Monday, July 31, 2017

Things To Do Before You Self-Publish Your Ebook

Before you self-publish your eBook here are a few things to consider before you publish.

1. How to Format Your eBook

Different services require different formats, which can be a little awkward at times.  Technology is changing almost daily these days, so you need to be on your toes and know what to expect when your self-publishing.

Below are the most used formats for eBooks:

PDF: Not easily displayed on grayscale devices and difficult to convert for standard eBook formats.

MOBI: Perfect for Amazon Kindle, even though EPUB works just as well.

EPUB: The global standard for eBooks, working smoothly on most devices. While you're not able to directly create an EPUB file on Word there is software you can use to convert your file.

Which ever file type is required for self-publishing your eBook they all require their own particular formatting.  you'll need to do your homework when it comes to formatting your eBook though.

There are some service providers that are customer service oriented that would help take the pressure off  such as Draft2Digital and BookBaby.  If you're eBook contains a lot of illustrations and has a particular layout you could look into hiring an independent company such as eBookPartnership.

Below are some tools for formatting and converting your eBook:
Find out more with this highly rated course created by Karen Prince - Format in Microsoft Word and Convert to eBook in Calibre.

When it comes to eBook cover design, often a plain design will stand out more than a flashy cover. This is because your cover may be seen in black and white, grayscale, colour, high resolution, low resolution, thumbnail size or full size.  It may be worth getting a professional to create your cover for you.

You can format your eBook for free with Google Docs

Step-by-step instructions to format your eBook in Google Docs

1. Click on "file" button.

2. Click "new".

3. This is the blank page to start your eBook.

4. Centre and bold your "Title".

5. Add a "subtitle" if  you have on, just below and in the centre as your "Title".

6. Enter document name in "top left hand corner".

7.  Arrange your "front matter"  this includes your the name of your book,  the author, the publisher, copyright and disclaimer.  You can centre or left justify and make it bold as you see fit.

2. How to Hyperlink your Table of Contents

Create a Link to a bookmark

A bookmark is only useful when you link to it.  See below to create your own link to a bookmark:
  1. Highlight the chapter you'd like to link from.  You can also just click anywhere in your document to create a link there.
  2. Click the Insert drop-down menu and select Link.... or click the link icon in the toolbar.
  3. In the 'Edit Link' window, select the 'Bookmark' option to see the bookmarks you've create.
  4. Click the bookmark you'd like to link to.
  5. Click ok.

If you need to edit or remove the link, click it and 'Go to link' window appears.  In this window you can see the bookmark you're linking to, and the Change and Remove links.

Create a bookmark in a document

To create a bookmark in your document, follow these steps:
  1. Click where you want to place the bookmark in your document.
  2. Click the Insert drop-down menu.
  3. Select Bookmark.

3. How to Create Fabulous Front and Back Matter for Your eBook

The key factors in any self published book (eBook) is the front and back matter.  This can make your eBook look professional and a quality product.

Follow my tips below to create your front and back matter:

Front Matter

Copyright Page

Depending upon the publisher or authors, this page can vary.  See below for the template with the information required:

Copyright © 2015 Helen Bolam

All rights reserved.

Published by Vine Leaves Press 2015

Newcastle,  United Kingdom

No parts of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Under no circumstances may any part of this book be photocopied for resale.

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and situations within its pages and places or persons, living or dead, is unintentional and co-incidental. [Remove this bit if your book is nonfiction. If it’s a memoir, you may like to insert: Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.]

About the Author

This is pretty self explanatory, many authors choose to put this in the back of their eBook.  Keep it short and sweet and make sure you include your website URL:

By Author Name

List all of the other eBooks or books you've published under these category headings: Non fiction; Fiction; Poetry.

Title - Page 1

Your title and author name.  Place them in the centre of the page in a large clear font.


If you're self publishing through Amazon Kindle you'll be given an ISBN on the back cover.

Dedication Page

You can make this detailed or as simple as you feel e.g. For Bill, and a reason why.  You could include quotes from other authors that are relevant to your subject.  Remember to centre your dedication.

Order of Front Matter

Page 1: Praise (or About the Author)
Page 2: Blank
Page 3: Also by Author name
Page 4: Credits Page (input information)
Page 5: Title Page
Page 6: Blank
Page 7: Dedication
Page 8: Blank
Page 9: Blank

Remember to start your first page on an odd number.

Back Matter

You can include a lot of things in the back of your eBook.

Here are some popular things:
  • Authors note
  • Acknowledgements
  • Adverts or upcoming titles
  • Sample excerpts from upcoming titles
  • Call to connect with you on your website or social media platforms
  • Call to sign up to your newsletter
There is no correct order for any of the above.  Be as creative as you feel.  The Acknowledgements page generally comes after the end of your story or non fiction content.

4. Create an eBook  Cover with PicMonkey

Your eBook is written, edited and ready to go. You need a simple book cover to catch your readers attention.

Step 1

Find a picture

An image that will explain what your book is about. Make sure you get your image from a public domain site. Better still take your own photo!

Step 2

Upload a photo

Upload your photo to Picmonkey and begin designing your cover. Go to design and click on butterfly icon (overlays), select your own cover image.

Choose your effects

Step 3

Edit your photo

You can resize or give your photo a special effect.

Step 4

Create your book title

Use the "Tt" icon to add your text.

Step 5

Change your cover size

A good choice for fiction covers is 600 x 800, also do your research if your self-publishing and find out which size is best.

Step 6

Extra effects
You can add any extra effects you feel may be needed. Also save your cover before adding text, just in case something goes wrong.

Try Picmonkey today!

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