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How 2 Format your Ebook in Word & convert to a PDF file (Part 2)

Mar 29, 2008
Now that you have the basic format for your ebook, it's time to move on to the finer details. Here are some more tips for formatting your ebook in Word and converting it into a PDF file.

Illustrations. Ebooks often include photos, pictures, charts, and other illustrations. However it's important to realize that because illustrations contribute to a larger file size, some ebook publishers only accept text submissions.

There is more than one way to add illustrations to your ebook, but one method is to use a scanner and then convert the pictures to .gif or .jpg files. You can then format the photos any way you like using software such as Photoshop or the GIMP.

You can't really add illustrations directly into Word (you can, but it's a nuisance) so if you plan to create an ebook with a lot of pictures, it's a better idea to use a desktop publishing program. Always leave enough of a margin between the illustration and the text, and add captions when necessary.

Front matter. This includes the title page, a copyright page, acknowledgements, and a table of contents. To put together the copyright page, take a look at the copyright page of a print book and use the same formatting and information, using your own name and book title, of course. Leave out unnecessary items, such as the Library of Congress information. The only time you'll need an ISBN number is if you're going to sell electronic copies of the book on disk at a later date.

The table of contents is easy, Word automatically generates a table of contents when you use Headings formats for the chapter titles and subheads.

With an ebook it's better to label the first page as Page 1, even if it's the title page. Print books don't follow this format, but it works well for ebooks.

Back matter refers to all the information you opt to include at the end of the ebook, such as an index, bio, and contact information. Here you can also advertise other books you're selling.

Time for Acrobat

Now that you have everything formatted in Word, it's time to convert the file to PDF format. This is very easy to do. Simply use the Print command in Word and choose Save as File under the General pull-down menu. Select Acrobat PDF as the file type and choose the Destination as File. Click the Print button and that's it! Your file is now a PDF, and can be read in Adobe Acrobat. Or, you can visit the Adobe website and convert the ebook for free online.

If you own a full version of Acrobat, there are more options to play around with. For example, the full program allows you to hotlink all the URLs in the ebook underline links or make them a different color so that they'll stick out and your readers won't miss them. There's no point in creating hotlinks in the original Word document, as they will disappear during the conversion process anyway. Save this step for Adobe.
About the Author
David O Connell: How to Write Publish and Market Your Own High Profit E-books
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