Making Digital Books: Adding the Fancy Stuff to Your Ebook

Making Digital Books: Add your ebook to the top of the stack!

All right, are you ready for this one?

We could discuss all those awesome formatting tricks you could do with your small library of ebooks to make them even better.

Stuff like highly detailed Tables of Contents (not the simple ToC you may need for an ebook story for Smashwords). Or full-color, graphics-intensive layouts. Crazy fonts. Headers and footers. Drop caps for the first letter of the first word of a new chapter. Fancy stuff!

We could talk about all that stuff, and spend hours and hours updating your ebooks with the bells and whistles.

But when it all comes down to it, people are reading your ebooks for the words, not the formatting.

Sample ebook text (from a Kindle for PC app, actually!)

Just make sure your text is readable on the ereader, that’s all you really need to worry about when it comes to formatting. Every reader displays files differently anyway, so you’re better off skipping all the fancy stuff, because you’ll drive yourself nuts trying to ensure your formatting tricks display properly on every type of reader.

What you can and should do: add your front matter, space everything with three blank lines between sections and chapters, and keep it simple! Don’t spend all sorts of time learning new tricks that may not even work on half the ereaders, smart phones, laptops, and desktops on which people will be reading your ebooks.

Because in the end that’s time you could’ve spent writing your next novel or story. So hey — let’s focus, on that, okay? That’s what got you here in the first place, right? 🙂

If you have any tips or questions, feel free to share in the comments or via Facebook or Twitter! And thanks for reading.

Back to the Making Digital Books Table of Contents.

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