Basics of Self Publishing Your Book, E-books, Part 3

There are two basic types of e-books. The first is a pdf file that may or may not includes internal text links. The second type is an epub file that best utilizes the features of the Apple and Kindle and other devices.

There’s not much an author can do to prepare their book for publication as an e-book. That’s a function for the print production person who may or may not be the one who makes the e-book.

Many book designers and layout artists are not equipped to produce an epub e-book that’s acceptable to online vendors like Apple or Kindle. There are many specifications to create epub e-books and they must be followed precisely. This often includes altering the xhtml code, which is beyond the skill set of many graphic designers.

I’ll focus on some of the issues that arise in creating epub e-books. The first and most obvious is adding the cover to the e-book. Next is creating a Table of Contents that’s linked to the book chapters and sections. There’s no need for either of those two things when producing the interior pages for the print edition. The book cover is almost always produced by a graphic designer who is not involved in the production of the interior pages.

To give you an idea of how specific the requirements are for producing epub, all file names, including any linked art, has to be in lowercase letters  with no spaces or “unusual” characters. For instance, a typical file name would be “chapter01,” which would look odd in the epub contents section.

The titles are fixed by “unzipping” the epub to reveal the underlying structure. You then have access to the xhtml files for each section as well as a text file where the chapter titles can be fixed to include capital letters and spaces.

As an author, you have no need to worry about most of these issues beyond making sure that the person you hire to create your e-book knows what they’re doing.

It’s a simple process to create pdf e-books, but making epub e-books is complicated and everything must be “perfect” to be acceptable to online bookstores.

As an example of a pdf e-book, this is the link to my edition of Dracula by Bram Stoker:

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

dracula_title

 

And best of luck with your publishing projects!! I’m always available for questions, consultations, and to produce your print and e-books.

Andrea

 

Copyright © 2016 Andrea Reider. All rights reserved.

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Thank you! Andrea

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