The Science of Book Formatting
Since Stephen is the Science Guy, I thought I would share some of the details of book formatting. Consider it the “science” of the craft.
First, you need to understand all of the different formats. Print is simple - most printers require a PSF file or a Word file. But when you get to eBooks, it can overwhelm. Wikipedia lists dozens of formats - CLICK HERE. The basic formats though are Mobi, EPub, PDF, and RTF. If you know how to format for those four - or use a service or company - you have most of your bases covered.
What programs will you need to create these files?
For print books, Microsoft Word can be used to create either a Word or PDF file. For a more professional appearance, InDesign is what traditional publishers use to create PDF files.
With eBooks, there are many programs. Word can be used to create PDF, RTF (Rich Text Format), and HTML files. Mobipocket formats for Mobi. InDesign formats for ePub. There are also free programs, such as Calibre, but they don’t always create a clean copy.
If you’re just starting out, look for tutorials. For eBooks, start with Smashwords’ Style Guide. (Steve Insert: I’ve been going over this in great detail over the past weekend) It will give you a basic handle on eBook formatting. InDesign comes with a very easy to follow guide. You are probably just a Google search away from the formatting answers you seek.
And if not, call me! If Stephen is the Science Guy, then I’m Format Girl. Have InDesign, will travel...
L. Diane Wolfe
Speaker & Author
Known as “Spunk On A Stick,” Wolfe is a member of the National Speakers Association and an author. She conducts seminars on book publishing, promoting, leadership, and goal-setting, and she offers book formatting and author consultation. She is the author of seven books, including two non-fiction titles and a NA/YA series, The Circle of Friends. Wolfe travels extensively for media interviews and speaking engagements, maintains numerous websites & blogs, and contributes to the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site.
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I signed up for his newsletter and he emailed the first video of his free 30 day course. It was about sixteen minutes long and I can see the potential in this program. I’m looking forward to the next video.
I’ll let you all know my thoughts after Tim sends me the last video.
Author Of The Week: Tim Grahl. Click the image at the top of right my right scroll bar for more info.