How to Create an eBook in Word
If you are wondering how to create an eBook in Word then you have come to the right place! Most eBooks use three basic formats: PDF, EPUB and MOBI, to improve readability and portability between reading devices. Although you can hire a professional (for instance at Word-2-Kindle.com) to do the hard work for you, or even download special software for making an eBook, you can also make your own e-book using any MS Word document, and later convert the book into one of the other e-formats. An eBook can be made from any Microsoft Word document in .doc or .docx format.
It is important to remember that more than 20 eBook formats exist today. Although some are readable on multiple devices, no format can be read by all devices. The screen sizes also vary, so the page formats, image formats, and other elements will also vary. You should plan in advance which e-readers you are going to publish for, before starting the formatting process. Your choice of devices will determine which formats you can use, and from there you will have to examine the exact specifications of each device so that you can design for it.
- Regardless of the format you choose, remember to insert a “page break” at the beginning of each chapter.
- You can create an automatic Table of Contents in Word and link the resulting table to each chapter title.
- You do not need to add page numbers in a table of contents for a MOBI or EPUB e-book! The page numbers change depending on each reading device and the personal settings of the reader.
- Do not forget to thoroughly edit your book before converting it. A spellcheck alone is rarely enough.
How to Create an eBook in Word
To start your eBook, even before you can write a successful ebook, create a new Word document. If you are planning to create more than one book, design a basic format and save it as a Word template so you can use it for each new book.
If you will create just one eBook, you can start by simply inserting your text into the blank page.
- Tip 1: Use 1.5 or double line spacing to improve readability, and set spacing before and after the paragraph. Click the “Set as Default” button to make sure you are getting a uniform layout throughout your manuscript.
- Tip 2: Under the tab “Indents and Spacing” you can automatically set the left and right indentation to zero or any desired value. There are no rules for setting indent entries and distances. You can set this before you start your document, so it looks the same everywhere.
Theme and Colour Design for your eBook
Click on the “Themes” – “Browse Themes” menu and select your preference.
Choose a color scheme from the “colors” selection list or adapt it to your preference.
You can also change the fonts, the background color of the pages, the edges, and the watermark if necessary.
The Design of the Cover Page of your eBook
Make sure that the cover image matches the title of the book – and your audience. You can add the cover photo by clicking on ‘image’ on the ‘Insert’ menu and selecting the cover photo from a file on your computer.
The first page of your eBook must contain the title in a bold font, the tagline (if there is one, for instance in a series “Book Two of the ….Trilogy”) in a smaller font and your name.
Start with the title page, type in the title of the book, the subtitle and the author’s name, along with all the other details that should appear here. Select the title text and format it by clicking the Style gallery on the Home tab of the ribbon toolbar. Select the “Subtitles” text and click on the style of the subtitles (if it does not appear in the style gallery List, press Ctrl-Shift-S to display the Style dialog, type subtitle in the field and click “Apply”).
If a style does not create the text as you want, you can change the style by clicking on the name in the style gallery with the right mouse button and choosing to change it. Make the changes you would like to the typeface font, the font size, and any other settings in the Style dialog and click OK to apply them. All text formatted with that style will automatically be adapted to the new settings.
Tips for the design of the cover page
- The layout of the cover can vary according to your Word version.
- You can use one of the free templates provided with your Word software, or you can search for more options on the website of Office.com.
- Be innovative in making your front page.
- Make sure that the title and background colors are different.
- Use a large and legible font for the title.
- Use a high-quality image (300 dpi), not pixellated.
Design the Table of Contents
Word can automatically update your index with new page numbers whenever you make changes. It’s a very good idea to use the table of contents tool so you don’t have to go back and change your page numbers manually every time something changes.
Choose Insert – Page – Page Break to start a new page after the title page of the book. If this next page will be a table of contents for the book, type “Table of Contents” and then choose Insert – Index and Tables – Table of Contents.
Set ‘Show levels’ to 1 or 2, depending on the number of reference levels to display, select a format from the format list, and click OK twice. You will see a message with the text ‘no table of contents found’, which is to be expected because you have not yet made a table of contents. Later, when your book does contain content, you can update the table of contents by clicking on that message and pressing F9.
Now you’re ready to start Chapter 1 of the book. Type the first chapter title, and format it using the Heading 1 style.
Add second level headings if you wish and format them as Heading 2 style.
It is important to use heading 1 style for chapter headings and heading 2 style for sub-headings, as this will automatically configure it as the first-and second-level headings in the automatic table of contents.
Add some basic text for the contents of the chapter, such as ‘text goes here’, and format it using the normal style.
How to Create an eBook in Word Writing Tips
Below is a recap of some guidelines to make your eBook beautiful and readable. After that, all that’s ready is to get excited about your very first book review!
- Add copyright (and a disclaimer, if necessary). The copyright is to ensure that you own the contents of the eBook and to prevent it from being reproduced without your permission. Use a disclaimer to protect yourself from any liability that may arise from the contents of the eBook – especially when it comes to writing about money, or health.
- Copyright and disclaimer information is usually in a much smaller font and placed at the bottom of the page.
- Do not use references such as ‘refer to page…’, because the page numbers can change depending on the screen size of the reader. This page reference will however work if you are intending to save your book only as a PDF format eBook.
- Check the book and correct both grammatical and mark-up errors.
- Mark the end of each chapter or section with a page break.
- Use different styles for different text levels. For example, use the Heading Style for the title of the book. Use “section 1 style” for chapter titles (1st level), “section 2 style” for chapter titles (2nd level) and “Normal style” for chapter contents.
- Set the typeface font, color, and size from the “Home – Font” section. Use a legible font such as “Arial” or “Times New Roman” and click ok. Remember, when you set style and fonts for elements, the theme will overwrite any previous style and fonts. Therefore, it is recommended to set fonts and choose styles under the “Design” tab as explained above. You can use custom fonts and styles for some elements that you want to distinguish from the entire document.
- Make sure you start with a heading for every chapter in your eBook, even if it is just “Chapter…”. Select this title and click on ‘Heading 1’ on the ‘Home’ menu. This ensures that the table of contents picks up all the chapters. Make sure the rest of your chapter, except for the headlines, is in “Normal” style.
- To make your pages more professional, add a header with the title of the book, plus a footer with page numbering. To do this:
- Click on the tab “View” on the toolbar ribbon and click on “Header and footer”.
- Choose from the Edit Header list to create your header.
- Unclick “link to previous” to break the link, so that the header in each section can be different if required.
- Now type the title of the book in the header, or enter some text that indicates what will go there, and format it using a style.
- Configure the footer for the document to start the numbering on the first page of the first chapter:
- Still on the first chapter page, select Insert, footer, edit footer, and choose again Header & Footer tool, Link to previous (if necessary) to break the link between footer of this section and footer in the previous section.
- Click in the footer area. Click on the toolbar ribbon on Page Number, the bottom of the page, and then select a page number style (such as Page Number 2).
- Now choose Page Number, Format page number, and click on Start. Set the value to 1 and click OK. This automatically provides a footer with the page number in it, starting with the first chapter as page 1.
- Click the header and close footer to return to the document.
How to Convert Document to eBook format
Once you have completed your ebook and it is ready for a particular eBook format, you can save it to the required basic format.
- If you have a file in the format .rtf or .html, select File, Save As, and select Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Web Page (*.htm;*.html) in the list Save As.
- Type a name for your file and click on Save.
- If you need a pdf file, select File, Save As, Create PDF/XPS document and click the PDF/XPS button to create the PDF / XPS.
- Type a name for the ebook and then select the desired optimization option and click Publish.
Tip: you can optimize the format either for physical printing or for online publication.
Conclusion: Complete your Book With an “Author Bio” Page.
Use the last section of your eBook to introduce yourself, and to promote any other books you may already have published. You can even add a flattering photo of yourself and a brief bio, with links to your website, social media networks, and other products or services if you offer them.
Making an eBook is interesting, but also involves a lot of work. You need time to organize ideas, put them into the text, and publish them for your readers. Although most professional authors opt for advanced eBook development tools or get their book formatted by a service such as Word-2-Kindle.com, it can be seen that MS Word does offer flexible and adaptable eBook design and layout tools.
If you are comfortable with MS Word, then you may have the right tools to make your own eBook.