Two ebook publishing basics that are necessities.
For those new to self-publishing ebooks, or even for those who have had a little experience, here are two simple yet very important basic tips that will help make publishing an ebook a trouble free process.
Use Microsoft Word
Most authors use Microsoft Word when writing a book, and although it is a fantastic word processor with both .doc and .docx files being widely accepted by all ebook publishers, Word has one problem.
In a long document, which a book is, the number of changes, alterations, cut, copy and paste processes as well as liberal use of the backspace over a long period of time, creates code errors.
You can’t see these in your view of the document, but when it is converted to common ebook files they can cause a lot of formatting problems.
There are two solutions, which are very easy, and should become a habit when writing.
Firstly, use a fresh, new, clean Word document for each new chapter and when complete, copy and paste the finished chapter into your main Word book document.
This will keep your main book document’s background code reasonably clean.
The second solution comes when the whole book is finished and in one complete Word file.
The whole document needs to be converted to plain text, as this will clean out all of Word’s background code.
To do this, use TextEdit on an Apple computer, or Notepad on a Microsoft PC. Open a new file in either, and then go to your Word document and ‘Select All’ and then copy.
Now paste your whole into TextEdit or Notepad and select ‘Format’ and then select ‘Plain Text’.
Next, open a fresh new Word document and copy and paste the entire plain text into this new Word document.
Now you have a very clean Word file.
But of course, all your formatting has disappeared. This is exactly what is needed. Now it’s time to format your book.
Use Word ‘Styles’ to format Normal text, chapter headings, book titles plus any other styles you wish to use. Once finished, your Word file is clean and ready to publish.
The other basic skill that is needed is to be able to resize images, as your cover file will be high resolution and very large, which is perfect for publishing as a cover, but far too large for promotion on websites, blogs or sending via email. If you are including images in your ebook, they should also be reduced.
While there are many image editing programmes available for Mac and PC, the best solution is to resize images using free online tools, as these usually create a ‘lossless’ reduction, which will create a small but clear image at reduced sizes.
They also remove the possibility of accidentally reducing your original cover image (permanently), if you are not confident with file duplication.
This tool does not resize an image but instead compresses an image to make it much smaller and therefore more suitable for website use. Using both in tools in combination will create perfect images for website use.
With only these two ebook publishing basics, preparing and then promoting a great ebook will be a walk in the park.