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Things to consider when publishing an eBook

If you're going down the self publishing route and you're in the end stages of finishing your book, then you may want to consider the differences between publishing an eBook and a print book. If you're working with a typesetter, then these points may have already been brought to your attention, however if you're typesetting you're own book, or looking for a typesetter, then here are some things you should be aware of.

Firstly, what's the big deal?

Why is the eBook version of my book so important?

Well, eBooks are actually perfect for self published authors, it's a great way to find new readers (especially if your book is included in Kindle Unlimited), they are essential for building a readership in the beginning. There is also much less risk in publishing an eBook and as there are no printing costs, so you will earn a higher royalty.

To begin with, the book cover.

When you're publishing a print book, you will create a book jacket for your cover, this includes a front cover, back cover and the bridge of the book.

An eBook, all you need is an image. So this is actually a lot more simple, just make sure if you're working with a cover artist to ensure you're receiving a copy for an eBook and also your print book too.

Simple, but this is where things become a bit more complicated...

The inside of the book

When it comes to the inside of the eBook, there's a lot to consider and to think about. Your book design needs to tick all the essential boxes before you even consider the actual design. When designing an eBook, it's important to remember that all e readers are different, your reader will be able to change your font size and in some cases font from their e reader and finally the e reader will need essential information in order to be a fully functional eBook. So you need to think about:

Screen size

E readers come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging from smart phones all the way up to iPads. At the end of the day, an eBook is a pdf, meaning you could even read an eBook on a TV screen (although I can't imagine that being very pleasant but it's a possibility).

My point here is, this means that your text will move around, a lot. So it's important that you're anchoring some of your text to the page. So for example, if you want a new page every time you start a new chapter, you need to make sure that the text is anchored to start of a new page. This is really simple and is done in different ways depending on what software you're typesetting your book on. So if you were working with Word, you would do this by adding your chapter numbers or titles to a style and then setting it for each chapter to start on a new page (I also think it's effective to do this with your print book too, this will help if you're making last minute changes and also help to avoid things moving around before you upload your book).

Page numbers

You don't need page numbers in your eBook. As I said before, because screen sizes vary and the fact you can change the size of the font on an e reader, the amount of pages in your eBook will vary.

Therefore, if do you put page numbers in your eBook, they will just be wrong and take up space. But don't worry about not having them as again, your eReader will number them for you.

Table of contents

Now I know what you're thinking, most fiction books don't have a table of contents, this is true. But, you will want to have one somewhere in order to give the e reader information. Without a TOC, your book in an e reader's eyes will just be one big block of writing, it won't recognise any new chapters, sections etc. By including a TOC, the e reader will be able to recognise these things and allow the reader to navigate through the eBook.

If you've ever read on Kindle, you would have seen on the bottom left corner, you can see how many minutes of a chapter you have left, and on the right, what percentage of the book you're on. Without a table of contents, a Kindle wouldn't be able to tell you that. So it's important to include one, you don't necessarily have to have it at the front of your book either, as long as it's in the eBook, then an e reader will recognise it. So you could hide it in somewhere else in the manuscript...


And finally, this isn't necessarily something you need to do, but definelty something you should be aware of. If you're eBook has typos in it, Amazon will drop you in it and put a warning on the book for readers before they buy it. And I can tell you now, you could've written the BEST book in the world, but typos are a really effective way to put off your readers. It really does break the magic of your book and not only put readers off your book, but you as an author too. I would never want to drop any author's in it, but I know of a very famous author, with a very highly anticipated book with a quality warning... So just make sure you're doing a full quality check on both your eBook and print book manuscripts.


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