Many writers want to get in on the eBook revolution, but they don’t know how to convert a Word file to an eBook, or how to format a file so that Amazon and Smashwords won’t horribly mangle it during their conversion processes. If they want to upload to a venue that only accepts ePub files, that’s another format to worry about. I’ve written several posts about eBook formatting because there’s a lot of confusion out there.
If you’re wondering how to do any of this, then run, don’t walk, to Amazon, and pick up How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else by Paul Salvette. At $2.99, this book is an absolute steal! As one of the reviewers said, buy it before the author raises
the price. You don’t need a Kindle to read the book. I read Kindle books using Kindle for PC, and there’s a free Kindle reading app for just about every platform out there.
Salvetti’s book covers everything you need to know to format your book for the Kindle, Smashwords, and venues that accept ePub files, like Barnes & Noble. Even if you’re an old hand at this, you might pick up a couple of things.
Want to convert your Word file to MOBI or ePub? The book walks you through how to create clean XHTML from your Word file, and how to run that XHTML through Calibre. Now, there’s plenty of free information around the Net about this, but, as usual, it’s in bits and pieces. For $2.99, you can get a detailed guide in one place that leads you through the steps.
Want to upload your Word file to Smashwords? Follow the steps in the book and you shouldn’t have a problem with the meat grinder or having your book approved for the premium catalog.
I like that the book has a chapter on basic XHTML. It’s great to tell people to do the conversion using Calibre, but what happens if the end result has formatting problems? What do you do then? If you don’t understand some basic XHTML, you won’t be able to tweak the formatting. Having said that, following the steps in this book means that you probably won’t encounter that problem in the first place.
I’ve formatted four books for the Kindle and Smashwords, and I’ve still learned from this book. For example, I didn’t know how to preserve formatting like italics and bold when I prepare my Word file for Smashwords. After nuking all the formatting, I’d go in and manually add the italics back. Salvetti explains how to use Word’s Replace feature to add back the italics in a second. Just that one tip will save me about two hours every time I prepare a Word file for Smashwords.
The book contains tons of images, and links to a bunch of video tutorials recorded by the author. Seriously, spending $2.99 on this book will save you time and, if you were planning to hire someone to format your eBook, money.
And yes, the book is impeccably formatted.