t the actual text in the book – copyright notice, title, table of contents, chapter titles… you want to be left with only the words within the chapters.
Now, with just that content staring you in the face, highlight all of the words. Pull up your paragraph alignment toolbar, and change the following: make the paragraph style ‘normal’, make it left-aligned, make the font size 12, change it to single spacing, and make the font a common one, like Times New Roman.
Next, eliminate every tabbed indention in the manuscript that signals the start of a new paragraph. Rather, in the paragraph alignment toolbar, use the automatic indent feature to indicate paragraph starts.
Lastly for the content, add in your chapter headings, much in the same manner as you did the content – same font, same size, same style.
Add in the front and the back “fluff” around the content (title, copyright notice, dedication, index, whatever you feel is necessary) on a separate page in the same style and font as the content. Note that all of this should fit on one page at the front, and one page at the back for your eBook.
Upload Your eBook Cover
What image do you want to use? Is it one you’ve taken? Most likely it will not be one you downloaded online, as the quality will be lacking. Find an image that works and upload it to your eBook, keeping in mind that you may need to re-size for pixelation if necessary. This part is largely trial and error and will require some patience.
Check Your Newly Styled eBook Cover
Once it’s all done and uploaded to the eBook, you must check your work. Formatting and styling can be a tricky thing when taking a manuscript from one context to another, so while we have thorough instruction to get you started, there’s a great chance you’ll miss something or need to make a minor tweak, depending on your image editing software. So, via a free eBook application, check it out before you officially publish and release it for sale.
Though it’s more of a hassle than actually having a publishing agency style the book for you, it’s practically free and not too hard, once you get the hang of it. Hang in there, pay attention to what you’re doing, and follow our instructions to style your eBook from front to back!
Image Courtesy of Pixabay