What is the Best Way to Format an eBook?

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If you’re an author who has written a book and wants to release it as an ebook, the first question you need to ask yourself is “What format should I publish my ebook in?”

There are many ways to do this, and there isn’t one answer that will be right for everyone. 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the basic steps that can help you to format correctly your ebook:

  1. Create a table of contents
  2. Add an introduction to the book
  3. Include all your chapters in one document and create a PDF file with them
  4. Make sure that you have included all the necessary formatting for ebooks, such as headers, footers, page numbers, etc.
  5. Save the file in a .epub or .mobi format so it can be read on various devices like Kindles and iPads

The world of e-books is constantly evolving, and as a result, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest formatting guidelines

However, the decision about which format you should use will depend on your audience and what device they primarily read books on.

We will see these aspects in detail as follows.

1. Create a Table of Contents

One of the most popular formats is an ebook that has a table of contents. The table of contents can be created by using different software such as Microsoft WordGoogle Docs, or Pages, and it’s easy to set up your own template in MS Word.

Just follow the instructions:

  • Open the document you want to edit and then go to Insert > Indexes and Tables > Table of Contents. Then click on “Add Entry”, enter your desired title in the Title field, select “Page If” not given by file content or “Chapter” if it is a chapter from one of the files, type text for each page in the Page or Chapter text box, and type a page number in Number field.
  • Then increase Paragraph Style‘s font size to 16pt for headings, and then 12 pt for subheadings.
  • You can also use “Word Table of Contents Styles” if you want your table of contents to look like the one from an MS Word document (the grid view). It will help make it easier for people who are trying to navigate through long documents that have many chapters.
  • In order not to create duplicate titles, insert bookmarks instead by going Insert > Bookmark and selecting “In Current Selection” option. Now when inserting entries into the Table of Contents, select the Previous bookmark as Title/Page Text option so it will automatically link them together.
  • The other option is to export the Table of Contents as a separate document. Just go File > Export, then select the type you want and click the OK button.

2. Add an Introduction to the Book

The introduction to the ebook should be written in a way that captures the attention of readers and inspires them to read more. There are many different ways to write an intro, but it must be clear and concise, while also fulfilling its primary purpose: getting people interested enough in your book idea so they’ll want to read on.

It shouldn’t be too long, but it does need to have some substance. Remember that as the author of this content, you are going to want your readers to click through and read on. 

This is why an intro needs a strong opening sentence with something compelling enough for people to continue reading more or purchase the ebook outright if they really want to learn more.

An example of an introduction should be something like this:

  • “Last year I was cooking dinner and the phone rang. My wife, who worked from home that day, picked up the call to find out it was a gas leak.” 

This opening sentence gives readers an idea of what will happen in one part of your book without spoiling anything else for them as they keep reading.


  • “The author, J.D., had a very close call with death on that day and has never been the same.” 

This opening sentence sets up for readers who don’t know anything about what happened to understand why you may have become an expert in your field of survivalism.

A few more sentences might include: “I’ll tell you how I found myself in this situation,” or “How will these events shape my life moving forward?” This is where it’s also helpful to give some background information so readers can put themselves into your shoes before reading the rest of the book.

 3. Include all your Chapters in One Document and Create a PDF File with Them

When you are writing an ebook or other project that is made up of many chapters, it makes the process much easier if you put all of the chapters into one document and create a PDF file with them. 

That way, you’ll be able to find any chapter in seconds without having to scroll through pages and pages on your computer screen.

The first step is to open up the document or create one. You can use Word, Google docs, Pages, Open Office, etc. just make sure you have a place where all of your chapters are together in one spot and not scattered across many files. Then go through each chapter and copy and paste it into your document.

Next, create a separate page for each chapter by clicking “Insert” and then “Page Break” and choosing the number of pages you want to insert. Then copy the text from your previous chapter onto that new page.

After you’ve done this with all of your chapters, go to File > Print > PDF or select “Create PDF” in Google docs (depending on which type of program you are using). 

Make sure “Include Pages” is checked before hitting “Create” so that it will include every page in one file instead of splitting them up into multiple files as most programs do. 

This way when people open your pdf they can just scroll through as well if they need help finding something quickly without having to search around different sections on their own.

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4. Make Sure that you Have Included all the Necessary Formatting for eBooks

If you have just finished writing a book and submitted it to be published, congratulations! You’re now ready to put your work into the hands of readers. 

But before you do, make sure that you have included all the necessary formatting for ebooks.

This includes headings throughout the text, page numbers, or chapter titles to help readers navigate your work more easily.

And don’t forget formatting for hyperlinks! This helps when you want to share quotes from other articles on social media. If you’re posting an excerpt of your book as well (and why not?), give readers a chance to buy your book by including links.

It’s also important to have an author bio and photo, as well as something called the “blurb” which is meant for giving potential readers more information about what your book is about.

This can be included in the back matter of your ebook or at the beginning of it before you start with chapter one. 

The order that this goes in will depend on how much space you want to dedicate to each section of content so make sure that everything flows nicely together!

5. Save the File as an ePub or Mobi Format

You may be wondering why it’s important to save your files in an ePub or Mobi format. These formats are different than other common file types like .docx and .jpg because they can be read on various devices. 

For example, if you have a Kindle, then converting the file into a Mobi will allow you to read the book on your device without any issues.

Although there are many different programs you can use this conversion with, such as Calibre, the easiest way is to use Adobe Digital Editions.

First of all, open it and go through your files until you find the one(s) that need converting. Then click on “convert books” and follow the steps from there.

Once finished converting a book into an e-book format such as ePub or Mobi file type, it can be used on various digital devices like Kindle Touchreaders (i.e. Amazon Paperwhite).

Some of the most notable devices that read ePub files are also Kobo Touch and Nook Simple Touch. As for Mobi files which can be used on an iPad or other tablet such as a Samsung Galaxy Tab A with Android OS installed in it.


So what is the best way to format an ebook?

In this article, we tried to cover this question. However, to properly answer the question we need to know a little bit about what you plan on doing with your ebook.

You’ll want to think about the type of e-reader people will use, what fonts you’re going to include and how they should look on different devices, whether or not your book is in color vs black and white, if there’s any animations or videos it needs for various pages (such as video tutorials). 

Some of these may require additional software that can’t be used by everyone so make sure you do some research before committing to any one option!

Print On Demand World Staff

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