Using ‘MS Word’ to create a professional e-book to upload just about anywhere (Part One)

Request your free (Kindle/EPUB) e-book on everything you need to know about formatting and publishing an ebook. See further on for details.

The following is taken from the paperback version of the e-book formatting sections and will not always translate directly in blog format. But, hopefully, the formatting info will translate well and give you the tools to create your own e-books the pain-free way.

SECTION ONE: HOW THE E-BOOK WAS MADE INSIDE

W’= ‘WORD’-TYPE-DOC WAY

 STEP ONE: Get Prepared for the Nuclear Option

Basically, the surest way to create a successful e-book formatted in a word document is to get rid of any previous formatting within your manuscript but keep the essential part: your words intact. This section will show you how and tell you why this is very important. So don’t do anything just yet, until you have read this part and see the other options.

Some call it the NUCLEAR method meaning to NUKE everything back to the text itself. This term and its meaning come from the style guide on Smashwords (one of the major global platforms for self-publishing e-books beyond Amazon KDP – Kindle Direct Publishing). It is well worth doing if you want to be certain that your up-loadable file (for conversion to an e-book) is clean and free of nasty gremlins lurking behind MS Word’s software program – hidden junk that e-books simply do not like. Using this method means your MSS (manuscript) will have simple basic text – THE MANUSCRIPT stripped down to its bare bones.

Therefore, instead of spending loads of time making your manuscript look beautiful in ‘Word’ or its equivalent, or if it already looks beautiful, please be aware that your digital book will not reflect all your efforts unless you follow the steps below. This is because, a physical book or physical manuscript, being a fixed format where things are fixed on the page does not translate directly to the flowable text style found within most e-books (as used in this present book you are now reading).

It doesn’t matter whether you are reading it on a small iPhone screen or on a large computer monitor the text should flow and align and resize itself according to the e-reading device/app you are using. This is one of the main reasons why it is important to make a copy of your MSS (Manuscript)  – which is outlined below so that you can do something quite different with the copy to make it work as a successful flowable text e-book to be read on any e-reader.

Now, there are some alternatives to this rather drastic method, so read on before doing anything. This is just preparing you for this method if you do need to NUKE your MSS.

 STEP TWO: formatting a blank document

The following section outlines the methods directly used in the creation of this e-book’s interior layout and preparation for formatting.

Open up whatever word-processing program you normally work in (I specifically work in MS Office Word 2007, so, if you haven’t decided what to work with yet for your book project – this might be the easiest to start with as it is specific to the instructions below). If you are working on a later version or using its equivalent: the same principles apply (things may be slightly different and some tools in different places – just work with what is most comfortable or what you can access easily).

Select a new blank document by clicking on the ‘Start’ menu (it is usually at the bottom left of your screen) and you should see an icon for MS Word. Choose ‘New Blank Doc’ (or a blank document should open up automatically). This is the document that we will format specifically for a successful e-book and use to paste – in a special way- the copied manuscript MSS. First, we are simply going to prepare the blank document and give it some basic formatting before doing the pasting bit.

This is set up initially by selecting ‘Page Layout’ which should be visible on the main MENU view.

Go to ‘Size’ and by clicking with the left mouse button (your cursor should be over the downward arrow beside ‘Size’) you should see options in a drop-down menu. Select A4 (it may already be highlighted as the default – this is normal, but at least you know where to change page sizes if you didn’t before). There is no particular size for e-books as the text is flowable – it aligns itself according to what device your readers are reading the book on (e.g. i-pad, i-phone, Kindle, PC/laptop etc), so it doesn’t matter that much which size you select. I use A4 as most of us know what that looks like.

Go to ‘Orientation’ displayed above ‘Size’ using the ‘Page Layout’ menu view. Click with the left mouse button on the downward arrow to the side of ‘Orientation’ and choose: ‘Portrait’. Your word doc should automatically be set to this default – (portrait means that it is orientated like a portrait painting which just means the paper is longer than it is wide and landscape is wider than it is long like a landscape painting). You might use landscape only if you have a very unusual layout, but I would recommend just working in the normal Portrait orientation.

Go to ‘Margins’ (you should see a piece of paper with margin lines), again this is within the ‘Page Layout’ menu view and by clicking the left mouse button on the downward arrow beneath ‘Margins’, choose the narrowest margin icon (‘Narrow’ is written beside it and dimensions are given). Margins can mean very little in E-book format (they just stop the words/images from filling the entire screen to the very extreme edge) and narrow seem to work best as they give you the greatest amount of text within a blank page. Just ignore ‘Columns’ unless you are just doing a PDF book or a fixed digital layout. For instance, in some parts of this book as I was doing the formatting, the margins were not even on both sides; however, this is not reflected in the e-book as hopefully, you can see.

Next, making sure that you return to the main menu ‘Home’, select ‘Change Styles’, which, has two large letter ‘A’s   adjacent to boxes with AaBbCcDdEe written in them to the far right of the main menu view.  By clicking (left mouse button unless stated otherwise) on the downward arrow next to ‘Change Styles’ you should see: ‘Style Set’. Click on this and a drop down menu should open up. Scroll down until you come to an option for: ‘Simple’. Select this as it makes life much simpler in the end. This is the master format for everything you do and set from now on; it is not an essential step, but it will keep things uncontaminated from strange automatic features. The essence of using Word to create e-books is to keep everything as simple as possible. This is a maxim of LULU: one of the four platforms we will be exploring in this book.

Note: Word is both wonderful and horrible at the same time as it can mess up the e-book in unexpected ways that you cannot see on the screen while you are creating the document making your book look awful in the e-book format. On the other hand, if you follow these simple steps and formatting experiments, you will never know how much grief you will have saved yourself and when you use the word doc method in this very particular way to create an e-book, it is, I have come to believe, the best way to produce them.

Now that you have set the global formatting, you can start setting up the specifics for the ‘NORMAL’ pre-set formats (it should already be set at a default layout). If you type some random text directly into your blank document, the ‘Normal’ present should be highlighted in the main MENU – ‘Home’ view – (note the letters: AaBbCcDd’ with ‘Normal’ written underneath).

We could experiment with this features by writing a full paragraph or two (type something encouraging to help you achieve your publishing goals) and highlight this text. By clicking with your left mouse button at the beginning of the paragraph and still holding the button, drag the cursor to the end of the paragraph. Release the button and the whole text should be in blue. If it isn’t completely highlighted (in blue), then repeat. You may have inadvertently released it or click on a white space. Any formatting changes that you make while this text is highlighted will change all of the highlighted text and even text that you haven’t yet highlighted. Make sure the ‘Normal’ pre-set box is also highlighted above in the main menu view.

Just play around with formatting this small paragraph or two of text and see what you can do with it until you are fully familiar with the different text layout and style options. Some of you might already be quite familiar with these formats, but, it is a useful exercise to get familiar with the nuances of the pre-sets and how they work best for e-books.

You could use ‘justified’ as an alignment rather than centred /right or left-aligned as this book has used for most of the main body of text. I aligned it to ‘Justified’ by simply selecting a single paragraph at this early stage (prior to doing any other distinct text and headings etc) and made sure that the pre-set ‘Normal’ was highlighted. I then set the Font Size to 12Pt. You could use 11 Pt, but I wouldn’t select anything much smaller than 10 Pt for the main body of text. This present book also used Times New Roman for the Font Face and line spacing was set to 1.5.

You can simply change a single piece or small section of ‘Normal’ text manually at any time, by selecting and highlighting the specific text you want to look a bit different from the rest by using the formatting tools in the ‘Home’ view menu (not in the ‘Normal’ pre-set menu) and only the selected text will change leaving the rest as it was originally formatted. You could highlight all your text and by reformatting it, all of the highlighted text will take this new format. This is OK for small pieces of text, but to be certain that all your text (your book) is set to ‘Normal’ exactly where you want it to look a certain way, the following method is more reliable/consistent. It will also save you time in the long run, particularly, when your whole document is full of your entire book (which we will get to below).

You can change the ‘Normal’ pre-set formatting setting for all your normal text by highlighting a single paragraph (noted earlier) and then using the pre-set boxes by clicking on the box using the drop-down menu to format here (the pre-sets are boxes with AsBbCcDdEe displayed in the upper part of the box with the type of pre-set below).

Make sure that at least a paragraph is highlighted. Right-click the mouse button whilst, hovering over the pre-set box ‘Normal’. You should see a drop-down menu. Scroll down to the ‘Modify’ option and select. This should open up the main formatting menu options for the ‘Normal’ pre-set (font type, size, alignment, line spacing, italics/bold etc). Once you change any of these – all the sections throughout your document using this pre-set format will take this new formatting if you select ‘OK’. You may not appreciate this method until you are working with more than one paragraph of text. But, when you come to paste your copied mss into this prepared document using the method outlined below, you should find that all of your text will have these recent formatting settings now embedded in the ‘Normal’ pre-set.

Don’t worry at this stage about getting the formatting looking perfect, you can always change the look at any time. Now you can delete your experimental paragraph/s.

 STEP THREE: Make a backup copy of your MSS. & Nuke the copy but only if you need to:

With your blank document still open and the main formatting set up for ‘Normal’ and the layout prepared (A4, orientation – Portrait, narrow margins etc), now open up another document which should also be in ‘MS Word’ or its equivalent program- your original manuscript- and copy it.

TIP: Make sure to save and store your original manuscript somewhere safe. Make backups if possible. I send myself an email of any important documents – that way I can retrieve them at a later date from hyperspace. Send to a friend or family member, they might read it for you. But again, don’t format until the very end. Even small changes can mess with all your formatting efforts.

TIP: You can keep both your copied version of the mss open and the blank document open at the same time. Just click the ‘minus’ symbol at the top right-hand corner of your open document to shrink it. You can open (enlarge it) again by clicking the word doc icon at the bottom of the computer screen. This way you can work between the two documents just for ease during this part. Alternatively, you can have both open at once; one sitting behind the other. Simply bring the back one to the front and vice-versa by clicking on the corner of the document.

Copy your original mss by using the ‘Select All’ tool. In the ‘’Home’ view menu display, you will hopefully see this option to the far right in the editing box area with an arrow dropdown option beside ‘Select’. By clicking on the arrow you should see: ‘Select All’. Click this option and your entire MSS document should then be highlighted (usually in blue). Right click the mouse button and from the drop-down menu select ‘Copy’.

Now expand your prepared (layout/formatted) blank document (or bring it to the foreground so it is in front of your copied MSS) and make sure you place your mouse cursor at the beginning of its first blank page. Paste your copied manuscript into your blank document using the ‘Special Paste’ tool in the main ‘Home’ menu using the ‘unformatted text’ option.

The ‘Special Paste’ tool can be found in the main menu by clicking on the downward arrow under the ‘Paste’ icon (It looks like a clipboard and sheet of paper turned down on the version of Word I am using). Click on ‘Special Paste’ and different pasting options should open up in their own menu. Scroll down to: ‘Unformatted Text’. Select this and press ‘OK’ at the bottom right. An amazing thing should happen. All of your MSS should look like the short paragraph/s you typed out previously when we experimented with formatting the ‘Normal’ pre-set. This pre-set box should now be highlighted at the top of the main Menu view screen.

You have just nuked your existing formatting embedded within your original, but now copied MSS, but kept the essential text intact – hopefully. If this didn’t work the first time, and you find that some of the original formatting has imposed itself on your freshly pasted copy of your MSS, don’t worry, just go back to copying and pasting the original MSS and follow the steps above again. There might be something you have overlooked.

Another possible solution, if this didn’t turn out exactly as planned, is to use the ‘Select All’ feature, but this time select all of your newly pasted MSS within the new document and now click on the ‘Normal’ pre-set box with your entire copied MSS highlighted. Everything should then take the settings for this pre-set style. Remember, you can always change how this pre-set looks by clicking the mouse button (right) while hovering over the ‘Normal’ pre-set box, where, as you may recall from above, you will see an option for ‘Modify’. By clicking on this, a drop-down menu should appear to let you see the font type, font size, alignment, line spacing etc. Just check that the overall formatting is set up the way you intended.

TIP: Note: if you have hyperlinks in your original mss text, these will not work once nuked if you do not have the full URL (the unique web address) visible– sorry! As someone who has learned the hard way and had more than 100 hyperlinks in my first e-book attempt which were all abbreviated by numbers and/or a short link name, I would advise you to copy and paste the actual URL in every link (you can find this by going into edit hyperlink by right clicking mouse button and selecting that option) into your ‘working manuscript’ document and saving changes. I will discuss how to copy and embed hyperlinks into your e-book further on if you need to use these, If you do copy the full URL across with your main body of text during the NUKING process, all you have to do is press the return after the full address and it should become a live hyperlink automatically again (turning to a blue colour).

 For something less drastic and avoiding undoing all your hyperlinks and keeping your essential formatting from the original MSS intact, but more readable for an e-book conversion, copy your entire MSS, but, this time using the ‘Special Paste’ tool (this can be found in the main menu by clicking on the downward arrow under the ‘Paste’ icon), click and scroll down to: ‘Formatted Text (RFT)’. Select this and press ‘OK’ at the bottom. Hopefully, any hyperlinks, special large titles and sub-headings etc or distinct sections of text should still retain their overall formatting, but your copied MSS should now have the layout of the prepared blank document with its narrow margin settings and should look less elaborate than your original MSS layout and formats.

If this worked, hopefully, you will not have to resort to the Nuclear Method, but at least you know it’s there if things are not doing what they should be doing. Just be aware that all of your text should show up as ‘Normal’ even though it may have quite different looking formats throughout your document. If your copied MSS looks OK, just read the following steps as a guide to what works and what doesn’t work so well on e-books in terms of formatting and controlling what your potential readers end up reading. I would advise anyone using the Nuclear Method to follow the steps below quite closely and practice with their stripped down MSS copy in the prepared document. Otherwise, for the practice, even if you do use the RTF-Rich Format Text (special paste) option successfully, you might like to try some of the methods below anyway.

But you would be advised not to experiment with the following formatting tools directly on your RTF version of your copied and pasted MSS. Instead, either do another copy for specifically experimenting using the Nuclear Method and practice on this version by following all the steps below, or go straight to ‘STEP FIVE: Modifying Headings’ onwards, particularly if you are already quite familiar with pre-formatted shortcuts (pre-sets). Modifying Headings will be Part Two of this blog topic.

STEP FOUR: Formatting Different Sections within the main body of text for an e-book

Now with your copied and pasted MSS within your pre-prepared (e-book-friendly) document, you can begin fine-tuning the layout and making it work the way you want readers to experience your book. Select a paragraph from your copied MSS and experiment with different formatting methods beyond the ‘Normal’ pre-set, but, before leaving this pre-set, just right-click the mouse button while hovering over the highlighted text you just changed and a drop-down menu should open up. Scroll down with the cursor to ‘Styles’ and select ‘Update Normal to Match Selection’. This will simply change everything formatted as ‘Normal’ throughout your document to take the change that you made to a single paragraph. You can deselect the text previously highlighted by clicking on any part of the white areas of your document and of course change the entire document back to what it was by repeating the method just described.

Don’t forget that you can change individual parts of your copied MSS manually, by selecting the text and formatting from the main menu screen (using the icons for font size, font type, alignment etc). Or the ‘Modify’ option (as outlined earlier) by hovering your mouse/cursor over the ‘Normal’ pre-set (you don’t need to have any text highlighted). Right-click the mouse button and a drop-down menu should appear. Scroll down to ‘Modify’. Select this option and in the formatting menu there reformat as you would like your entire document to appear. Once you click on ‘OK’ everything previously set up as ‘Normal’ text should take this updated format.

No matter what method of formatting you choose, if you don’t like what you see, simply go to the top-left of your document and next to the floppy disc icon click on the anti-clockwise arrow. This should ‘Undo’ any previous action and restore the original format. The clockwise arrow next to this is ‘Redo’ and will return you again to your last action (and each click should return you to earlier formats). These are handy tools for trying out different formats until things look the way you want.

To experiment a little more with distinct pre-sets beyond the ‘Normal’ setting, you could highlight a piece of text that you would like to stand out from the normal body of text – perhaps some character dialogue, or a “quote”. When this is highlighted, select another pre-set that is different from the ‘Normal’ pre-set we have used up to now. Perhaps ‘No Line Spacing’ with AaBbCcDd above it might be useful as it is adjacent in most Word Doc programs to the ‘Normal’ pre-set box that you should be fairly familiar with by now if you weren’t before.

You will also see by clicking on the downward arrow beside the pre-set boxes (to the right) at the top of the main menu ‘Home’ view many different types of preformatted drop-down options for paragraphs, quotes, emphasis, along with numbered ‘Heading’ pre-sets – which are to be avoided for now (these have a special function which I will explain further on). These pre-set give you different choices for formatting that can be used to affect several parts of your text consistently (they are shortcuts so that you don’t have to do distinctive formatting manually each time). They are set up in such a way that any previous formatting you did: such as for your main body of text using the pre-set ‘Normal’, will remain intact as you are selecting another pre-set to work on. When you select any text and click on a different pre-set, this section of text will take the distinct formatting from that pre-set.

You simply select and fully highlight the section of text that you want to be different from the ‘Normal’ pre-set and by clicking on one of the pre-set boxes the highlighted section of text will take that pre-set format. For example, I have formatted the section below differently to the main body of text. I used the pre-set ‘No Spacing’ next to ‘Normal’ and reformatted it to suit the style I wanted.

By highlighting the text I wanted to repeatedly be distinct from the main of text and right clicking on the different pre-set (‘No Spacing’), I was able to format this setting to look distinct from the normal text throughout my document. Every time I wanted a section to look the same, I selected the normal text and clicked on the ‘No Spacing’ pre-set. After right-clicking by hovering over ‘AsBbCcDdEd No Spacing’ pre-set, I scrolled down to ‘Modify’. I clicked this option and the main menu for formatting this setting was displayed. For this section of text below, I simply changed the font size to Pt. 11 (the normal text is Pt. 12), I chose ‘centred’ for alignment and made the line spacing closer by choosing ‘1’ (the normal text is 1.5). (this is difficult to display in the blog format. But hopefully you will see what I mean below).

I then highlighted all the sections of normal text that I wished to take this distinct formatting throughout the document and clicked on: ‘No Spacing’ for each section of text I wished to look the way these paragraphs appear. Once this is set up, you can simply change the formatting by using the shortcut described above for changing ‘Normal’ text, but this time right-click the pre-set (‘No Spacing’ in my case) and by selecting ‘Modify’ you can modify accordingly, and all these distinct sections should then take this modification without you having to do each distinct section over again.

Alternatively, you can highlight a section of text that you have made distinct using a particular pre-set and format this from the main menu view so that it looks the way you want. Then on the highlighted section of text/paragraph, right click the mouse button and scroll down the drop-down menu to ‘Styles’ and by clicking on this, an option to ‘Update to Match Selection’ should appear. By clicking on this, all your distinctive text/paragraphs throughout your copied MSS should now be updated. Basically, once you have set up your distinctive pre-set to the way you want and applied this to various pieces of text, you can update the formatting at any time using the methods described above.

Now that we have explored the shortcut and longhand ways of setting up different formatting styles throughout your copied MSS or for certain sections that you wish to stand out, we will look in more detail at the specifics of the formatting that are most effective in e-books and some of the limitations as well.

FONT FACES

For instance, for E-books that you create using Word or any other word-type tools, the Font Face that you choose is not always directly reflected in your e-book as noted earlier. Self Publishing platforms who distribute to a wide range of retailers (most of the big names including Amazon and Apple i-store), such as LULU only have two font face options, one of which is used throughout this present book (they’ll change your file to these anyway even if you haven’t used them), but some Kindles and Kindle reading apps for your computer or mobile device will pick up more elaborate variations on fonts, but most other readers don’t generally reflect your efforts.

For instance, while I was exploring the different options for distributing this book on more platforms than normal for teaching purposes, I ended up following the LULU font rule as I realized that this would work best across all devices and apps. But usually, I can get away with some strategically-placed font types that I know work across all Kindle devices/apps when I upload my books to the KDP platform. So it really depends on who you are distributing your e-book through. Again, if in doubt: leave it out, is the motto to follow here.

It is really about reading the words with ease. It is your words, your story, and your ideas that matter most. This is just the means of making them accessible. Think of an artist getting their work framed/mounted for display in a gallery. Well, this is similar, but we are attempting to present our art in an accessible and pleasing manner too, but as a writer, your art needs to be highly readable.

FONT SIZES

‘Font Size’

Now we will look at some font sizes that do translate directly to most e-reading devices/apps.  Just to give you an example of what I wouldn’t use for the main body of text, I choose pt. 22 for the ‘Font Size’ words above, which may be a good font size for a heading/sub-heading, but not within the main body of text in an e-book. On many readers, this would make the spacing between each line widen dramatically.

Making the beginning letter of a paragraph and chapter in ‘Normal’ larger is possible but, as you may, or may not, be able to see on this e-book, having an enlarged letter ‘M’ in some cases changes the spacing of the entire paragraph on e-readers/devices and apps. Those that can see what I mean will get it. Those that can’t: just be aware of it.

 TEXT ALIGNMENT

I used JUSTIFY TEXT alignment throughout much of the published book, even though LULU would advise against it this is probably because of inappropriate formatting in other areas. If you are thinking of using LULU or any other options outlined in this blog and follow the methods given here, justify your book – it shouldn’t be an issue, I certainly did not find it a problem and I really thought that JUSTIFIED alignment suited the genre I was working in.

 Left Alignment would look something like most of the paragraphs  used  here. Remember that in order to change any individual parts of your ‘Normal’ body of text that are unique and don’t repeat throughout your book, simply place your cursor at the beginning, or end of the text you want to change and by holding down the left mouse button and dragging up or down to beginning/end of your text requiring a different format, this should now be highlighted in blue and by releasing the mouse button, and clicking on the ‘Home’ menu you can change alignment from there. This should only change the alignment (or any other formatting change) of the individual piece of text and not the rest of your document. And as done with this paragraph, you don’t need to use a special pre-set, just make sure it is highlighted as ‘Normal’.

You can, of course, use the ‘Modify’ method described earlier for changing your normal body of text alignment. Or you could use the other shortcut method to achieve the same, is to right click (with the mouse button) on the highlighted paragraph with the new alignment and scroll down to ‘Styles’ and select ‘Update ‘Normal’ to Match Selection’ and the entire document (main body) should take this alignment also. See other types of alignment options below:

Obviously, most people wouldn’t use Right Alignment as shown here. But you might have noticed that I used alternating right/left alignment and one centred for the testimonials at the beginning of this book.

And for the most part, we don’t usually centre our text for the main body of your document.

However, I did use this occasionally for small stand-alone pieces of text.

   INDENTS – indented bullet points and indented paragraphs

Bullet points work on some devices/apps, but not on others. Tabs do not generally hold true across different reading devices/apps either, so to ensure your readers do not become disturbed by awful formatting issues, don’ use them. Instead, simply indent on the left for both tabs and bullet points. For bullet points, select a symbol for your bullet point by using the ‘Insert’ option on the main menu beside ‘Home’ and on the far right, you should see ‘Symbol’ with a drop-down arrow. Click on this arrow and select from a range of symbols (they are typically the types of characters/symbols not readily available from using the keyboard options). Choose from different options using ‘More Symbols’. Select and click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Close’.

•         Return to the ‘Home’ view on the main menu and place your cursor where you want to indent or bullet type to begin.

•         Repeat this method for more bullet points

To indent your bullet point line of text, follow the indenting the beginning of a paragraph option, as I used to create this present paragraph indent and bullet points above. With your cursor to the left side of where you want the indent to begin, click the left mouse button, grab the ‘Left Indent’ marker (top only) of the ruler bar. Drag this – (still holding left mouse button) until your selected body of text (your bullet point or paragraph) is indented as far in as you want (I used about a centimetre or 1 on the ruler bar) and now release the mouse button.

The other way to change all of your main body of text so that the indent occurs consistently in each paragraph, if that is what you want throughout your book (remember we have returned to the ‘Normal’ style pre-set and make sure to drag the ruler marker arrow back to the left margin), hover the mouse over the highlighted box ‘Normal’ pre-set and right click the mouse button. Select ‘Modify’ from the drop-down menu. When you click ‘Modify’ you will see all the different options to format your ‘Normal’ setting as before, only this time at the bottom left, you should see an option ‘Format’ with a downward arrow. Click on the downward arrow and a drop-down list should give you an option for ‘Paragraph’. (Tabs, fonts etc are there also). Select ‘Paragraph’ (Indents and Spacing view).

If you look further down in the menu and to the right, you should see an option ‘Special’ with a window scroll down with options for ‘First Line’ indent, or ‘Hanging Paragraph’ indent. Beside these options, you will see ‘By’, meaning how much do you want to indent the first line of a paragraph by? Use the arrows to decrease/increase the indent. Using this method, all of the paragraphs should automatically indent on the first line.

I only wanted a few paragraphs to be indented on the first line, so you could either use the direct method individually for each paragraph by highlighting them and sliding the top (downward) ruler arrows physically to the required indent as outlined above, or another way which can also be done for the bullet points or occasional paragraph that you wish to indent, is to highlight the section of text requiring the special indent. Right click the mouse button over this and when the drop-down menu appears, go directly to ‘Paragraph’. All the same options for indenting the special first line as described above are there. Select ‘Special Indent’ and set ‘By’ and indent accordingly and only the selected text (paragraphs/bullet point items) should have the first line indent and not the rest of your main body of text.

TIP: I tried initially to set up the indents on both sides for all the TIPS sections throughout this book using the same menus described above for special first line indent, where the main body can be indented on both sides by going to the ‘Modify’ option and clicking on the bottom of the menu – ‘Format’ and selecting the ‘Paragraph’ menu, (across from special first line indent – making sure to re-set this to ‘none’) I was able to set the left indent to 1 cm and the right indent to 1 cm to match and within the document, this took effect on the document, but not on the e-book when I had previewed it across different apps/devices.

I discovered that the right-hand indent had not taken at all, although the left indent was clearly seen. Then, I tried some of the pre-sets for “Quotes” ‘intense’ and more subtle etc and the same left indent only occurred and some pre-sets came out looking awful on certain e-readers. The moral of this story is to avoid pre-sets that indent or have lines and borders. Just make your text stand out in another way – centred works and perhaps as done here, make your Font Size smaller, make the lines between text tighter and you might think about making the text bold or italics. In other words, format distinct pieces of text in the simplest way possible when it comes to e-books.

TIP: It is probably best to avoid text boxes in e-books, but I have used them successfully with most other platforms, but as LULU absolutely will not accept them, maybe leave them out just to be sure. I think Smashwords (for inclusion in their premium catalogue) also don’t like them

 LINE-SPACING

We will now look at line spacing between the text lines. The spaces between paragraphs are registered on most e-books, but if I had several blank lines between paragraphs, the e-book reader would display these without the big blanks.

The type of book you are writing or have written or about to publish, will suit different line spacing options between the lines of text. For instance, for short books with short points, you could use double spacing; or as I have used throughout most of this book for the main body of text: 1.5. Other people may prefer 1.15 or single-line spacing which is quite tight spacing. See some examples below:

You could set your line spacing at ‘1.5’ similar to what is used here which suits a non-fiction ‘how to’ book, but it may not suit a novel for example or other fiction genres.  You can see how 1.5 lines spacing looks by just reading this e-book, but I have shown it below anyway, followed by some other spacing types:

Spacing…………………………………………….(1.5) ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Line spacing ‘2’ has been used in this sentence. It is only slightly different to the one above. However, when you do a whole block of text, it is fairly spaced and would only suit short documents on an e-reader……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The line spacing ‘1.15’ is a little tighter and is probably best for long novels etc.  ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Or, you could use single line (‘1’.) spacing between your lines of text…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………it is quite narrow as you should see reflected in your e-book reader.

END OF PART ONE

PART TWO dealing with the all important headers and special functions that they perform within an e-book to follow shortly. Meanwhile, if you wish, you might like to download the free e-book which shows you everything you need to know to format, design your own cover and upload your e-book to just about anywhere. Simply fill in the contact form below and request your Free e-book.

Don’t forget to share with anyone who could benefit from this know-how and remember it is all in the chunky workbook available online worldwide (Just input the title and author name Maria B. O’Hare in your favourite bookstore website and – it should come up) Amazon here.

The paperback is also available direct from Dig-Press.com (click on New Releases on menu bar and you’ll find all the information there with Free postage and other bonuses from ordering direct from Dig-Press).

Cheers

MariaBrigit

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