Monday, July 11, 2011

What Would You Like to See In a Formatting How-To Book?

I am working now on my next book, From Idea to eBook: a 1-2-3-Easy Guide, and (since it’s an e-book itself) it’s relatively easy to add things as I go along, and that got me to thinking: I remember what I wanted to know as I was doing the formatting for the two books that I’ve published so far (Memograms and The Adventures of Dough Girl), and that’s what I’m putting in my book, but what would someone else want? What special problems have other people had? What really drives you guys crazy when it comes to getting your e-books formatted and ready to publish?

I ask that because I want my book to be as useful to as many people as possible. I’ve paid for and read a number of other formatting guides, and there have been bits and pieces of each that I have found useful, but no one of them completely addressed my particular needs. I had to find some answers in this one and some answers in that one. It was difficult and should have been unneccessary.

I want my book to be as complete and thorough a guide to basic e-book formatting as I can make it. So, I’m asking you now: What do you want in a formatting book?

Give me your answers by commenting, or by email. I’d love to hear from you.


  1. So far, I've just paid someone to do it or used Smashwords for the shorter stuff, but I'd probably want a short version that could me through the process as quickly as possible. Then maybe a troubleshooting section that addressed pitfalls.

    Also, I'll say the reason I didn't buy a formatting book from an author I knew is because it only taught one how to do Kindle files. Since I have to make epub files, too, I'd need to know that and would prefer the information all came in the same source.

  2. I'm guessing you want honest opinions since you asked the question. :)

    Mark Coker has a guide for formatting eBooks which I find easy to use. So far, I haven't had any problems with my books following the guide from start to finish. Once formatted, I use the same file (with a bit of wordage change) to upload to Smashwords, Amazon, and B&N.

    What I would LIKE to see, is a formatting guide for print. I consider myself pretty savvy with MS Word. However, I still had to research a few items before I could get everything in the proper place. I'm still convinced I took the long way about some things.

    I mention a simple print guide, because Mark Coker's eBook one is so easy to follow. I don't know if there's one out there for print, but I'd love to see it.