eBook Conversion vs. Formatting

ebook_formattingWith the current trend of indie authors heading into self-publishing, there are many “specialists” now jumping on the bandwagon and offering to “convert” your manuscript for not a lot of money.

Because of this, those writers and self-publishers looking to outsource this part of the process should make a point of getting to know what they’re actually paying for. There is a whole world of difference between ebook “conversion” and ebook “formatting”.

What “conversion” means is that someone is going to feed your Word doc into a bit of software which will grind it up and spit it out as a “converted” manuscript. You will then have to upload it to your publisher of choice and hope that the book that comes out looks and reads as you would want it to. It probably won’t! Why? Because it hasn’t been “formatted”.

Proper ebook “formatting” involves a thorough knowledge of html and css. As a very basic guide, html governs the elements of the page, css governs how those elements will look, where they should be on the page and how much space is in and around them. This is what website designers work with all day, every day – and I’ve been designing websites since 1998.

The formatter’s art is in knowing what works and what’s desired by the various ereaders, then making sure that these parameters are met.

Then, when it’s published, your book will look and read exactly as you envisaged. It will look like a book, not a web page. (ie: proper first-line indentation and paragraph spacing; typographer (curly) quotes rather than straight; em or en dashes instead of hyphens, etc.).

Want want to know more about my formatting services? Check out my dedicated website ePub-it! to see what I can do for you.

Got any questions? I’d love to help you, just leave your comment below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>