September 28, 2011

How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else

Warning This Content is Out of Date. Please head on over to the BB eBooks Developers Page for the most up to date information on eBook creation.

As a self-publisher I wanted to learn about how to properly format and design an eBook so that I could place my first novella, America Goes On, on sale at the Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble NOOK, and Smashwords. With a few notable exceptions (such as Guido Henkel's guide on eBook formatting best practices and Paul Brookes' guide on formatting for Kindle) the information available on formatting is rather scarce at this time. Since we are all in this together, I decided to make some tutorials on formatting for the Kindle Store and NOOK, as well as a supplemental guide discussing formatting for Smashwords.

The response from the self-publishing community has been quite positive, indicating that there is a strong need for this type of information. Therefore, I decided to turn the tutorials into an eBook itself that self-publishers can utilize as a technical reference when formatting their own eBooks.

On Sale
How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else is available for the low price of $2.99 at the Kindle store, Barnes & Noble NOOK, and Smashwords. Since the economy is still in the drink, I'm offering a recession special whereby I'll send you a complimentary PDF in exchange for a friendly email to me. The eBook contains edited versions of tutorials on this site, which have been edited, as well as some extra goodies to make your life easier as you publish your eBooks.

Product Description of How to Format Your eBook for Kindle, NOOK, Smashwords, and Everything Else 

Online sales of eBooks have exploded recently, and the trend will only continue with the availability of low-cost technology. Unfortunately, guidelines on how to properly format an eBook to sell on, Barnes & Noble NOOK, Smashwords, and other distributors are terse and geared toward web developers rather than self-publishers. Templates and third-party programs advertised to quickly convert a manuscript into an eBook often leave the final product in a dismal state of sloppiness that offends readers. This is because eBooks need to be converted to the same code that is seen on websites, not what is in a word processor.

This guide was designed by an indie author for indie authors in the self-publishing community to provide the requisite knowledge to professionally format an eBook in all major formats. It will take you step-by-step from a manuscript on your computer to the perfect eBook formats you need for Amazon, NOOK, Smashwords, and other markets.

In this guide you will learn how to:
  • Layout your manuscript for conversion into the major eBook formats (i.e. MOBI, EPUB, PDF) for all the big markets (i.e. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and others)
  • Add styles to different types of text in your eBook
  • Add hyperlinks, bullets, and images to your eBook
  • Create a clickable Table of Contents for your eBook
  • Generate eBooks using open source software
No prior knowledge of web programming is needed, because this guide provides detailed instructions and images to improve your level of knowledge from the ground up. The following detailed tutorials are covered in this guide:
  • Converting your manuscript from a word processor into a text editor
  • Web programming tutorial (XHTML)
  • Web programming needed to add styles to your eBook (CSS)
  • Using Microsoft Word for Smashwords
  • Using Calibre to convert XHTML into all eBook formats
  • Publishing your eBooks on Kindle, NOOK, and Smashwords
  • XHTML/CSS source code
For those interested in the advanced methods and techniques of eBook formatting, this guide also provides the following tutorials:
  • Regular Expressions for eBooks
  • Creating an EPUB from the ground up
  • Using KindleGen to create a MOBI file
  • EPUB source code
Buy this 46,000-word (~200-page) guide that comes with over 150 helpful images, and you will never have to pay to have your eBook professionally formatted.

We now have an eBook design startup—BB eBooks—dedicated to helping independent authors and small presses get their eBooks formatted, converted, and ready for sale at all the major online retailers (e.g. Amazon's Kindle Store, Barnes & Noble's Nook, iBookstore, Smashwords, etc.) Please contact us for a no-obligation quote. For those writers, editors, and publishers looking to go the DIY route for eBook production (you probably are if you visited this page), we offer free online tutorials and apps to help you professionally design your eBook. Please visit our Developers page and let’s work together to improve the overall standards of eBooks. Also, please sign up for the mailing list for promotions, design & marketing tips, plus eBook industry news.

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