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New authors 101: How to prepare your book for Ebook conversion

Ebooks are as much an industry standard as printed books. In this post, we're going to share with you how you go about preparing your literary work for digital conversion.

So you have decided to self publish. GREAT! But having written your book, you are now having to get it ready to be converted to an Ebook. How do you go about this?

Using our services here at Visual Adjectives as an example, we will walk you through this process, step by step.

  1. VERY IMPORTANT: Edit (or hire someone to edit) you file for proper spelling, grammar and syntax. Before you start doing ANY formatting work, take the time to read over your work one more time. It is VERY time consuming- and EXPENSIVE for authors- to make any changes to the work once its been uploaded. The conversion process is very detailed and designed to provide high-quality ePub and .mobi file outputs. Making changes, even small ones, requires the process to be restarted from scratch. For example: If you chose to use Visual Adjectives to provide you with this service, and you wanted or needed to make changes after the file was uploaded, you would have to pay $100 to remove your file from the process and submit an entirely new file. If you needed or required us to make changes to the file, it will cost $50 + $2 for each change.

  2. Proof (or hire someone to proof) your file for proper spelling, syntax and grammar. Once your book has been converted to ePub format, its too late to fix a typo! Visual Adjectives WILL NOT proofread the book.

  3. Use a consistent method of paragraph and line formatting throughout your document. You may use tabs or your programs paragraph or alignment formatting functions, but DO NOT use a mixture of both. Do not use the space bar to format paragraphs or individual lines.

  4. If you choose to include the publisher's name and address, the date of publication, copyright information, ISBN number or any appropriate collaborative credits, please do so within the FIRST TWO pages of the document.

  5. Use a standard font for your document like New Times Roman or Courier New.

  6. Do not use very large or very small font sizes. We recommend 12 pt font size for body text and 14-18 pt font size for chapter titles.

  7. Extract content that is displayed in tables or sidebars and list it as ordinary text. Tables, inserts and sidebars will not display properly in ePub format.

  8. DO NOT include any elements that refer to page numbers other than your formatted Table of Contents. On an eReader, whatever the user isolates on their screen is a "page," so all headers, footers, footnotes and indexes will be deleted.

  9. Do ALL image resizing outside of the document, then reinsert them before saving. All images MUST be in .jpg, minimum 72D.P.I. and in RGB color mode. Any image that you submit should not exceed 4 million pixels. The following are some basic guidelines to use:

  • Cover image: At lease 1400px wide x 2100px high. Portrait or vertical rectangle-shaped artwork. (Don't use square shaped) A height/width ratio of 1.5 (1400px wide x 2100px high) is recommended.

  • Full page images: These should be at least 1400px wide, portrait or vertical rectangle-shaped (again...NO squares) with the same recommended Height/width ration of 1.5.

  • Logo's or simple images: 75 - 100 pixels high and these can be square.

Do not worry too much about the exact size of the images you use within your document. The wisest choice is to select a scale based on how you want them to appear in relation to the text of your work.

10. Do not wrap text around images. All images, with the exception of full page images, should set "in line" with your text.

11.Be aware that the special symbols may not convert properly to ePub unless they are characters in a standard font set. For this reason, we ask that you choose a font like New Times Roman for all texts and symbols.

Following these steps and examples will no doubt make your journey to self publishing your digital work much smoother and less prone to causing you headaches.

Happy Writing!

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