Four Reasons for Authors to Learn About eBook Formatting

Many writers have wondered whether they should format eBooks themselves or give them over to someone else to do. But there are reasons to learn eBook formatting even if you’re not going to format yourself. Here are four good reasons for learning eBook formatting, whatever your plans:

1. Grasp the Possibilities and Limitations. The differences in creating eBooks and print books favor eBooks for some particular content types and print books for others: eBooks have some capabilities that print books do not, but also have some limitations that don’t apply to print. If you understand the possibilities and restrictions, you can make better decisions and choices, whether you go one to do all your formatting yourself or not.

2. Save Money. You can cut eBook publishing costs by have a good basic EPUB document that you can then hire someone to tweak or tweak yourself rather than having to pay for a conversion that starts from .doc, .docx, .txt, .odt, or .pdf.

3. Get Started on the Way to HTML and CSS Editing. You may have a plan to eventually build your own eBooks from scratch, but starting with coding right off the bat is taking on a major learning curve. By beginning with a solid understanding of EPUB and the eBook testing procedures and taking the time to see the effects of various choices made in a word processor, you can gain valuable experience that will underpin your plunge into coding.

4. Save Time with Useful Workflows. Whichever way you go about formatting your work for eBook publication, there are valuable approaches and strategies that can help you produce high quality work, and which can be demonstrated in the familiar context of word processing.

Learn More. Writers might not see themselves as the target students for a course on eBook Formatting offered as an elective in an editing program. But the University of Chicago’s Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies has a new offering, Introduction to eBook Formatting, that can serve writers as well as publishing professionals with editorial and production positions.

Details. Introduction to eBook Formatting is offered by author/educator Mary Elizabeth, who has worked in both editorial positions in print publishing and as a writer for over 30 years, as well as being involved in design, layout, and music engraving.  As an eBook formatting specialist, she has worked with many types of books, including novels; books of poetry; business, tax, and finance books; cookbooks and nutritional guides; scientific and medical books; scholarly works; travel books; spiritual and religious books; children’s books; article collections; autobiographies and memoirs; and works of history and philosophy. Whatever genre(s) you write, you are likely to find one or more samples used in the course that are related.

For more information about Introduction to eBook Formatting, offered March 14–16, 2013 at the University of Chicago Graham School at the Gleacher Center in downtown Chicago, click here.

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