1. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Formatting for Both Kindle and Hardcopy

    Discussion in 'Self-Publishing' started by Catrin Lewis, Apr 10, 2016.

    I'm trying to get my mind around how to format my novel for Amazon so it works both in Kindle and for possible print-on-demand. Do you do it up the same for both, or should it be different for each?

    Here's the thing: The book is divided into a prologue and four parts. In hardcopy, at least, I envision each of these sections having its own title page, recto (on the front, right-hand side), with the verso side bare, or possibly containing a quotation. Then the first chapter of each section would start on the next recto, odd-numbered page. Subsequent chapters would start at the top of full pages, recto or verso, however it fell out. The front matter and back matter (copyright page, inside titles, acknowledgements, etc.) would each be on pages of their own. I'm not decided on whether the hardcopy version would need a table of contents, since it'll be all numbers by section, with no descriptive chapter titles.

    But that'd make for a lot of vacant screens in an ebook. And what I see in most ebooks is the front matter all smooshed up together. And of course, a TOC with live links--- very handy when you have no page numbers.

    So, those of you who have gone this indie publishing route, how did you do it? Submit as for hardcopy, and Kindle takes care of redoing it so it works as an ebook? Or did you submit your book in two different formats?
     
  2. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I have only done ebooks for myself. I have done print on demand and ebooks for others, and in each case I formatted the book separately for each platform.
     
  3. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK. If you want the POD option available through Amazon, do you have to go through CreateSpace, or are there other avenues?
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    CreateSpace is the only one I've used. There must be other ways to make hard copies available via Amazon, but CreateSpace is probably the easiest way to go.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I pay to get my self-published stuff formatted, so I don't know the details of the techniques involved. But when it comes back, there's a different version for each of the digital formats (epub, mobi, pdf, etc.) and another one for the print version.
     
  6. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Two versions I'm afraid. There are multiple differences. You don't want page numbers in an ebook - kindle will make its own. But you do want a table of contents with no page numbers just hyperlinks in the kindle ebook. If you do a TOC for a paperback, it has to have page numbers and no hyperlinks. (That also gets tricky when you have to change paper sizes.)

    Also your secondary title page with copyright note should contain different terms like "digital edition" and "paperback edition".

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  7. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, knowing I have to make two versions uncomplicates things. It was the idea that I somehow had to make one format work for both that had me bollixed up.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
  8. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    I wrote my 3 novels as ebooks. I recently changed one for Createspace to publish as a paper edition. The formatting from ebook to Createspace for me seemed pretty easy. I had to upload after each change (getting the 'blank' pages where I wanted them had a learning curve) but Createspace software made it simple enough for this doofus to do it.

    I had far more trouble trying to make a cover using my purchased ebook cover art. Had to have someone smarter than I re-size it slightly to fit, then make the back cover.
     
  9. Edward M. Grant
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    Edward M. Grant Contributing Member

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    I write my books in print format in LibreOffice, use writer2html to convert the LibreOffice file to an HTML file that I can convert to an ebook, then run a script that does a search-and-replace to fix up a few things (like automatically converting the titles of my books to links in the 'also by' section), and removes unnecessary front matter pages.

    I also have another script that takes the print book file and converts it into a Word .doc with a format that Smashwords will accept.

    So generating everything from a single file is doable, but non-trivial. Also, word processors can create passable print books, but not good ones. Since I don't sell many, I don't feel a need to do any fancy formatting in mine.
     

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