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How To Format An eBook

Bang2writers have been asking me a lot about self publishing and being an indie author lately, so I thought I’d draft in an EXPERT!

Rachel Amphlett is a prolific indie author: she is the author of the Detective Kay Hunter Thrillers, as well as the Dan Taylor Espionage series, as well as a number of standalone titles too. She’s a great example of how to do self publishing BRILLIANTLY, so make sure you get to know her and her books if this is the route you want to take.

In the meantime, if you really don’t know where to start with self publishing, then a good place is HERE, in learning how to format ebooks. Here’s Rachel’s top tips on making formatting as smooth as possible, plus she’s even created a template for you for to download. Thanks Rachel!
How toThere are a number of choices around for writers today when it comes to formatting an eBook, but if you’re starting out you probably have a tight budget and want to format your eBook yourself.

Where to start?

Many of the aggregators and larger retailers will allow you to upload an MS Word file which will then be converted into the required .epub or .mobi file for publishing.

If you don’t set up your manuscript correctly however, you’ll be faced with a list of error messages and you won’t be able to publish your book until these are fixed.

So, how to format your eBook to ensure this doesn’t happen?

Use consistent styles

Set up specific styles for chapter headings, first paragraph, other paragraphs, and scene breaks using the “Styles” pane in MS Word.

Style Sheet

Remove all links to retailers

Your manuscript will be rejected if you have links to any other eBook retailers in the back matter. The same goes for the other retailers.

If you plan to publish “wide” then you’ll need one eBook file for each to ensure the back matter (all the information at the end of the book after the story) is relevant to that retailer.

Remember theLook Insidefeature

First impressions count!

Think about what a potential reader will see when they click on the “Look Inside” feature. You can’t do anything about retailers’ insistence about having a table of contents at the start, but you can take out your copyright text and move it to the back of the book.

Get the reader straight into the story!

Don’t hang about. You’ve only got a few seconds to convince the reader to click that “Buy” button, so the second page of your eBook needs to say “Chapter 1”.


To give you a head start, you can download a ready-made manuscript template HERE. The styles have been set up for you.

You can also download all the above info as a handy cheat sheet PDF, HERE.

WOW, thanks Rachel! 


BIO: Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers. Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton. Follow her on Twitter as @RachelAmphlett and join here Reader Group, HERE.

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