10 Tips for Formatting Your Ebook
You wrote, edited, and polished your manuscript to perfection. It took months or years to get everything perfect. Whether you self-publish your book or go with a publisher, it helps to know some formatting tricks so you can have a great looking book beyond just a great read. These ten tips correspond to Microsoft Word.
1. The Show/Hide button is your friend. It’ll reveal the hidden formatting within your document.
2. One space after a sentence-ending punctuation (or quotation) mark.
3. Never ever use Tabs. Seriously. Don’t do it.
4. Set your indents.
5. Styles will keep your formatting the way you like it through a .doc, an .epub, and a .mobi file.
6. Don’t leave extra spaces after a paragraph.
7. If inserting an image, be sure to position and wrap in line with the text.
8. To create a linked Table of Contents, you will need to use bookmarks and hyperlink.
9. It is better to use page breaks for chapters instead of hitting the enter key multiple times.
10. Set your em dashes (—) and ellipses (…) through symbols.
Having a great base for your manuscript will make formatting much easier for yourself and formatters. And if all else fails, clear out your formatting and start over in a fresh document.
Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker
Design and Upload Your ePub: The Steps to Your Success by Cheri Lasota
Indie Author Survival Guide by Susan Kaye Quinn
Microsoft Word or something similar
Scrivener (writing software) http://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php
Calibre (convert files to other formats) http://calibre-ebook.com/
Sigil (an .epub editor) https://code.google.com/p/sigil/
Jutoh (an editor and convertor of files) http://www.jutoh.com/
I give permission for this publishing topic article to be used in IWSG to Publishing and Beyond.