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Formatting Your First eBook

EBook Formatting for Beginners

Ebooks are becoming more popular by the day and writer’s are taking advantage of the relatively simple production process in getting their books online. Unfortunately, some seem to be unaware there is a procedure that must be followed in order for their words to be readable on a hand held device, an eReader. Following are a few basic formatting tips that will give your readership the best experience possible.

Fonts

  • Do not use a variety of very fancy fonts especially the curlicue scripts where some strokes are lighter than others. Use Times New Roman or Verdana.
  • Keep the font size at 12pts. Under 9pts your readers will squint or over 14pts their eyes will wander over the page.
  • Don’t mix up the fonts using serif and San-serif in the same block of text.
  • Retain one colour your text – although you can flirt with colour in the headings and title.
  • Bold or italicize text repeated throughout the document is a real pain. Don’t do it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Use capitals at the beginning of a sentence only.
  • Underlining specific words to get your point across is an insult to your readers.

 

Paragraphs

  • Always indent the first line.
  • Make sure there is a separating space between paragraphs so they won’t run together.
  • If you hit the paragraph return bar many times to separate text it causes blank lines on the eReader. Format your space between paragraphs in your word processing format.
  • Be consistent with paragraph spacing.

 

Page Margins

  • Make sure page margins are consistent – usually 1.5″ left, right, top, and bottom.

 

Page Backgrounds

  • Do not use a brightly coloured, solid background for a page with a contrasting colour for the text. This will immediately put your readers on edge.
  • If you do choose a background colour make sure it’s consistent throughout your publication. Don’t alternate between many colour combinations for every page.

 

Page Numbers

  • eReaders scroll in a continuous manner so page numbers are redundant.

 

Arranging Text

  • Use sub-headers for large continuous blocks of text.
  • Use bullets and list numbers sparingly.

 

Punctuation

  • Never leave two spaces after a period. The second space creates a gap between sentences and sometimes causes rivers of white space.
  • Do not use exclamation or question marks to get your point across – they have their place.

 

Headlines

  • Bold your headline – don’t use fancy fonts, outrageous colours, italics, etc.
  • Watch your hyphenation.

 

Subheaders

  • Always use a slightly larger size font than the text – it’s ok to bold.
  • Keep subhead close to the text – don’t leave gapping spaces between or it looks like the heading is floating.

 

Logos

  • It’s okay to include your logo but put it in its place – randomizing placement causes distraction.
  • Hyperlinks are fine although they shouldn’t take away from your text.

 

Headers and Footers and Borders

  • Because an eReader will scroll text, headers, footers, and page numbers are redunant.
  • Encasing each page of text with a colourful border in a variety of widths is a waste of time and a turn off to readers.

 

eBook Covers

  • If you design your own cover make sure it’s interesting and attractive.
  • Watch out for copyrights in cover design and images.

  Everyone has got a story to tell, or expertise in a particular field, that they want to share with the entire world. eBooks are becoming increasingly popular with many people taking the leap and publishing their own information for downloading. We’ve decided to jump in and add our two cents worth by sharing tips and tricks on how to make the ugliest ebook possible. After all, why would you want to follow the crowd?

 Here, for the first time, are the previously well-guarded secrets to help you publish an ugly ebook. Just follow these tips and you’ll have successfully created your very own Ugly eBook:

 Fonts

  • Use a variety of very fancy fonts especially the curlicue scripts where some strokes are lighter than others.
  • Font size should be under 9pts to allow readers to squint or over 14pts to wander over the page.
  • Mix up the fonts using serif and San-serif in the same block of text.
  • Colour your text to make it stand out.
  • Bold or italicize text repeated throughout the document is a real eye-catcher.
  • Use capitals whenever possible.
  • Underline specific words to get your point across.

 Paragraphs

  • Never indent the first line.
  • Do not place a separating space between paragraphs – allow them to run together. This is very eye-catching when using justified formats.
  • Hit the paragraph return bar many times to separate text – causes wonderful blank lines.
  • Don’t be consistent with paragraph spacing.
  • Leave the first letter in a new sentence in small letters, especially at the beginning of a paragraph.

 Page Margins

  • Who needs them? Let the text freely run from right to left.

 Page Backgrounds

  • Use a brightly coloured, solid background for a page with a contrasting colour for the text.
  • Alternate between many colour combinations for every page.

 Page Numbers

  • Make sure page numbers are highly visible – ebook readers vary from horizontal to vertical so page numbers can appear anywhere at all.
  • Use a large 14pt or bigger font for the page number.
  • Choose a bold colour and a cute symbol to encase the page number.
  • Type ‘PAGE’ before each number in case the reader forgets to what the number refers.

 Arranging Text

  • Make multiple paragraph returns to arrange text on a page – this makes many blank pages.
  • Cram text into huge continuous blocks without subheaders.
  • Use bullets and list numbers wherever possible and as often as possible.

 Punctuation

  • Always leave two spaces after a period. This creates a nice gap between sentences and sometimes causes rivers of white space.
  • Use exclamation points relentlessly. Don’t stop at just one – put in three or four after a word.
  • When in doubt, don’t use any punctuation at all.

 Headlines

  • Capital letters only – uses much more space and makes it difficult to read.
  • Hyphenate – hyphenate – hyphenate anywhere within a word. Works especially well with one syllable words.
  • Underline, bold, and italicize.
  • Use colour and fancy fonts to make sure readers know where they are within the eBook.

 Subheaders

  • Always use the same size font as the text – don’t bother to bold or italicize.
  • Equally space subhead between paragraphs so it looks like it’s floating.
  • see Headlines for more tips.

 Logos

  • Put the largest and most colourful logo throughout your book. Randomize its location as this makes a great distraction.
  • Place hyperlinks throughout making sure they are colourful, bold, and stand out well.

 Headers and Footers and Borders

  • Use headers and footer on every page and in every colour.
  • Encase each page of text with a colourful border in a variety of widths.
  • Make sure any hyperlinks are bold and prominently displayed.

 eBook Covers

  • Design your own plain, one-colour cover with bold text.
  • Scour the web for the most widely used cover and upload it for your own use.
  • Don’t worry about blurry images.

 These tips and tricks should give you a great start on creating your very own Ugly eBook. Of course, I may have left something out so I’m open to reading your suggestions.

 Good luck and good formatting!

About the Author

Val Blake is an artist, author, publisher and owner/operator of Lamooki.com.

Visit http://www.lamooki.comfor the BEST articles on writing your own eBook and getting it published. Our storefront offers fast and easy eBook downloads. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter by sending a blank email to val@lamooki.com with ‘Subscribe’ in the subject line.

 You have finally finished writing your ebook, carefully edited it, and are confident there are readers breathlessly waiting for their own copy. So, how do you find a market for your ebook and how do you sell it and makes tons of cash?

One option would be to sell your ebook through an online bookstore. With the increasing sales numbers for purchases of ebook readers there obviously is a demand for original and interesting material. You could try to sell the ebook yourself but why recreate the wheel? You have to ask yourself – are you a writer or a retailer? The online stores are well versed in attracting potential readers to their sites, formatting and translating your ebook for e-reader downloads, and will give your ebook exposure to the masses – all at no initial money out of your pocket.

If your ebook is accepted, the bookstore will expect you to send it as a pdf file complete with cover artwork. If you don’t have a cover, or no knowledge of PDF conversions, most bookstores will offer to do this service for you for a small fee. These fees will vary depending on the store you choose. Commission fees, the cost for selling your ebook through their store, can be as low as 10 percent to as high as 40 percent. It seems that the norm for these fees is approximately 30 percent. For example, if you sell your ebook for ten dollars, while keeping with the 30 percent scenario, the bookstore will give you seven dollars as your earnings and keep three dollars as their commission. This may seem a bit high but you have to remember that they did most of the work in selling the book for you and, most likely, without their help your book would not have sold at all and you would not have made a dime.

Most companies handle all the bookkeeping themselves and will send you a check on a monthly basis or credit your PayPal account. For instance, if you sell ten books in one month at the rates mentioned above, you will receive a check for seventy dollars. This is your earnings for the month from that particular bookstore. Your check may seem small after fees are subtracted but keep in mind that you may sell your ebook on several online bookstores simultaneously, thereby greatly increasing your chance at making a profit.

If you do want to maintain complete control over the sales of your ebook, another option would be to create your own website and promote the ebook yourself. When choosing this option, you will need to set up an account with an online web server to have the ability to accept credit cards, online checks, paypal and other payment methods. You will then need to promote the site by submitting to all the major search engines. It would also be wise to include some articles you have written about the subject of your ebook and submit them to article directories. A keyword-rich article can go a long way in promoting your ebook as it grabs the attention of the search engines and helps to steer traffic to your site.

Many people opt for PPC, (pay per click) advertising campaigns. This method has proven to be quite successful for many authors but do your research first. After you have set up your site, enabled the abilities to accept orders for your ebook, and set up an advertising campaign, then you can sit back, relax and enjoy the benefits of selling your ebook 24 hours a day.

Check out this new ebook store to sell your ebook www.Lamooki.com.  offers an inhouse editing and publishing team that can take your manuscript and translate it into PDF, ePUB, and Mobi formats (other formats are available as well). Additionally, their in-house artist can design a cover for you all with very reasonable rates. 

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Visit the online store at http://www.Lamooki.com.

For information on our Author Submissions send an email to: info@lamooki.com

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History tells us that the earliest inhabitants of Greece and Southern Europe, who lived in the primeval forests, subsisted entirely on a diet of acorns, while the French, during the famine in the early 1700s, were driven to eat bread made of acorns steeped in water to destroy the bitterness. The former grew fat and were known as ‘acorn eaters’ while the French suffered from constipation or cholera. Through the years, acorns have been tested and found to be the best food for controlling blood sugar levels. Acorns have a low sugar content and their sweet aftertaste makes them very good in stews and breads. The nut is rich in complex carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins and are lower in fat than many other nuts.

Food from Acorns

  • Acorns have a bitter taste which is caused by tannin used to tan leather.
  • Depending upon the type of oak tree an acorn can taste mild to very bitter.
  • Powdered and ground acorns when taken with water will help diarrhoea and when taken with wine act as a diuretic.
  • Ground acorn is a natural sweetener that tastes like a cross between hazelnuts and sunflower seeds and can be used in any multi-grain recipe.
  • Roasted acorns make a fair substitute for coffee.
  • Acorn oil is made by boiling, crushing, or pressing and has been used for cooking in Algeria and Morocco.
  • The Indians of the eastern U.S. used the oil for cooking and as a salve for burns and injuries.

Probably due to the intensive labour needed to get the acorn from the tree to the table has severely limited its uses in our homes although, livestock and wildlife continues to grow fat on the fallen nuts.

Acorn symbolism and superstition

  • The ancient Druids believed the oak tree and its fruit contained special powers.
  • Lovers would each place an acorn in a bowl of water and if they came together, the lovers would marry; if they floated apart the lovers would soon leave each other for someone else. If the acorn sank it was taken as a portent of death for the person it represented.
  • Placing acorns between the mattress and box-spring in a lover’s bed would keep him or her faithful.
  • Carrying an acorn in a pocket or a purse was supposed to prevent old age.
  • It was customary to place acorns in the hands of the newly dead in certain parts of Europe.
  • The Druids believed planting an acorn by the dark of the moon would bring money.
  • Making a charm of three acorns and hair which is bound together and tied, then blessed under a new moon and a full moon for an entire year will provide a life-long charm.

I can’t wait for the warm weather to get here so I can wear shorts, halter tops, and sandals. The temperature soared into double digits the other day which prompted me to dig out my summer wardrobe. I’m embarrassed to say I couldn’t find anything that didn’t have long sleeves or a turtle-neck.

My closet is a good size for one person, although I yearn for a closet large enough for me to walk in and stretch out my arms. I didn’t realize just how small my closet had grown over the winter months until I began searching for warm-weather clothes.

Everything from blouses to skirts, dresses and slacks were jammed so tightly I could barely get my hand in between to move them. Shoes, boots and moccasins were heaped in a pile on the floor with the last worn pair resting precariously on top. The overhead shelf threatened to collapse from the weight of sweaters and heavy shirts. I realized I would have to find a way to declutter this mess very quickly or I’d be spending my entire summer either wearing winter duds or buying new clothes. While the latter option sounded tempting, my empty pocket-book quickly put things into perspective.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on organizing my closet and had to come up with a plan where I could spend an afternoon on it and then forget about it. I don’t have the cash to buy a closet organizer and if I did I’d have to hire someone to install it which would postpone my plan for an afternoon’s activity. I was in the mood for clearing away now and knew if I put it off it might be winter again before I got around to it. Domesticity has never been my strong suit.

A week or two before my friend had talked me into buying three large plastic bins with lids. They measure around two feet high by a yard long and maybe eighteen inches wide. I didn’t know what I was going to do with these bins but as they were on sale for half price I bought them and tossed them in my spare room. They were just the thing I needed now to organize my closet.

I placed the three bins side by side on the floor and began purging my winter wardrobe. One bin for sweaters and shirts; another for slacks and skirts; and one for boots and shoes. I was amazed at how quickly my closet emptied. Before I knew it, most of my heavy clothes were neatly folded and ready for when cold weather returned. Just before I snapped the lids on I tossed in a dryer sheet to keep everything smelling fresh.

Now my closet is filled with light-weight summer clothes and I plan on reusing the bins in the autumn when I switch my seasonal clothes.

When I was a youngster I remember backing away from crazy people who talked out loud to themselves. I’m afraid I’ve become one of those crazies. Yes, I’ll admit it, I talk to myself, out loud. I might make the argument that the only intelligent conversation I get these days is with myself, but that wouldn’t be true – I haven’t progressed to the point where I actually answer me. In the old black and white movie genre, if the director wanted to show that someone was really crazy he’d show them talking to themselves – a supposed sign of mental illness even if the character was carrying on an inner discussion.

What’s really odd about this is that the act of talking to ourselves is actually a sign that we are self-aware and we’re seeking insight into our own actions. Now, I’m sure there is an argument to be made here about discussing product information in the grocery aisles being an insight into my actions – to buy or not to buy. Supposedly, talking to ourselves ‘mentally’ is a hallmark of being human and proof that we are a higher species.

I’m all right with the long and interesting mental conversations I have quite frequently (I tell myself it’s because I live alone with a small terrier that hasn’t yet learned how to communicate verbally). I’m also all right with my ‘zoning-out’ moments when I’m carried away with my inner verbiage (when I was a school girl all my report cards stated I was a day-dreamer – still am although I call them ‘creative moments’). I’m all right with all the inner conversations, after all, mediation groups, relaxation tapes, and self-help books focus on trying to get us to stop all the self-talk for a few moments of deep relaxation so I’m not the only one talking to myself. I’m not all right about the garbage that seems to float to the top of my memory and takes away from the more thought-provoking inner conversations.

I guess it’s not about having inner conversations, it’s what we say to ourselves that matters. Most of the time I’m thinking about creative stuff but when I settle down for the day I find my thoughts go in a totally different direction. I try to stay away from self-critical thoughts – you know that mental gremlin that sits poised and anxious to point out all our flaws, but it’s difficult to quieten him at the best of times.

When I find myself lost in negative thoughts I quickly pull back and take a close look at what is actually going through my mind and try to find the source of this inner pollution. Once I’ve done that I toss it away and refuse to consider it, even when it attempts to take centre stage again. It works for me and I feel much better within my thoughts.

Another way I’ve found that helps to keep the destructive thinking at bay is to keep a journal. A mental journal, that is (by the time I’ve found where I left a notebook and then try to find a pen that works my head is in a totally different space). Often I can get quite a mental debate going where the gremlin insists on making me feel bad while the healthy part argues I have no reason to feel bad. Sometimes the origins of negative thoughts have been sent to me through another person. Once I figure out who said something that results in these thoughts I can leave it alone. Instead of letting their pessimism intrude I change it into something wonderful about me.

I read somewhere that it was okay to argue with yourself as long as you didn’t lose the argument. So far so good. I’m going to concentrate of keeping my thoughts to myself so people won’t run away when I come near to them. Now, if I could do something about laughing out loud about something funny my inner voice said.

Unless you are an Oscar-worthy actor it is really quite difficult not to show at least some disappointment when presented with a putrescent gift.
Here are some tactics you might want to use in this situation.

1. Go for the Oscar anyway and say it’s just what you always wanted. This has the advantage of minimizing any embarrassing moments but it’s probably obvious that you don’t mean it. And keep it short, Forrest Whittaker you ain’t.

2. Pretend that they have actually given you a million dollars. This might be slightly embarrassing after you have danced around the room whooping, hugged everyone in sight and planted a big kiss on his or her mouth.

3. Start to say thank you and then pretend someone has just come into the room that you really need to see. This could be a problem if there are just the two of you but should work in large crowds.

4. Clutch your chest, start wheezing and shout “I think I’m having a heart attack!”. This only really works if you can belch on demand and claim it was gas before anyone calls 911. It’s also worth pre-warning any loved ones so they don’t get too worried. Although this could mean they won’t do anything if you really do have a heart attack!

5. Talk really slowly, or repeat yourself, to give yourself time to come up with a response. “Well, well, well. Will you look at that. Wow. Well I never. Never got one of these before” should give you time to work on a diplomatic response.

6. Change the subject rapidly. Start talking about the gift and then branch off onto how you saw one on vacation once, and what a great vacation it was and have they ever been there? Vacation stories always drive people away!

7. Resolve to get them an equally bad gift next time that should put a smile on your face!

Above all remind yourself that they have tried their best and have taken the time to get you something. And remember – there’s always eBay!

About the Author
Tony Connor has been a forgetful last-minuter for many, many years. That didn’t stop him starting a website, Bright Gift Ideas, with gift suggestions for everyone. If shopping were a sport, his wife would certainly be on the US Olympic team with a good chance of a gold medal, and an automatic spot on “Dancing With The Stars”.