Ebooks   ➡  Nonfiction  ➡  Publishing  ➡  Self-publishing

Making eBooks for beginners

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for backing up your data and any losses of data, time, cash etc. There is no liability accepted by the author, publisher or distributor of this book for any loses of any kind by following the advice given in this book. If you choose to follow the advice given in this book it is done so at your own discretion and risk no liability is accepted by the author only proceed with reading this book if you agree with this statement.

That’s the legal mumbo jumbo done let’s get on with some serious learning!


Copyright©2017 George Eccleston

Produced in the United Kingdom

All copyright is reserved for this book.

This book may be freely distributed by individuals or companies on the understanding that is free book and no payment of any kind must be taken for it.

It must not be modified in anyway shape or form except by the original author.

Excerpts from this book may be used for educational purposes but proper accreditation must be given to the source of the content & the author.


Table of contents[


About this book

Chapter 01 -  Fixing your manuscript

Chapter 02 -  Choosing the correct file format

Chapter 03 -  Choose a legal font

Chapter 04 -  Indenting text

Chapter 05 -  Structuring your book

Chapter 06 -  Building a Table of contents by hand

Chapter 07 -  Saving your document properly

Chapter 08 -  Conversion to PDF & eBook

Chapter 09 -  EBook creation made easy

Chapter 10 -  Making 100% validated eBooks

Other books by the author

About this book[

EBooks for the absolute beginner

First let me say that this is a free book, if you have paid money for this book then you shouldn’t have. This book has been written to help and inform new writers who are struggling to understand the basics of eBook creation. 

I wanted this book to be free in its electronic formats (EPUB, MOBI, PDF etc) forever! If you have been charged for the electronic version then ask for your money back and report the sellers.  While the author retains the rights to book and its contents, individuals, websites and companies can and are encouraged to distribute this book FREE of charge, so long as it isn’t modified in any way shape or form.

This book was always intended to be a free book, a lot of time has been devoted to its creation. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that all the information given is accurate, any grammatical errors that may have been overlooked I can only apologise for. Finding the spare time to repeatedly check and recheck this book was difficult to fit into my schedule. I hope you can overlook any such occurrences and maybe even let me know about these so they can be fixed in any future updates that are made to this book. I hope you enjoy this book and learn something useful for your future career choice.

Where do you start?

Creating an eBook seems quite a daunting task to a new writer (I was that terrified, baffled writer). It seems to have lots of new technical skills involved and lots of expensive software that needs purchasing in order to complete it. It took me over six months to learn how to do this properly because all the information was fragmented all over the internet in various places. A lot of this information was bang on, but a lot of it was just plain wrong. And when people did give good information they either wanted cash or tended to leave out vital steps leaving you stranded with no one to turn to. This meant that trial and error were in the most part my major mentors. What took me six months to acquire from various sources is yours for free and for you can be learnt within a day or two.

The last thing I want is for new authors to waste six months learning these steps when they should be writing & hopefully selling books. You can visit my site at anytime ask a question, see any new tutorials & view my books by visiting www.georgieporgiebooks.com. I can’t guarantee my answer will be swift due to the workload that I am dealing with but I will do my best.

You don’t need to worry about expensive software because there are plenty of free software programs out there that will create a very impressive eBook for you (we will cover this software as we progress into the books creation). 

Without any further ado let’s get stuck into the basics of creating an eBook.


Fixing your manuscript[

Step one: Typing out your book

If you haven’t got one then get your hands on a word processing package. I assume you have already written your book using a word processing package. This book details the use of Microsoft Word (2007 version) for the creation of our eBook. This is of course a paid for software package which means this isn’t available to everyone. 

Those who do not have access to this software package will still be able to use this book by downloading and installing the free software package “Apache open office”, its 100% free to download and use. I personally haven’t used it but I am assured that everything that you can do in Microsoft  Word, you can do in Open office.

Ideally you will need your book to be written using one of these programs (preferably word) in order to convert it into an eBook. Unfortunately it would take too long and be too confusing to point out the differences between these two software packages, therefore we will only cover Microsoft Word in this book. Obviously some details will differ in Open office but if you get stuck remember that Google is our friend.

Step two: Checking your book for errors

Open your word document containing your story and feast your eyes on the magnificence of your masterpiece.

If you have spent hours adding pictures, tweaking your paragraphs so that they are be in exactly the right places and you have spent days finding just the right font so it looks fantastic, then you have just wasted hours of time (why will be  revealed in a minute). The only thing that you need to do at this point is to triple check that you have no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors in your book. Doing this now will make it so much easier and faster later on, especially if you want to make both eBooks & printed books. 

Step three: Getting rid of formatting faux pas

When you are sure that there are no errors in your book, it’s time to get started on the next step to becoming an eBook author. 

You will find eBooks can be very fussy about left over fragments of dodgy formatting that you, Microsoft word and other programs may have left behind in its creation, so we need to get rid of these. In order to get rid of any formatting, fonts & styles that you may have used up to this point, we are going to highlight and copy everything in this document. 

Open the Word document that holds your story, press “Ctrl” and then “A” on your keyboard and everything in the entire document will be highlighted & selected. Then press “Ctrl” and then “C” on your keyboard to copy everything in the document that you have just highlighted.

Step four: Your formatting friend

Now that we have selected (Ctrl & A) and copied (Ctrl & C) everything in your book, we need somewhere to put this information we have just copied. We can’t use another word document because that will just copy all the formatting errors that were in your original document into a new document.

We shall be using a program which is already on your computer (it comes free with windows) called Notepad. We shall miraculously fix all of your formatting errors in one fell swoop. 

Simply open “Notepad” and paste your document into it by pressing “Ctrl & V” on the keyboard. This will paste your entire book into the notepad program. Everything will be stripped back to just basic fonts and structure, and all your pictures will be gone. It will look very plain and ugly, but it’s fixed and ready to use in the next step.

Choosing the correct file format[

Step five: Saving a good story

Now that you have fixed your book we are going to have to put it back into a new Microsoft word document in order to complete its conversion into an eBook.

In order to make it as usable as possible for the eBook conversion program you must save your Word document as a special type of word document (a slightly older version of a word document). Word saves your document by default as a word document (which it labels as .doc or .docx) when you click save for the first time, we don’t want it to do this.

Open a brand new word document, then click “Office button” (circle in the top left hand corner of word).  Then choose the “Save As” option followed by the “Word 97-2003 document” option. A new box pops up giving you the option to name your file (the name of your book) do it now! Then just double check it says “Word 97-2003 document” in the “Save as Type” box underneath it, and then click on the save button.

Well done that’s the hard part sorted. Now that we have the correct format document we are going to paste our freshly fixed book into it. Remember we used “Ctrl & A” to select all of the text from your original word document, well this time we are going to use “Ctrl & A” in your notepad document in order to highlight the text from your newly fixed book. Next press “Ctrl & C” in order to copy all of this information. You can minimise or exit notepad now as you won’t be using it again.

Now you can paste your book into your new word document (word 97-2003 document) by using “Ctrl & V” on your keyboard.

Well done now you have a perfectly clean word document ready for eBook creation, it’s just a shame it looks as ugly as sin.

Your next instinct may be to get in there and tidy up the paragraphs, indents, font etc. Don’t do it, hold your horses tiger.  

We are about to fix your book up ready for the world to see but first we are going to deal with the very important legal issue of fonts. This is quite important so I am going to say this twice. 

First we are going to deal with the very important legal issue of fonts.

Choosing a legal font[

Do not use the fonts that come with your word processing (word & open office) packages for eBook creation. You do not have the right to use these fonts in an eBook without paying for the privilege. If you ignore this information and the font police (copyright lawyers) come knocking on your door it could cost you a lot of cash.

Finding free legal fonts for eBook creation

Step six: Finding free fonts is frustrating

Let me start by saying that I am not a member of the font police (copyright lawyer). I probably know more about brain surgery than I do copyright law, it’s a vast (boring) subject. I will tell you everything I have learnt about font licensing from various sources available to me, but as I have stated I am not a copyright lawyer. So if you are in any doubt at all you may want to talk to a professional copyright lawyer, but read this first before you decide. 

The truth about fonts

Fonts are copyrighted and as such this means that they belong to somebody else. Fonts are not free unless it explicitly tells you that they are. And even then don’t take their word for it until you see the written proof in the licence agreement that comes with the font itself.

A font in a word processing package is actually a piece of software that displays the image (a,b,c,d etc) on your computer or eBook reader screen. Because it is a piece of computer software it can be owned by a company or an individual. Some countries such as America don’t see the copyright law this way and don’t enforce this issue, but the UK and Europe do see it as a matter of ownership, and can and will sue you for copyright violation if you don’t pay the owner for the right to use it.

You may think that because your word processing package came with the fonts already installed that you can use them for anything you want, well you’re wrong! 

Your word processing package comes with fonts that have something called a desktop licence. This entitles you to use theses fonts to print any personal projects and usually anything that get printed onto paper because once it is on paper it stops being software and becomes actual printed material. Most desktop licences will allow you to a put their fonts into an image so long as its saved as part of that image (I say most check your licence). It should (again check your font licence) also allow you to print to a PDF document. This means that if you intend doing a printed book via Createspace you should be covered legally because you submit a PDF version of your book to them. It’s this PDF that they use print it onto paper with, so your fonts in theory are okay to use in printed books.

EBooks however are a totally different kettle of fish when it comes to font use. Some font makers don’t want you to use their fonts in eBooks at all, in case people steal the fonts from the eBook itself, which is fairly easy to do apparently. Other font makers will let you use their fonts but want excessive amounts of cash for its use. They can charge you a onetime fee, or per book sold, so it can get expensive. And they may impose security measures to protect their fonts from theft, such as making you embed the fonts or encrypt them.

You can pay these fees if you can afford it, but there are free alternatives to consider as well. Do not download and use fonts off any old website even if they tell you that the fonts are free to use, because a lot of these fonts are stolen from other sites and documents. Any font you download should come with a licence file (a small notepad or WordPad document) called a “SIL Open Font Licence” telling you exactly what it can be used for. If it doesn’t come with one of these then be very suspicious about the font’s validity. 

There are places to get safe free fonts that you can use without repercussions. Fontsquirrel.com is a very good site that has lots of free fonts that can be used for commercial purposes (i.e. business and eBooks) without fear of any costs to you. You must still check that any licences allow use for any purpose but generally speaking they are safe to use.

I personally went one step further and obtained my fonts from Google fonts. These are fonts that have been donated in order that people have the freedom to use a quality, good looking font free of charge on commercial projects, without fear of charges being levied. You are not allowed to sell theses fonts to other people as fonts, but why would you be doing that anyway, you’re not selling fonts your selling books (hopefully).

Some fonts may insist that you embed the fonts into the eBook (which is easy). Embedding the font into your eBook is something that you will be showed how to do (and it is recommended) later on.

Warning: obtaining files from untrustworthy sites can put viruses onto your pc, corrupt your files and possibly damage your computer. Stick to trusted sites like Fontsquirrel or Google fonts. 

So download a copyright safe, free of charge font that looks nice from your site of choice (Google fonts). A quality font should have the italic, bold and regular font in the download folder. Open the zip file that it came in and extract it into a folder on your desktop. 

To install the file onto your computer is an easy thing to do. Simply click the windows task bar (bottom circle on the left of your screen) and the click control panel from the options that pop up. 

Then click on “Appearance and personalisation” and then “Fonts”. 

A folder showing all the fonts on your pc will now open. Highlight the font files you have just downloaded (don’t highlight the SIL open font licence file). Then drag & drop the new fonts from inside the folder on the desktop, into your computers “Font” folder. Your new fonts should now be installed for use via Word or whatever program you intend to use.

Earlier we pasted all the text from our notepad document into the new word (97-2003 Document) file which we had just created. Before we do anything else we are going to change our font to the free one we have just downloaded. 

Press “Ctrl & A” to select all the text in your new Word document. Then we will change the word document default font (usually Calibri font) to our new free font that we have just downloaded, happy in the knowledge that the font police won’t be harassing us in the future.

Just click in the box were the default text name is. Find your new font from the drop down menu, click it and press enter. All your text through your document should now change to the new font and stay that way. 


Indenting text[


Step seven: To indent or not indent

Now while your here it’s time to make any indentations that you wish to do to your book. If all the text for some reason isn’t still highlighted you will have to highlight it again (Ctrl A).

Some authors love indents and put one on every new paragraph, especially if it’s for a children’s book. Others detest indents and use them very sparingly if at all. Personally when writing a proper serious grown up book such as the 12 volt solar power book I am currently working on whilst doing this book (who said men can’t multitask), there isn’t an indent in sight. For the “The Snit Snots” children’s book that I am using for examples in this tutorial there is an indentation on every new (line) paragraph.

There are two reasons why I like using the indentations in a children’s book. I like the way it looks in a children’s book, and a lot of children find huge monolithic blocks of text intimidating to read. This is why I prefer to break my writing up into lots of smaller, separate paragraphs making it less daunting to read, plus the indentations separate each paragraph just that little bit more. This hopefully creates an easier reading experience for the younger reader. Is this the correct thing to do? I don’t know and I don’t care and neither should you (people have different opinions on the matter). This is your book and you have your particular style of writing, so as long as it’s not too outlandish then go with it.

You set the indentations on your book by clicking on the Home tab and finding the word Paragraph on the menu ribbon. Next to the word “Paragraph” there is a tiny small box, click on the small box and then alter the setting to your preferred amount (see illustration). For the Snit Snots book the indent was put on the first line setting, which basically means that you get an indent every time you press the enter key. 

These are the setting on my “The Snit Snots” book. For your book you can choose whatever suits you best, you may just want them in certain places. If you’re not sure about using indentations simply Google “using indentations” and a full explanation should come up.

Small note: Remember if you want your indentations to affect the whole book its best to select everything in your book (Ctrl A) before you change your indentations, this way all your text will change at once.

Once you are happy with your indentation click anywhere inside your word document to remove the highlighting from your text and you are good to go

Yet another (important) small note: If you had any text in your original book that was in Italics, in a larger font, a different font or in Bold then you will find that it isn’t anymore. You must hunt down the differences between your original manuscript and your new one and alter it accordingly. Do this now because I can guarantee that you will only remember once the book has been uploaded and has gone live, you have been warned.

Structuring your book[

This is the part where we tidy your book up to make it look prettier, because we pretty much uglyfied it by stripping any formatting errors from the book.  The layout of your book may differ with extra sections such as an about the author page, prologue, a books by this author page etc. This is individual to you and as such you will be able to modify your layout to suit your own needs with what you learn in this book. I have based this book around the layout of my “The Snit Snots” book which we shall see examples of throughout this book. You are of course free to add or subtract any sections to suit your own needs.


Step eight: I own the stuff in this book

On the first page of your document you should have your copyright disclaimer which you should highlight and centre now. Some people prefer this at the bottom of the page but personally I just centre it and leave it be. 

This is an example of the copyright use in my book.

Copyright©2016 Georgie Porgie

Produced in the United Kingdom

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,

or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,

recording or otherwise without written permission of the author or publisher.

Any similarity to any person living or dead is purely coincidental.

I am using my pen name in this example. Stating the country as it is necessary to state this if your book is sold in certain countries. And I am basically telling the world that everything in this book belongs to me and you have no right to copy it without my permission.


Step nine: Fancy fonts and pictures

The next page should be your book title. We shall see an example in a minute where we use the title page from my book as a reference. 

Your title page is a tricky subject because most authors will pick a fancy font, enlarge it and centre it in the middle of the page in order to make it look as good as possible. 

Now there is a major problem with this thinking because your customer’s eBook reader probably doesn’t have the same fancy font that you used in your title installed on their eBook reader. This means that their device will default to a basic, probably ugly looking font that is already installed on their device. And even if it does have your font installed eBook readers allow their owners to override the fonts that you have put in your eBook to suit the customer own preference (unless your book is a fixed layout book which we are not making here) which means that your title page will always look different from what you intend.

If you really, really want a fancy looking font in order to make your book look professionally made (which you do), then you have place your font into an image (a jpeg image) and use this image on your title page. This guarantees that your title page will always look the same no matter what device it is read on.

I made multiple attempts at getting a consistent font for my title page before deciding to go for and image instead. Using the “Wendy one” font from Google fonts (because it suits children’s books) I created a basic jpeg picture using “Paint.net” the free art software package. It is easily downloadable from here. You could also use Microsoft Paint which is already installed on your system if you are running windows, but it is a lot more basic in functionality. After you have installed the desired font (as demonstrated earlier) and Paint.net, you are free to create any art work you wish for your book.  

You simply have to open a new document in Paint/Paint.net, type the title of the book in the centre of the document, using the font type & size that you want. Once you have it looking the way you want save this document as a “jpeg” image. 

If you are interested I shall cover creating pictures and artwork for your books in a series of tutorial on my website www.georgieporgiebooks.com at a later time as there is a lot to cover about this subject and using free software such as Paint.net, Gimp & Inkscape. 

Inserting your images

To insert your very fancy title page with your beautiful looking font into your book is a fairly easy job. Simply click inside your book where you wish the picture to be placed. This should be below or above text not right next to it.

This is a picture of the ribbon menu that is used in Microsoft word we shall be referring to this a lot, all the buttons you need are accessed via this.

Never copy & paste your picture into your book. You should always click on the “Insert” button on the ribbon menu, select the “Picture” icon and navigate towards the picture that you wish to use. The picture is placed into your book (not necessarily where you want it to be) and with a bit of luck all you have to do is click centre, and its job done. 

If the picture is in the wrong place and centring doesn’t work for you, don’t panic and start trying to drag the picture around the page (like I did) because that doesn’t work. 

To control how the image moves around the page is merely a matter of knowing which buttons to click on, so don’t freak out and give up on the idea. The controls for moving pictures are on the “Page layout” tab on the ribbon menu. The controls for this and a selection of extra picture controls also appear when you double click on the picture itself (useful tip). 

You have to click on the picture before you can do anything with it. You can left align, centre it & right align a picture the same way that you do with text, which is useful. You can also resize the picture by dragging the corner of it in or out, although it’s better if you make the picture the right size before it’s inserted into word. At this point however you are unable to move the picture freely, we have to fix this problem straight away. 

On the top right hand side of the “Page layout” tab you will see an option called “Text Wrapping”, click on it. You will be given a series of options to use such as square, tight, behind text etc. It doesn’t really matter which one you click on for now (you can experiment with each one in turn at leisure to figure them out) just click on one of them. You can now move your picture anywhere you want. You can also use the “Position” tab to quickly position the picture on the left, centre & right of the page and also top, middle and bottom of the page, very quickly and accurately. If you find the position tab hasn’t put it quite where you want it you can still move it manually yourself. 

Important info: You shouldn’t (unless it’s a fixed layout book) have the words wrapping around the picture, they should be above or below (this is especially true for kindle books). You may like the look of the words wrapping around the picture but don’t forget this is a reflowable text eBook, which means that the text and pictures change position depending on what device your customer is viewing it on. What looks nice, now may look pig ugly and poorly made on a different sized screen, so put text above and below the pictures not wrapped around it.

So now you have the jpeg image of your book title nicely placed on your page, it shouldn’t look to bad at all. On my title page I use one picture with the title and my author (pen name) underneath it. You can use more than one image if you want, but it’s easier with one and views on a smaller screen very well.

Amazon & other book companies charge you money for delivering your digital eBook to a customer. The bigger download your book is, the more money they will charge you, it is only pennies but pennies add up. Including images can make the difference between a good book and a great book, but it will increase the file size of your book by quite a bit.

If you are making a book that is to be printed on paper (via Createspace etc) your picture quality has to be of a very high resolution (300 DPI minimum), which makes your book size quite large (but this doesn’t matter in print books).  But eBooks/kindle books don’t need high resolution images (96 DPI is acceptable), which mean your file size is reduced considerably. You still want high quality pictures but you can reduce the resolution on them so that your overall charges from the book companies are reduced.

If you are not sure how to reduce the resolution on a picture just work on your book for now and add the pictures later on. I will be doing a tutorial on using free art packages ASAP on my website www.georgieporgiebooks.com so keep an eye on this site and my YouTube channel here for any new tutorials.  Increasing and decreasing resolution on a picture will be covered there.

If you wish to have a stab it right now though you can, all you have to do is open your picture in Paint.net, press “Ctrl & R” and alter the resolution option in the box to 96 pixels/inch and then save the image again, preferably under a new name (easy isn’t it?).

Creating a Table of contents by hand

Step ten: Page numbers no more

Most people don’t realise that eBooks don’t have page numbers at all because they simply wouldn’t work. This is because the amount of words and pictures that can be displayed on a page depends on how big the screen is on the phone, eBook or device that it is being read on. The page on a large screen device may be capable of displaying significantly more information than a smaller screen can. This means that page numbers are of no use whatsoever as the smaller screen will have to display two or three more pages to show the same amount of information as the big screen does on a single page.

You shouldn’t have page numbers because we stripped them all out (using notepad), but if you do then now is the time to go into the settings and get rid of them now.

Step eleven: Finding your way around

Instead of page numbers we use something called a “Table of contents” to help people find their way around an eBook and help to locate their favourite chapters. Microsoft word will actually create a table of contents or TOC as it’s also known, for you. However the Microsoft word table of contents will only be accepted by certain companies that sell eBooks, not all of them. If you wish to submit your books to Shakespir it probably won’t be accepted by them. You can actually create a much better table of contents yourself very easily and it gives you total control over its setup and appearance. And the beauty of creating your own is that it should be accepted by Amazon, Shakespir and all major book retailers without question. 

Another benefit of creating your own table of contents using some very simple steps is that it will always work properly for you. You will also be able to give it extra functions that Microsoft Word simply can’t match.

Now at this stage in the book all we need to do is create a table of contents by typing it out onto the page that comes straight after the title page. It’s too early to enter the hyperlinks (which make it fully functional) as we haven’t tidied the book up yet, but we can enter the basic structure of the page now, so it’s ready for completion at the end of this process. The TOC below is taken directly from my Snit Snots book, it’s the actual table of contents that was typed out manually by myself.

Table of Contents

Chapter  1  Meet the Snits

Chapter  2  Dog gone

Chapter  3  It’s a dog life

Chapter  4  Funny friend

Chapter  5  Snotty snits

Chapter  6  It’s an antique bro

Chapter  7  It’s a dog’s life

Chapter  8  The revenge of Rex

Chapter  9  Snit Snots

Chapter 10 Home sweet home

Chapter 11  Holy horror

It took me less than two minutes to type out (and that’s using just two fingers) so it isn’t too much of a bind. You have already written your book so you know how many chapters your book has and what the chapter titles names are, so writing these out isn’t a problem. Find a spot after the title page and before chapter one and start typing. 

This needs to be done now because we will be separating the book up into sections and it’s best to have everything done and in place before that is done. So type out your table of contents now!

Once the TOC has been typed out we can move onto the next job. You can make it fully functional at the very end when everything else is done, so we will come back to this later.


Organising and tidying your eBook.

Step twelve: Picture perfect

Insert the rest your pictures now. You may wish to insert pictures (96 DPI images) for education or illustration purposes. We have covered inserting pictures on the title page, so no explanation is needed here. If you have more pictures to add to your book now is the time to insert & position them, so get on with it.

A word of warning: eBooks are very fussy about the formatting that you use when you are creating and altering your documents, this is why we copied and re-pasted your book to rid it of any faults.

A lot of people though whenever they need to move down a page hit the return key multiple times, this is not allowed under any circumstances. Similarly you cannot press control and enter to create a new page (also known as a hard return), this is a definite no, no. 

The only thing that you should use to separate your book into chapters or sections is something called a “Page break”. 

If you need to create space between two bits of text or between text and a picture you can get away with pressing enter once or twice, but avoid creating unneeded spaces as much as possible.

Step thirteen: Organising your book into sections

In order to separate your book into separate parts we have to use a page break. A page break tells the eBook when something starts and stops, making it easier for the eBook to display your book properly. EBooks don’t have pages like a conventional book, so you don’t put a break at the end of every page like a normal word document or a paper book. You use a page break to separate one chapter from the other. Each chapter is basically one long page, it’s the eBook reader that decides where the page begins and ends depending on the size of its screen, not you.

You can insert a page break by clicking on your page where you wish the page break to be (end of the chapter), you then click on the “Insert” tab and finally click the “Page Break” icon.

So the only thing that you need to do really is create a page break at the end of each chapter in order for your eBook reader to display the book the way you want it to be read. I also put a page break after the copyright page, the title page, the Table of contents page. And because there is a standalone picture straight after the Table of contents page on my book, I put another page break to separate the stand alone picture from the first chapter.

It may sound like its being made to sound more simply than it is, but honestly it can be that simple. All you have to do is separate the individual chapters & any individual sections (i.e. copyright, TOC, title page) with a page break & the eBook reader should be able to display the book properly.

Once you have placed all your page breaks into it you are very close to a finished product. All that is left to do is centre the chapter headings and make the table of contents functional.

Building a table of contents by hand[

Step fourteen: A functional TOC

This chapter is dedicated to creating your own fully functional table of contents. One which is better than the one created by Microsoft Word (extra functionality) and will be accepted by most if not all book publishing companies.

A table of contents is constructed using three things, Bookmarks, hyperlinks and H1 tags (Heading 1 style). We manually typed out your table of contents early on in the process of tidying up your book, now we get to add the hyperlinks & bookmarks to it so it becomes fully functional. We left this till last because all the changes that needed doing have been done and no portions of the book will need removing or moving around. 

To create a working Table of contents (TOC) we have to create fixed points in your book which are called a bookmarks. Bookmarks that you place in a physical book enable you to always find your place inside that book. Placing a bookmark in an eBook creates a physical (virtual) position inside your eBook so that you can always locate this point.

The place where it says, “Table of contents” on your table of contents page is the place that you are going to insert your first bookmark. Highlight the “Table of contents” text so it all turns blue (as in the picture below), and click the “Insert” tab on the ribbon menu. Now look to the right until you see the “Bookmark” button.

If you click the bookmark tab a box will appear asking you to name the bookmark. Type the name for this bookmark (I use the abbreviation TOC it’s easier) in the smaller box so you know which bookmark you are dealing with later on (you can have multiple bookmarks in a document) and click the “Add” button. 


Congratulations you have just added your first bookmark, you will be linking your hyperlinks to this later on. No matter where you are in your book you will always be able to find your way back to this point from now on, simply by clicking on the hyperlinks that you will create in a few moments.

Next we add bookmarks to your chapter headings and fixing them so that they are the right size, centred and they look good.


Using Heading 1 & 2 styles

On each chapter heading in your book we will use a heading 1 or 2 styles from the style ribbon, which is on the ribbon menu.

A heading 1 or 2 styles tells the eBook that this is a very important piece of text, and makes it easy for us to link it to other parts of the book. We shall use style 1 for this tutorial but both style headings would be acceptable. Don’t mix and match styles throughout the book, pick one style and stick with it through the entire book. 

You can use a mix of heading 1 & 2 styles to create a two tear menu on your TOC (i.e. Main headings & sub headings) but that is something for a later date as for now you just need to learn how to make the basic functioning TOC, so we shall leave that one alone for now.

Choose and highlight the “Chapter one” heading, then click on the “Heading 1” button from the styles ribbon. It will automatically change the chapter heading into a high priority piece of text, but it will also change the size & colour of it and if you have centred it already it may mess that up in the process. 

If you’re not pleased with the size & colour change then you do not have to keep the changes. You can right click on the heading 1 style button and modify it to suit your preferences (re-centre it in these settings whilst you are there, if necessary). From that point on that style should be the same size, colour & position that you have just picked, throughout the rest of the book.

Small warning here: even though you have changed your font earlier to a free font, the fonts on you heading styles are not the same fonts, they are the Microsoft Word default fonts. To make these the same free fonts that you have in the rest of your book you must modify the font by right clicking on the heading style button and manually change the font to your free font. This way you won’t be carrying unlicensed paid for fonts into your eBook.

Once you have changed the chapter heading styles we are going to place a bookmark inside the chapter heading itself, in exactly the same way we did with the Table of contents earlier. Make sure “Chapter one” is still highlighted and click the “Insert” tab, then the “Bookmark” tab and when the box opens it will need you to name/rename (type over any name that is already in the box) the new bookmark. Naming it is easy we are going to call it something short and memorable, we shall call it “one” because it is chapter one, click on “Add” and it’s done.

Here’s a picture of where each bookmark goes to simplify things, because too many words can make your brain hurt. I apologise if this picture is a bit long for your screen but I couldn’t reduce it anymore and have it still make sense.

Warning: Bookmarks won’t be accepted if you start it with a number or leave a gap between individual words. It has to start with a letter and be one word or a series of words joined together i.e. Chapter1 or chapterone, not chapter 1, chapter one or 1chapter.

Now move onto the following chapters changing each heading using the styles ribbon, and then add a bookmark to each one. Once all the bookmarks are in place we shall get cracking on the next step which is adding the hyperlinks.

Adding hyperlinks

We have just placed a bookmark on the table of contents and the chapter heading of each chapter. This is so we can always find our way back to these bookmarks anytime we wish, it enables us to jump from any part of the book straight to another part of the book in a fraction of a second. To make this jump we have to link up to a bookmark using something called a hyperlink.  A hyperlink is similar to a motorway shortcut to anywhere in the book that you wish to go to. You have probably used hyperlinks already on the internet to jump from one webpage to another.

Now I want you to move back up to the beginning of your book where you typed out your table of contents earlier. Highlight the part that say “Chapter 1 (chapter title)” in my case its “Chapter 1  Meet the Snits”. Some people prefer to highlight just the “Chapter 1” part I prefer to select the chapter title as well (it’s up to you).

 You simply highlight the word or sentence where you want the hyperlink to be, right click on the highlighted section and click hyperlink from the menu that pops up.

A box opens saying insert hyperlink. Because this is the first time you have tried to insert a hyperlink in your document it may ask you where about you want to insert the hyper link, you must select the “Place in this document” option.

Then you will see the bookmarks that you created earlier. Because we are sorting chapter 1 at the moment we want to link it to the bookmark labelled “one”. Click on bookmark “one” and then click “ok” , to create your first hyperlink. You have now created a link from your table of contents to your first chapter title.

(Because we are using the table of contents from my “The Snit snots” book we shall use the headings from that as examples.) 

Now you have to do the same for all your other chapters. 

  • The next link from “Chapter 2  Dog gone” will link to “two”. 
  • The next link from “Chapter 3  It’s a dog life” will link to “three”.

And this will continue through the book. Once you have created these links you will have a fully functional Table of contents that works just as well as the Microsoft Word one would. In fact it will be better than the Microsoft Word version because you chose the fonts and font sizes that you wanted, not the ones that Word imposed upon you. 

Confused? Hopefully not, but just in case you are here is a diagram that hopefully explains it better to any visual learners out there. Again it is a long picture this couldn’t be avoided.

If this is still confusing you then fear not, I have created a video tutorial on my YouTube channel showing this being done for anyone who is still struggling. This was the very first video I ever made so be kind to me. Click here to watch the video.

You can test if your newly created hyperlink works by holding the control key down on your keyboard and clicking on the links in your freshly made Table of contents. This should make your page jump straight up to the chapter heading in question, if it doesn’t you have done something wrong.

Now that you have created your own table of contents that rivals Microsoft word we are going to improve it so it’s even better than 90% of everyone else’s TOC by adding even more functionality. 

Some of you eagle eyed reader may have spotted that we created a bookmark on the Table of contents itself (we called it TOC) but never used it. We created it for this step right now.

  1. Scroll down to your first chapter heading and highlight it so it turns blue, right click and choose insert hyperlink (yes you can use a bookmark & a hyperlink on the same word or sentence). In case you haven’t guessed it we are going to link this hyperlink to the “TOC” bookmark that we created first. This means that when you click on this chapter heading from now on you will instantly be brought to your table of contents. Click on it and test if it works!
  1. Now insert a hyperlink on each chapter heading in turn and connect each hyperlink to the “TOC” bookmark.

You can scroll down to each chapter heading in question and enter the hyperlinks the slow way or speed things up by using the hyperlink that you have just inserted to jump back up to the table of contents, which not only tests the new hyperlink but also enables you to use the existing links on the TOC to jump to the next chapter in question (no scrolling involved).

Some people will grasp this straight off and some wont (I didn’t grasp it at first) don’t worry if you’re confused watch the video (Here) it will hopefully help you to work it out.

Please note the video was made before I started using images for my title page so ignore this portion unless you want to use fonts on your title page, plus I did skip the place in this document bit that I have just told you to do, but we learn as we go, it is an old video. 

By the way this book has the same type of TOC built in so you can see what I mean by tapping the chapter heading to bring you up to the TOC, try it now.

Dont forget to test that all your links work, you will then know that you have a fully functioning Table of contents that most people don’t know how to make.

Saving your document properly[

You have gone to the effort of saving your document as a word 97-2003 file because it’s the best thing to do. You have also added your own custom font to protect yourself from copyright problems later on. But now when you go to save your final draft Microsoft word will betray you and save your document with extra fonts tagged on in the background. It seems to be impossible to stop this but they can be removed later on when its converted to eBook format in Calibre (you will see this later on). 

What you can do now is ensure that the font that you chose is included with the word document when it is saved, so that’s its guaranteed that your free font will be included in you eBook later. To embed your chosen font into your word document you will have to adjust how Microsoft Word saves your document. This is done by clicking on the “Office button” and choosing the “Word Options” button in order to adjust the save settings.

Out of the new options that come up click on “save”, tick the “Embed fonts in file” option and click “ok”. You have now guaranteed that your font is carried over with your document.

Now save your book before you do anything else! It would be a shame to lose all this progress on a silly mistake.

Have you saved it? Hang on because we are going to have to save it again.

[*Microsoft Word is hiding a dirty little secret: *]

You will need to check on your bookmark history. Word hides a secret on the bookmark tab in plain view, behind a tiny little tick.

Each and every time you have checked if one of your hyperlinks works properly by holding control on the keyboard and clicking on your link, Word has created an invisible bookmark. If you have tested it 30 times then you have 30+ invisible and unnecessary bookmarks cluttering up your book. This can affect the way certain eBook readers function, so you need to delete all of these extra bookmarks from your documents before you do your final save.

Click the “Insert” tab, then the “Bookmarks” button. On the panel that comes up you will see a small tick next to the words “Hidden Bookmarks” towards the bottom, click on it to remove the tick.

A plethora of extra unwanted bookmarks will be visible. They will look similar to this “_Hlt475577092” they always start with an underscore like the example has. Delete any and all of these bookmarks that start with an underscore (only the ones with and underscore at the beginning). Once you have finished click on “Done” and save your document, you are now ready to move onto converting your document into PDF’s and eBook’s.

Conversion to PDF & eBooks[

If you wish to make a PDF version of your book to sell on your site or give away, with a fully functional TOC in it, then now is the time to create it. I wouldn’t recommend using other programs to create a PDF version of your book as I am not to enamoured with the results they give. You will get a much better result creating a PDF straight from your newly created word document. The quality and functionality is usually much better also. If you really have to use another program to create a pdf then thats fine but straight from word is usually better.

You will probably need some kind of PDF reader to view your new PDF book installed on your computer if you don’t already have one. Adobe acrobat reader is the standard one but there are other programs that are just as good, such as Foxit reader and nitro PDF reader, they are all free so it’s up to you which one you choose. 

Your book at the moment however is minus a cover because we add this later on usually, but if you are about to create a PDF you may wish the cover to be on the first page. Now is the time to add your cover if this is the case. 

Simply click on the first page, above any content that is inside the book. You can then insert a page break which will create a new first page. You are then able to insert your cover picture on to the new first page. You already know how to move and resize (dragging the pictures corners) it so it covers the entire page.

There are various recommended cover sizes by different book companies and you couldn’t cater for each individual one, so we pick a generic size that most will be happy with. Generally speaking they all want one side longer than the other just like a book cover (not square). Shakespir recommend a cover of 2,400 pixels tall by 1,600 wide and I generally choose this size and let the other retailers make do with that. To make your cover suit each individual company would take ages and generally speaking no one is going to complain about your cover size, if they ever did it’s easily changed.

Remember that by adding a cover to your book you have changed your word document by doing this, so when you go to exit it will ask you to save it, don’t do this unless you rename it to something else (i.e. PDF master version)because you don’t want two covers on your eBook and Kindle files later on. 

When you are ready to create your PDF simply click on the “Office button” (top left of the screen), move down to “Save As” and then choose the “PDF or XPS” option from the menu. Microsoft word will then create you a fully functional PDF file which you can put straight onto your website if you wish and it will have a lovely cover on the first page.


EBook creation made easy[

 It’s time to create some high quality eBooks, it’s at this point that you can choose to do this the easy way or the slightly more technical way. 

The easy way is to let Shakespir convert this document for you. If you have followed this tutorial then your book should be fully compliant with their exacting standards. All you have to do is upload your word document to them and they will convert it into multiple different formats (PDF, EPUB, MOBI etc) for free. They prefer it if you sell via them alone, but if you wish to sell through Amazon or your own website, they are fine with that to. They can get annoyed if you use them only to convert the books and then not sell via them.

Shakespir give you a free ISBN for your eBook (Amazon don’t require an ISBN for eBooks) which saves you buying one. They Convert your books, handle the sales to customers, take the cash for you and they also make your book available through the big book companies such as Barnes & Noble etc, they simply take a small percentage of the sale price. 

It is a requirement that you place the ISBN number they give you and the words “Shakespir edition” on the page with the copyright information at the beginning of the book, but that’s a simple thing to do.

You are able to download all your converted books from Shakespir free of charge, so that you are able to place these on your own website literally ten minutes after you have uploaded your original document to them. The way they convert your book is surprisingly fast and you can’t fault the conversions. However they will have Shakespir edition & ISBN number on them, if I am selling them from my own site I prefer not to have this written on it (personal foible). 

If you upload the copy without the ISBN & Shakespir edition on it they will still convert it for you, then reject it later on until you have corrected this error. In the meantime though you will have ample opportunity to download the clean versions of your book without the ISBN & extra writing on it (devious I know but some people do it). Shakespir must know that people will do this but they don’t seem in a hurry to stop them. If you do this then don’t mess Shakespir about, upload the proper version straight away as they do seem to be a decent company.

Uploading a Word document rather than an EPUB to Shakespir is by far the easiest option for you because they can be a bit picky about the way you convert your eBooks, but they are more than happy with the way you create your word document (if you follow this guide). 

Doing it this way however teaches you nothing about creating eBooks and limits how your final eBook will look. This is why we are going to learn how to do it ourselves.


Creating your own eBook

A lot of people spend a lot of money on expensive eBook creation programs thinking that this is the only way you can do it, not true! Creating your own eBooks doesn’t mean that you have to spend a penny on software, in fact some of the best ones are free.

[*Calibre *]- eBook management:  is a free software program that will solve just about all your eBook creation problems totally for free. Simply download it, install it and convert your word document into a valid eBook totally free of charge. All your Table of content and links will still work just as you want them to, only now they will be inside an EPUB or MOBI (Kindle) format. It also allows you to delete or embed fonts so that any eBook reader has access to the font you used in your book and lets you tweak the eBook readers Table of contents, improving the look and quality of your final book, it’s a great piece of free software.

Download, install and open Calibre. You may get an instructional guide popup which is worth looking at. 

Calibre will convert word documents (.doc or .docx) straight off but these formats can have unexpected results on the outputted files, which is why we asked you to save your file as a word 97-2003 document earlier on in this tutorial.

Now unfortunately Calibre doesn’t like word 97-2003 documents in the slightest and won’t convert them full stop (am I hurting your head yet?). We saved it in the word 97-2003 document format because it produces very few errors in formatting, and allows us to then save it as a ”Web Page, Filtered” file which Calibre absolutely loves. 

Create a new folder on your desktop for you to save your new web page filtered file into. Name the folder after your book and add filtered at the end so you know where it is. My book is called “The Snit Snots” so I called my folder “The snit snots filtered”. Now we know what the folder is called and where it is.

Open your word document containing your finished fixed book. We are now going to save it as a filtered webpage. Simply Click on the “Office button” (top left) click on “Save As” and a box will open asking for a file name (the name of your book) & Save as type (what type of document do you want to save it as?) option. So type in the name of your book & change the save as type option to “Web Page, Filtered”. There are three different options to save as a web page in word, ensure that you choose the “Web Page, Filtered” option.

But before you click on save, navigate to the folder that you named (i.e. The Snit Snots filtered) earlier on. Find it in the navigation window and double click it to open it. You want your web page, filtered document to be inside that folder because there will be two parts to your saved document (a folder & a webpage) and if they are both in the same folder they will be much easier to find. That’s it, you now have a file ready to convert into any eBook format using Calibre.

When you open your webpage filtered folder on your desktop you will see two files inside it. One of these files is a webpage the other is a folder that is filled with all the images from within your book. When you pick a file to convert using calibre it will be the webpage file not the folder. 

Click on this webpage file and drag it into the Calibre open window, Calibre should accept this file happily.

From here you can convert your document into many different formats simply by clicking on the convert books button. Click on “Convert books” now.

When you convert a book a new window pops up asking for information. By default it will try to convert the book to MOBI (Kindle format), don’t let it do this. So step 1 is to change the output format from MOBI to EPUB format, so change it now. The reason we are changing it to EPUB is the fact that you are only able to do editing work on an EPUB file, Calibre won’t allow you to edit a MOBI file.

1)Change the format to EPUB.

2)Enter your author name (real or pen name) this is the Metadata for the book.

3)Enter any tags that describe you book i.e. Humorous, Children’s book, Adventure etc.

4)Enter the book Blurb that usually goes on the back cover of your book.

5)Navigate to your book cover so it gets included in your book.

6)Click “OK” and it will convert your book to an EPUB format.

A small circle will spin around in the bottom right hand corner until it is completed, it doesn’t take long.  Once the conversion is complete you are allowed to see the finished book by clicking on the View button at the top (the magnifying glass). It should look reasonably alright at this point. You can check that all you TOC works properly and check all your hyperlinks to. If you have done them properly (as in the tutorials) then they should work fine. 

All eBooks have a table of content built into them. This means your book should have two tables of contents, the one you made and the one that the eBook reader uses. This TOC uses your Heading 1 styles to create a basic menu system, and it can be quite basic depending on how well you entered your headings. On the eBook viewer you will see a letter “T” that looks a bit like a scrabble piece, click it! This will open the eBooks built in TOC and it will probably look fairly basic, we can improve on this.

This TOC has only very basic “Chapter 1, Chapter 2” headings, which is okay but we want it to be more like this.

This one has the chapter headings and the chapter names, which looks much better. You are able to change these heading to whatever you want, enabling you to fully customise your eBook. How do we do this you ask? It’s actually surprisingly easy using Calibre. Close you eBook viewer and let’s start to fix your TOC and tweak a few other things whilst we are there.

In the top right hand corner of Calibre you will see the button called “Edit book”, click on this and it will open a new window that allows you to modify your book.

The edit book page has lots of options but you only need two of these.

  1. Opens the Table of contents for you to edit it.
  1. Opens the fonts options allowing you remove unwanted fonts and embed wanted fonts.

When you click the table of contents button a new page appears showing all the TOC headings, you are able to delete, modify or create totally new ones here. In our case we will simply double click on the chapter we wish to change until it turns blue. Then click just after the heading otherwise it will be deleted because it is still highlighted, you can then type what you wish.

Once you have changed all the headings to what you want click okay, you have just created your first custom eBook reader TOC.

Next we will click on the second button that we mentioned earlier the “Manage font’s option”. When you do this a box appears showing you all the fonts that are contained within your EPUB

Even though you changed it to a free legal font earlier (Libre Baskerville in my case) a few extra fonts came along for the ride. Word has added extra fonts, fonts that you haven’t paid a licence fee for, so in theory you could be charged for these. Highlight the fonts that you don’t want to keep, and click “Remove selected fonts”, keeping only your free font. 

Small note: You can actually delete all the fonts here if you wish, this would mean the only fonts available for the users eBook reader are their default fonts. This should make no difference to how your book looks to them because the chances are they would be reading the book with the font of their choice anyway. It would do away with any risk of you using a font you’re not allowed to use. This just means that your book will look different on every readers device it’s on, but chances are it will anyway.

You can now embed your chosen font into your book by clicking on the “Embed all fonts” button. This will permanently embed the font you chose into the book. This doesn’t mean that you are forcing people to read it with your font, they can still choose their own font via their eBook reader. This simply ensures that you have used a legal font and that it’s brought it over to the customer’s reader giving them the choice to use your font if they wish to.

Click on “Close” and that’s, that job done.

Now all you have to do is click “File” and “Save” before you exit the book editor. Don’t forget this step our all your changes will be lost.

Once you have saved it, click on either “Quit” or “X” in the corner of the screen. Then view your book again to see all the changes you have made. Your second Table of contents should look much better now. Again check all your hyperlinks and TOC are working properly but apart from that you are done you now have a fancy EPUB capable of being used on most eBook readers.

Kindle however won’t read EPUB’s so we need to convert our book into a MOBI format which is the format the Kindle uses. To do this there is a really easy way and a relatively easy way of doing it. 

The really easy way to do it is to download the “Kindle previewer” & the “KindleGen” plug-in from Amazon, click here to download. This is a viewing program that allows you to read kindle books on your pc, but with the Kindlegen plug-in it will also convert your EPUB that you have just created and edited, straight into a MOBI format. It will convert your book to a properly formatted MOBI book, preserving all your changes and Table of contents.

To convert with this program simply drag and drop your newly created and corrected EPUB file on top of the Amazon previewer program and it will automatically open and convert it for you. 

If you are looking for where Calibre stored your new EPUB file, it will be inside your “Documents” folder in the “Calibre Library” folder. There will be a folder with your author name on it, its inside that.

Kinle Previewer will save your new kindle book inside the same folder that your EPUB came from. So if you dragged it from your “Calibre Library” folder then that’s where it will save the new book. It will be inside a new folder called “Converted” and then the eBook name, in my case it was “Converted-The Snit Snots – Georgie Porgie-epub

It may complain that some errors have been found, ignore these as Kindle should still accept this file even with a couple of errors. You are virtually guaranteed that this book is fine with Amazon because you have formatted it properly and then it was converted with Kindlegen.

Another benefit of converting with the Amazon previewer is that it hides the internal Table of contents better. Kindle books can have a weird quirk of displaying the second internal built in TOC on the very last page of the book, which isn’t a major problem it’s just irritating. Converting a Kindle eBook in Calibre carries this quirk on, but converting with Amazon previewer is more likely to do away with this little quirk. I am not sure why this is the case but it is, which is why I personally convert my books to MOBI format using the Kindlegen. I recommend that you convert your Kindle books this way, but if you really want to convert using Calibre then you can, just read on. 

Convert to kindle using Calibre

To do this we shall click on the convert button and instead of using the EPUB option we shall choose the MOBI option, which is the default option anyway. The source file will no longer be your original book that you dragged in earlier (called the Zip file) it will be the new EPUB that you have just edited and fixed.

1)Change this from Zip to EPUB (it’s the one that you have just edited).

2)Ensure this is set to MOBI for a Kindle book.

3)Check the book title.

4)Check author name is correct.

5)Add any tags that you want.

6)Enter the books Blurb from the books back cover.

7)Select the cover for the book here!

8)Click “OK” to start the conversion.

You will now have a fully functional Kindle book that you can place on to your Kindle device or upload to Amazon for sale. 

Don’t forget all your EPUB’s, MOBI’s and other book formats are stored in the “Calibre Library” folder inside your “Documents” folder. This new MOBI file you have just created is stored in the same folder as your EPUB.

And that’s if for the calibre tutorial. Experiment with it and you will see there is a lot more to learn about it. It’s an excellent program for something that is free of charge.

Small reminder: I wouldn’t recommend using Calibre to create a PDF version of this book as I am not to enamoured with the results. You will get a much better result creating a PDF straight from your newly created word document.

[* Making 100% Validated eBooks *][

You can have your eBooks validated to find any errors that may prevent certain book companies from putting your eBooks online by going to the validating site (http://validator.idpf.org/) click here, and uploading your book for testing, but I will tell you now that it will probably fail. In fact the only way you will get it to pass validation is not to use a word document at all. This is because as soon as you use a page break in a word document the validation program will report an error in your eBook.

You can create a 100% perfect eBook using another free program called Sigil. The download page can be a little confusing to find the download from. It’s usual down towards the bottom of the page, choose the file for your computer setup.

To use this program it’s best to copy your original word document and past it into notepad. And then copy it back from notepad ready to paste into Sigil (sound familiar). This insures no dodgy formatting is transferred into Sigil itself. Sigil accepts plain text happily but yet again you won’t have any pictures or photographs.  

  1. Headings styles 1,2,3, etc buttons.
  1. Create a new document.
  1. Add new files to your eBook library, pictures, videos etc. 
  1. Save current document.
  1. Book view- this is the one you must ensure is clicked on first.
  1. Code view- don’t click on this unless you know Html.
  1. Inserts a file (image etc) into your book from the eBook library.
  1. Insert anchors (bookmarks) into your book.
  1. Insert hyperlinks into your book.
  1. Left, centre, right & justifies text & images.
  1. Bold, italics,underline etc.

You are limited to how you can make your book look if you don’t understand Html with Sigil, at this point I know very little about Html but that won’t stop me (or you) making an eBook with it. This book that you are actually reading now was created using Sigil and no understanding of Html, so if you’re happy enough with the way this book looks then it’s an ideal program for you.

You cannot choose your own font unless you understand CSS style sheets so you will be allowing the reader to choose their own font which isn’t a bad thing really. This also means that you don’t have to concern yourself about the copyright lawyers.

Once you have pasted your plain text into the Sigil page (book view) you can change your chapter heading to “Heading style 1” or as Sigil calls it “h1”. Next you have to insert your pictures, bold & italicise text, insert hyperlinks and anything else you have to do. 

I have shown the main controls above for you and you will see a few other important controls that you will need below. If you have a basic grasp on word then this isn’t a great leap. Write your book in word, fixing any typo’s in it. Then copy your finished book into Sigil ready for your eBook creation.

Change your chapter headings into “h1” now. Add all your pictures at once to the Sigil library (arrow number 3), click in the place where you want each picture and add each of them one by one (arrow number 7) and centre them if desired. Bold, italicise etc any text that needs doing. 

Small warning: All your pictures that you insert should only have one word names or multiple words with no spacing between them. So “pictureseven” would be fine, but “picture seven” would cause an error in the validation process. So any file that you are using in the book should have one single name always. If you simply don’t like joining words together then use an underscore i.e. picture_seven, this will work also.

Once you have added everything you need to add, then it’s time to save your book before you go any further, do it now! Verify your book to see if any errors have crept in.

If it does find any errors it will tell you the exact position of the error to the exact line of code in question. In the example below it told me that there was and error.

The error message “u” not allowed stood for a word that was underline in my book. For some reason that I still don’t understand it didn’t like it one bit but simply removing the unline from the word fixed the problem. Simply by clicking on the code view (arrow 6) then you can use the information in the error message to find where the error is. It tells you that it’s in section 0001, line 332 (these are the numbers that run down the side of the page) and then the error message itself. this error message dissapeared as soon as the unline section was changed.

A) Code view button.

B) Line numbers for error locations.

C) Individual chapters and sections created using “Ctrl & enter”.

Hopefully your book should validate fine, but it isn’t finished yet. You still have to split the book into separate chapters and add a table of contents. Earlier in this book we entered bookmarks into the TOC and the chapter headings to create fixed points within our book. 

Creating a bookmark is surprisingly easy, you simply highlight the place you want the bookmark (TOC & chapter heading) and click on the anchor icon (arrow 8) a box will appear asking you to name the bookmark, job done.

Creating hyperlinks is just as easy, you simply highlight the parts you wish to hyperlink and click on the chain links icon (arrow 9). You choose which bookmark you wish to link it to. You can tell it’s a bookmark because somewhere in the name it will have a (#) hashtag mark. And that’s your hyperlinks sorted, which means (if you have read the rest of this book) you will know how to create your own custom table of contents.

In word you were told not use hard returns (Ctrl & enter) to separate parts of your book, you were told to use page breaks instead. In Sigil using a hard return to split your chapters and & sections up is fine. You simply place your cursor where you wish the old chapter to end and the new chapter to begin and press control & enter (hard return). Do this to each chapter and your book is now in several different pieces and if you look to the left window pane you now have multiple separate pages instead of one.

Save your book under another name, this is so you have your original backed up, name it i.e. version 2. You can now verify your book again and see if any errors have crept in.

It’s at this point that your book needs its internal TOC creating, a cover adding & metadata creating for the book. This can be done in Sigil but its far easier for you to open the eBook in Calibre and do all this  following the earlier guides. You will then have a fantasic eBook that should validate without a problem, ready to upload to anywhere you wish.

You are currently reading the first edition of this book, it ill be updated in the future with more information on Sigil and anything else that comes up, so keep a look out for any updates in the future and I hope this book has helped you in someway. You can also visit my website www.georgieporgiebooks.com for more tutorials that will be added in the future.

Books by George Eccleston[


Georgie Porgie

Making eBooks for beginners

  • Author: Georgie Porgie
  • Published: 2017-03-02 02:20:11
  • Words: 13493
Making eBooks for beginners Making eBooks for beginners