How To E-Book: More Formatting Tips

Now that the e-book of Those Who Trespass is out, I can give you a little insight into the process of creating an e-book for Kindle! I wish I could do long, drawn-out posts, but those are a bit dull to read...and I don't exactly have the time to write them. So instead of meals, we're going to have snacks. :) Good, appetizer snacks. For your munching pleasure today, crackers topped with mozzarella topped with cherry tomatoes topped with a fresh basil leaf. Yummmm...

More Formatting Tips for Kindle E-Book
  • HARD RETURNS. You know, how we try to be cool and start the chapter halfway down the page? That's what I'm talking about: don't do it. Don't even think about doing it. Kindle will never get it right; you'll see your chapter heading at the bottom of the screen, and that's no fun. Instead, put everything on top so that it looks like the picture {To clarify, there is no extra hard return between the chapter heading and the first sentence. That's just a result of font spacing and paragraph spacing.}
  • FIRST PARAGRAPH NON-INDENTIONS. Now here was something I'd never considered until I started thinking about formatting a e-book/print version. Apparently, real books don't indent the first paragraph of very chapter {and scenes}. Who knew, right? This applies to print version, too.
    • Quick How-To: Set your entire document to 0.5 tab at the beginning of each paragraph {that's what Kindle recommends}. Then manually delete the tabs at the beginning of each chapter/scene, and at the chapter heading.
  • DOUBLE SPACING. No. This is a book, even if it is electronic. Let it look like one. Just keep the 0.14 paragraph spacing after paragraph. Keep your lines single-spaced otherwise.
    no hard returns between top of page and first line
    first-paragraph non-indention
Looking at that picture reminds me of something:
  • Yes, I formatted my chapter headings a little bit. Color, lowercase, bold, font, justification, and font size. All the things I told you to avoid yesterday. So I add this statement: you can justify {as in, convince yourself that it's okay} more if it's in the heading style.
    • NOTE: Just because I did all those lovely things to my chapter heading does not mean that it showed up that way in Kindle. Actually, more often than not, it doesn't show up that way. The iPhone app, especially, thinks that "heading" means it can be Times New Roman 16pt, no lowercase. Which is torture for my aesthetics, but I have more important things to worry about.
Cool! I think this is all of the little formatting tips for Kindle e-book formatting that I happened on--through more trial and error than I care to admit. Of course, if I think of more, I'll share them with you! Or, if there's something formatting-related that you wanted to see and didn't...tell me in the comments!

Posts in the How-To E-Book Series
Formatting Tips: Hard Returns, Paragraph Indentions, More Paragraph Spacing {this post}
Formatting Tips: Margins, Fonts, Justification, Paragraph Spacing, Tabs
Formatting Tips: Heading Styles

1 comment:

Shelley Sly said...

Sorry I'm late here, but thanks so much for doing this series! Mucho appreciated! *takes notes*