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How Authors can Create a Basic Writing Template in Word

Excerpt from eBook Formatting & Publishing Guide 4.0

Many of you are picking up this book after you have your manuscript written and ready to publish. So you may have a little more work than others starting from scratch.

Before I get into how to clean up your manuscript, I want to share how to make a Writing Template – so you hopefully won’t have to go through this process again. Continue reading How Authors can Create a Basic Writing Template in Word

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How Authors can Create a Basic Writing Template in Word

Excerpt from eBook Formatting & Publishing Guide 4.0

Many of you are picking up this book after you have your manuscript written and ready to publish. So you may have a little more work than others starting from scratch.

Before I get into how to clean up your manuscript, I want to share how to make a Writing Template – so you hopefully won’t have to go through this process again. Continue reading How Authors can Create a Basic Writing Template in Word

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Word Formatting: How to Correctly Indent Paragraphs for Ebook Formatting

What is the biggest mistake self-publishing authors make when preparing their book for ebook conversion? Improper word formatting of Paragraph Indents.

Say No to Tabs and the Spacebar

Old school taught us to use the tab key to make paragraph indents. This can be a difficult habit to break—but break it you must.

NEVER use the tab key or spacebar to indent paragraphs

Now I am not saying you can’t use the spacebar, ever. But you should never EVER be using the tab key when preparing your Word (or other program) document for conversion—print or digital. Continue reading Word Formatting: How to Correctly Indent Paragraphs for Ebook Formatting

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Linkable Table of Contents

Below is the coding for a linkable table of contents.

OPTION ONE: LINKS TO PAGES IN YOUR eBOOK

If you split your chapters into individual HTML pages, then your TOC would appear like this:

<p><a id="toc"/></p>
<p>Table of Contents</p>
<p><a href="../Text/content.xhtml">Chapter 1</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/chapter2.xhtml">Chapter 2</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/chapter3.xhtml">Chapter 3</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/ack.xhtml">Acknowledgements</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/author.xhtml">About the Author</a></p>

Continue reading Linkable Table of Contents

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Linkable Table of Contents

Below is the coding for a linkable table of contents.

OPTION ONE: LINKS TO PAGES IN YOUR eBOOK

If you split your chapters into individual HTML pages, then your TOC would appear like this:

<p><a id="toc"/></p>
<p>Table of Contents</p>
<p><a href="../Text/content.xhtml">Chapter 1</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/chapter2.xhtml">Chapter 2</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/chapter3.xhtml">Chapter 3</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/ack.xhtml">Acknowledgements</a></p>
<p><a href="../Text/author.xhtml">About the Author</a></p>

Continue reading Linkable Table of Contents

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CSS: Center Images Using Display:Block and Margin

Centering images can add a special design appeal to your ebook formatting. This can be applied book-wide (to all images) or applied individually. The easiest way to center images is to make the image a block of its own and set the margins to ‘auto’.

Here is an example:

CSS

img.individual {
    display: block;
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
}

HTML

<IMG class="individual" src="..." alt="...">

Castle Rock, John Day Area, Oregon
Castle Rock, John Day Area, Oregon

Continue reading CSS: Center Images Using Display:Block and Margin

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CSS: Center Images Using Display:Block and Margin

Centering images can add a special design appeal to your ebook formatting. This can be applied book-wide (to all images) or applied individually. The easiest way to center images is to make the image a block of its own and set the margins to ‘auto’.

Here is an example:

CSS

img.individual {
    display: block;
    margin-left: auto;
    margin-right: auto;
}

HTML

<IMG class="individual" src="..." alt="...">

Castle Rock, John Day Area, Oregon
Castle Rock, John Day Area, Oregon

Continue reading CSS: Center Images Using Display:Block and Margin

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CSS: Center Text Vertically

CSS level 2 does not have a property for centering things vertically. There will probably be one in CSS level 3. However, you can center block vertically in CSS2 by combining a few properties. The trick is to specify the outer block as a table cell, because table cell contents can be centered vertically.

Note: Not all e-reader devices may display these CSS properties.

The following example centers a paragraph inside a block with a certain height.

Here is an example:

CSS

div.container {
   min-height: 10em;
   display: table-cell;
   vertical-align: middle;
}

HTML

<div class="container">
<p>This small paragraph...
</div>
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CSS: Center Text Vertically

CSS level 2 does not have a property for centering things vertically. There will probably be one in CSS level 3. However, you can center block vertically in CSS2 by combining a few properties. The trick is to specify the outer block as a table cell, because table cell contents can be centered vertically.

Note: Not all e-reader devices may display these CSS properties.

The following example centers a paragraph inside a block with a certain height.

Here is an example:

CSS

div.container {
   min-height: 10em;
   display: table-cell;
   vertical-align: middle;
}

HTML

<div class="container">
<p>This small paragraph...
</div>
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eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion

To create an e-book requires converting your manuscript into an HTML format. And to make the process as painless as possible, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts you should be aware of when preparing your manuscript.

NOTICE: In the following, I refer to Microsoft Word, but you can use any word processing program you prefer, such as Open Office.

DOWNLOAD EBOOK FORMATTING CHECKLIST (PDF)

Preparation is Key

FIRST: You are not concerned about the appearance of the book at this point. You are only preparing the page with the proper styles so it can be easily converted to HTML. I will modify the look and design when I import your manuscript.

Need to DO:

FIRST: Before you do any of the following, make a backup copy of your manuscript.

SECOND: Turn on the ‘pilcrow’ or ¶ in the top menu. This will display all the hidden characters such as paragraphs and spaces. The spaces are indicated with miniscule dots, so you may have to enlarge the page view to determine how many there are at the beginning of a sentence.

What is addressed:

  • Chapter Headings
  • Subheadings
  • Manual Line Breaks or Soft Breaks
  • Indents
  • Spaces

Need to Know:

^p = paragraph
^t = tab
^l = soft return Continue reading eBook Formatting Checklist: Preparing for ebook conversion