1. Writer Alvin

    Writer Alvin New Member

    May 26, 2010
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    How to format a Manuscript for epub or e-Readers?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Writer Alvin, May 26, 2010.

    I wonder if anyone knows of a link that would provide easy how-to steps for formatting a manuscript before it is converted from MS Word to epub for e-readers. I have a number of friends who own Kindles and i-Pad who would like to read my work but I've found that converting my story for them is no easy task.

    In fact, I would have to send my work to them and have them do the conversion themselves and even then the page breaks and headers would not be correct. I've tried working with calibre and mobipocket but both of those apps are really for the receiving end - for the owner of the e-reader- not the sender?

    Done with my manucript,
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    Puerto Rico
    I use Calibre for the conversion of my own work to my iPod touch in order to review my work via the Stanza app.

    I can tell you the headers, footers, and page breaks that match up perfectly to your original manuscript is going to be a nightmare given that ereaders of every ilk reformat the page size depending on the specs of the ereader and the font chosen by the person reading.

    Chapters are easy. Just put a # in front of the chapter name and Calibre will recognize that as the chapter start. It will even auto-insert a page break prior to the chapter so that you don't see chapter headers in the middle of the page ever. The best format to save the work you wish to send to your friends is as a .txt file. It has the least formatting information that the conversion program (whichever is being used) will have to strip off first, and it will have to strip of formatting first, I can assure you.

    Also if the end recipient is using a markdown program within their converter like the one Calibre uses, then remove all tab markers as well. Converters do not like tab markers. The ereader device will auto indent the paragraphs for the end reader.

    Any other questions, feel free to ask. I've been playing with Calibre for a while now and I can get it to jump through hoops for me. Obvious this means I have had to learn what it wants as input to get the right output.


  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    i've formatted my own 6 books with just ms word... it's not that hard to do... i send them out as 'e-books' to those who don't want a hard copy... they print out ok and are readable on the screen exactly the same as the print versions my printing firm turns out...

    if you want some pointers on how to do it without any fancy extra software, drop me a line... i can send you a couple of my books, so you can see the result...

    love and hugs, maia

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