I’ve had several discussions in the past few weeks with other writer friends about how to best format a story for publication.

I know it might sound daunting to have to prepare your story in the right ebook format and I thought I would perhaps just try and explain how easy it actually is.

Page 1 – The first page of you ebook will have you title and authors name and copyright notice. (see getting started for sample of copyright notice). If you have any special thank you’s you would like to add, dedications, or notes about who helped with your story – ie provided a cover, or edited. Some sites recommended this be added under the Authors Note at the end of the book, however I like to thank the people who help me at the beginning of my story. Insert page break here.

Page 2  – You may wish to insert a table of contents here. Insert page break here.

Page 3  – Leave blank if planning to print as paperback. (it will make sense when you go to publish you book).

Page 4 – Begin your first chapter here. There is no real rules as to where to start your chapter on a page. However I place the title of my chapter two lines down and begin my first paragraph another two lines down. I do this for ever chapter. The format recommend varies for other site I’ve looked at, however here is guide to help. Insert a page break between every new chapter.

Font – Times New Roman – 12 (Titles no bigger that 18) (also no fancy fonts, keep you font style the same throughout your story)

Do not use spaces or tabs to indent your paragraphs – see page layout details below.

Do not use returns after you paragraphs – see page layout details below.

Page layout – I assume almost all writers use word to write their stories, so here is how to prepare you story in the right format. Once your story have been completed (or prior to starting) select ‘page layout’. In paragraphs, under indents and spacing, use the following format.

– Alignment – left

– Indentation – Special – (drop down box) First line – 1.27 cms (0.5 inches)

– Spacing – Line spacing – (drop down box) – 1.5 lines (if submitting to publishers) or 1.0 (if independently publishing)

You story is now in the right format.

Last page – this page should contain a “Word or Note from the author” – that’s you. Give a brief history about yourself, about how you came to be writing the stories you write. Also include below this, if you would like your thank you’s and dedications ( if you have not already done so at the beginning of your book. I think the the reason it is suggested to add it here is so the reader does not need to skip too many pages just to start the story)

That’s it.

Now, in the past I have suggested saving your ebook as a PDF and then uploading to Payhip for sale. However, I now save all my ebooks as ePub. This allows your ebook to be directly loaded to iBooks / Kindle devices. Reducing the risk of copies being made. To convert your ebook to ePub you need to two things.
Firstly, you will need to save your document to .htm. If you want a table of contents, simply change the font of your chapters to Headings. Secondly, you will need to download a free program called Calibre. Calibre is easy to use and allows you to save your ebook as a ePub.