Monday, November 04, 2013

How to Format an E-Book

 http://www.inkshard.com/

You know those people who insist on baking everything from scratch? They're all,  "I don't need no stinkin' cake mix!" Well, Eric Muss-Barnes is one of those people--only with e-books.

He taught me how to properly format a while back and recently did a blog post on the subject. The information is so valuable that I had to share it with you. :) Take it away, Eric!


A big thank you to Eric-Muss Barnes!
→ Please click here to read his accompanying tutorial. ←

Question of the Week: Have you ever formatted an e-book?

Have a great week, everyone! ♥

51 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Episode two? Crap, I need to start at the beginning of the season...
Thanks for sharing, Carrie!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I will have to check it out. The stuff coming off Smashwords on B&N is showing hard page return symbols. Grrrr

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad people who know how to do this are willing to share for the rest of us. Thanks for sharing it.

Jay Noel said...

Great stuff. Ebook formatting isn't fun, but it's not too bad. I did a lot of research by watching videos like that and reading about all the different ways writers have done it. Now, formatting for a print book is a whole different ballgame.

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing this! Awesome tutorial!!!

J. A. Lantz said...

Thank you for sharing! I'm closer than ever to self-publishing, so seeing this tutorial made my day. Thank you, again.

Kimberlee Turley said...

Bought a book from Amazon on how to format E books. It was so frustrating and confusing I gave up. Should not have purchased it in an E-book format, but the printed version instead. (Guess the author wasn't as good as the jacket made himself out to be if he can't even format his own Ebook decently.)

Carrie Butler said...

Ugh. Don't you hate those little kinks?

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I never bake from scratch! I'll have to go check this out!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thanks so much for doing this, Carrie! For those who want some credentials, I'll let you know that I've built websites for Walt Disney Studios for more than 6 years and eBook formatting is based upon website HTML code. So, rest assured that I know what I'm doing, folks. It's a little complicated and technical, if you're not familiar with that stuff. But if you can follow along, my guide allows you to construct very clean and efficient eBooks.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

I love little kinks... Wait... What are we talking about? ;-P

E.J. Wesley said...

The flour gummed up my hard drive! You'll be hearing from my attorney! (Hands case off to Alex the beagle, aka my attorney) :P

Seriously, love Eric's method. I'm a big believer in the HTML path. So much more control over the end result.

Carrie Butler said...

No problem, Captain! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Gotta love the writing community! :D

Carrie Butler said...

Thanks, Jay! :) I agree with you there. When I know I have dual formatting projects coming up, I block off a week.

Carrie Butler said...

I was happy to! It's so great to have an Eric-style refresher video. :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Thanks for passing this on, Carrie!

I'm not there yet - but if we decide to go Indy, you know I'm going to need something like this, so cheers to you, too, Eric:)

Nancy Thompson said...

FREAKING EXCELLENT!!!!

Carrie Butler said...

I'm so glad to hear that, J.A.! I'm always happy to share. :)

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

All my vlogs thumbnails are marked with episode numbers so people will realize that these aren't one-off videos and there is other content on my channel. I already have more episodes than Firefly!

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Yeah, I'm pretty awesome.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

It's so awesome how many others want to help us little ole writers. Very kewl.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Thanks. Yeah, I refuse to allow automated software to "convert" things for me. As an experienced programmer, I've seen first hand that 9 times out of 10, those conversion programs produce code about as clean as a crackhoes naughty bits.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Bookmarked! Thanks, Carrie.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

You're welcome. If you ever decide to program your own, I hope you find my information useful.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Why not just write your book in the final format? That's what I do for print. I never need to reformat because my books are composed in their final format including font choices, page margins, and everything.

Nigel G. Mitchell said...

I always used DOC files, but I hear a lot about how I should be using HTML. Just looking at this made me even more afraid to tackle it. I used to write HTML all the time but never learned the newer languages. But I will try this one and see if I can do it.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

If you already know basic HTML, you will be able to handle this, no problem. My tutorial files already packaged up all the complicated stuff for you. All you are really doing is going in and changing content. You won't need to know other languages either. Even the CSS is already done.

Carrie Butler said...

I'm the same way with reference books! They have to on paper in front of me... :)

Carrie Butler said...

It's a good link to have on hand! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Anytime, formatting guru! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Absolutely! Good to see you around here again, Koopmans. :D

Carrie Butler said...

Yes! Bookmark this bad boy. :D

Carrie Butler said...

It really is! :) Thanks, Joylene!

Carrie Butler said...

You can do it, Nigel! :D

Kyra Lennon said...

Awesome, thanks for sharing!!

Carrie Butler said...

Happy to share! Thanks for stopping by. :D

J.L. Campbell said...

Thanks for this information. I have to digest it first though. I learned to format using the Smashwords guide. Thought I'd tear my hair out on the first attempt, but it got easier as I went along. Now, I enjoy doing it because of the extra touches I can add. Thanks again.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

For now I'll pay. I have enough on my plate without formatting the book for publishing too.

Lisa Regan said...

I am all over this! THANK YOU!

Carrie Butler said...

I'm the same way with information, J.L. :) I'm glad to hear it's gotten easier for you!

Carrie Butler said...

Whatever works! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Happy to pass on the info! :)

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Carrie was frustrated too. But as I kept explaining to her, once you complete your own formatting once, you will have a template to do your subsequent books. I was helping her every single day when she was formatting "Strength" but she managed to format "Courage" all on her own.

Eric Muss-Barnes said...

Nothing wrong with delegating some work. I prefer to do everything myself. But if I ever needed to create something beyond my ability (like a Drew Struzan style cover) I'd hire someone too.

Carrie Butler said...

Har har har, Mr. Wesley! :P

David List said...

^ #1 comment I've seen all day!

Mason T. Matchak said...

I'm not sure if I'll ever need to format an e-book, but it's good to know the info is out there. ^_^

Also: I do all my baking from scratch. All of it.

Tammy Theriault said...

seriously crazy how you can learn to do things with a click of the mouse and watching it on a feed!! i'm going to save this post and show my kids when they are older is this is how we learned to do stuff when we didn't know how...wonder what they'll say. geez mom...just ask the stan the holographic buddy.

Carrie Butler said...

Where can we invest in this Stan the Holographic buddy thing? Because I am all over that! LOL

Seriously, though. You're right. It is pretty cool how accessible information is these days. :)

Carrie Butler said...

I'm impressed, Mason! :)