How to Format an eBook using Microsoft Word

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How to Format an eBook using Microsoft Word

‘How do I format my eBook using Microsoft Word’ is a common question most first time authors have. Essentially you can either pay for a service provider to format your eBooks or you can do it yourself.

Some eBook distribution services allow you to upload your word doc and they will take care of the rest. If you plan on becoming a prolific writer then you may want to learn how to do it yourself.

Note: Are you a Mac user? Then Vellum is quite popular among writers who use a Mac.

Why Use Word to Format eBooks Anyway?

It is important that you format a Word document so that it is better prepared for Kindle’s Mobi or the ePub version. Smashwords is another site that requires you to format your eBooks.

Step 1: Take out What You Don’t Need
You do not need to worry about the following as they are irrelevant for eBook documents. Your smartphone or tablet relies on dynamically resizing the pages it displays.
You don’t need to worry about:
• page size
• page margins
• hyphenation
• page numbers
• footers or headers

Step 2: Add What You Do Need
One of the benefits of eBooks is that you can add active links into relevant sections of your eBook. Make sure these links open to a new page.

These may include links to:
• your other eBooks
• your social media sites and websites
• email addresses
• review sites for your book

Step 3: Formatting Marks
First, you need to view document correctly by being able to see the formatting marks, the navigation pane and the ruler. To do this you just need to click the P sign to view all the formatting marks in Word.

This is what you are looking for: eBook Format Sign in Word

eBook Word Doc Conversions

Step 4: Use the Built-In Styles That Word Provides
Select your heading text.
Update Word’s built-in headings to match your selection.

Word Doc eBook Heading Text

Step 5: Create your own paragraph styles
Decide how you would like your paragraphs to look then create a style that captures that format.

Do not use spaces or tabs to set an indent, use the ruler indent marks to move the first line if required.

Highlight the paragraph and ‘Create a new style’ giving it a name. You can now use this to format all the rest of your document.

Step 6: Insert hyperlinks
You can insert hyperlinks to take your readers to where you want them to be within the document as well outside of your document which can be a useful feature in guiding your readers to specific content.

You can do this by finding the link you want to send them to and copy and then insert a hyperlink to that address.

Step 7: Insert a hyperlinked Table of Contents
Insert a Table of Contents by clicking on the Reference Tab in word and choosing to insert a Table of Contents. Turn off page numbers, select hyperlinks and click OK.

Table of Contents eBook Word Document