Creating an eBook

eBook

When offered in a store of purchased its called an eBook. Technically it’s a file, put on a server and distributed through a download link provided to a customer.

The file that is offered to the final customer is a file especially for the reader he or she owns. For example an iBook, Kindle, Android device, Apple iOS, Nook, Kobo, Windows app, Mac app, Sony reader, all generic readers. You as the publisher don’t have to produce different fles for different readers. That’s what we do.

ePub file

What you need to upload to us is a ePub file. The ePub file is the ‘mother’ of all other eBook variations.

An ePub is, in fact, an collection of text, lay-out instructions, a cover, index, fonts and some meta information like author, isbn. When its complete, its called an ePub (short for Electronic Publication)

ePub qualities

Because ePub is used so often, every group of users started to develop their own variation. To make sure everybody knows what they are talking about this is standardised. At the moment there is:

  • ePub 1.0, ePub 2.0 and ePub 3.0
  • What we need is: an ePub 2.0 file.
  • ePub guidelines: see here

How to create an ePub file

There are several ways to create an ePub:

  1. Use an ePub software program and start from scratch
  2. Use an existing file, like Pages, Word of PDF and export or translate to ePub
  3. Have a professional translate the file of your ‘paper’ book to an ePub file

This can be done by yourself or by hiring a professional who creates the ePub file for you.

You want to create your own ePub file

Software for creating an ePub file:

  • Pages (Mac)
  • Wondershare MePub
  • Chapters (AppStore)
  • Calibre (Windows / Mac)
  • Canva (online design service, also free)

Create an eBook from a Pages, PDF of DOC file

  • There are several companies who are able to produce a clear ePub from a PDF, a DOC or even a lay-out / dtp file . See below for addresses.

Help with ePub creation – English language

Help with ePub creation – International

Special notes

  • Our advice is to hire a professional who can read the text of the eBook (speaks the language at least a bit) otherwise chances are, because the professional cannot read what he or she is doing, a chapter becomes a sub-chapter, missing text is not noticed, etc.

Design guidelines for ePub

Design and lay-out of an eBook is more then just opening a file and save-as ePub. You’ll need to forget about the strict page lay-out because a real free-flow eBook doesn’t have a fixed lay-out. Also forget about footnotes, they don’t exist in eBooks. If you have some knowledge about Pages (Mac) or Word you might be able to create your own eBook file.

The ePub rules:

  • make sure all chapters start on a new page (create a style with start alinea on new page)
  • don’t give another style this option (start alinea on new page, otherwise it will chapters also)
  • all illustrations need to be flowing, not fixed on a page
  • make sure all headers and footers are removed and integrated in the text
  • remove all hard returns used to force text to start on a next page
  • remove all page numbers in the index (or remove whole index)
  • remove all tabs
  • avoid text in more then column; if used change to 1 column
  • page-size disappears after export as an ePub
  • page orientation (portret of landscape) will disappear
  • remove all fields with page numbers and / of number of pages
  • no text wrap around objects
  • special line spacing instructions wil disappear
  • hyphenation will disappear, remove alle manual hyphenation
  • no overlap of text and objects
  • effects like shadows of  reflections will not be exported
  • avoid Linked text boxes
  • you might add a little color (its an eBook after all)
  • always check your ePub file in an eBook reader

Verify your eBook before submitting it to the store

  • We strongly recommend to test your ebook by validating it on: validate.idpf.org
  • An eBook (ePub file) with errors cannot be watermarked

Addresses other

Don’t forget the cover

  • Even an eBook (ePub file) need a cover.
  • Not everyone is able to create a nice cover for your eBook. So if you use a service to create your eBook, make sure they or someone else also creates a nice cover for your eBook.