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Format in Microsoft Word and Convert to eBook in Calibre

Self-Publishing? Create your own Professional Looking EPUB and MOBI files to Upload to Major Retailers and Distributors.
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Created by Karen Prince
Last updated 3/2016
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
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  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Understand the fundamental differences between formatting for an eBook and formatting for hard copy.
What file size, aspect ratio and file type you will need for your book cover images.
Step by step instructions for formatting an ebook in Microsoft Word.
How to convert a Microsoft Word document into an eBook using the Calibre conversion tool.
How to download applications to preview your ebook and preview your .epub and .mobi files on them
View Curriculum
  • You need to have Microsoft Word loaded on your computer and you need to sign up for a free account at I am demonstrating in Microsoft Word 2016 on a Mac, but you should be able to follow along in Windows or in previous versions of Microsoft Word.

In this course for self-published authors I am going to show you how to format your own eBook in Microsoft Word ready to upload it to each of the major online stores. I will be demonstrating in Microsoft Word 2016 on a Mac. Most people should be able to follow along in Windows or in previous versions of Microsoft Word but if you struggle with instructions that do not exactly match your particular version of software this is not the course for you.

No prior experience is assumed or required. I present simple, step-by-step instructions to help you produce a professional quality ebook that meets the requirements of major ebook retailers.

Even if you plan to hire out the formatting of your books, it is important for every author to at least know how to do it, incase you ever want to make a simple change or update to your book after publishing — like adding links to your new books or website.

And you don't want to wait days for someone else to schedule you in and charge you for each minor update.

First we're going to go over the specifications for the book cover images that you have to provide for display on the catalogue page on your retailer's website as well as for your internal ebook cover.

Then I'm going to take you step by step through the process of formatting specifically for ebooks — which is somewhat different from formatting for output as a physical document.

You'll learn both ways to generate a clickable table of contents and how to insert external links to your important places online like your other books and your website.

I'll also cover best practices for inserting images and compressing them so that your file size does not exceed the limit imposed by some of the retailers.

Once your Microsoft Word document is nicely formatted I'll show you how to convert it to an ebook file in Calibre.

Then I'll show you how to download Amazon Kindle Previewer and preview your .mobi file and Adobe Digital Editions to preview your .epub file before you upload them to any of the online stores.

If you're ready to format and convert your own manuscript from a Microsoft Word document into an eBook, go ahead and sign up and I will walk you through the entire process step by step so that you end up with a great eBook — but if you want to check out my teaching style before you decide, feel free to watch a couple of the free previews in the curriculum outline below.

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone wishing to design and format their own eBooks including writers of both fiction and non-fiction. It would also be handy for marketers putting out reports and other promotional material.
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 12 Lectures Collapse All 12 Lectures 01:39:28
Introduction to Formatting eBooks in Microsoft Word
1 Lecture 03:23
A quick welcome, and a synopsis of what will be covered in this course.
Preview 03:23
Starting off With Correctly Sized Book Cover Images
2 Lectures 04:47
Advice on file types and sizes to choose for your book cover images to suit the various different online eBook stores
Preview 03:27

A list of the current specification for book cover images to upload onto the websites of the retailers where your book will be sold as well as the specifications for the book cover image you embed within your ebook.
Current Specifications for Catalogue and Embedded eBook Cover
Formatting Microsoft Word Document Specifically for conversion to an eBook
7 Lectures 01:12:27
How to strip out any unwanted formatting from your manuscript before you start apply the correct formatting for conversion to an eBook.
Stripping Unwanted Formatting

How to set up the basic style of your eBook whether you want to use block paragraphs or traditional novel style paragraphs.
Setting Your Paragraph Style

Adding scene spacers like symbols or small images between your scenes
Adding Symbols or Glyphs Between Scenes

How to set numbered chapter headings so that they fall on a new virtual page
Heading Styles and Inserting Virtual Page Breaks

Where to get ideas for what to add to your front and back matter including links to your other books and your online properties where you can market your books.
What to Add to Your Front and Back Matter

How to format your front and back matter including how to add correctly sized images and external links.
Formatting Your Front and Back Matter and Adding External Links

How to generate a table of contents the quick and easy way that works on Amazon and the more thorough way that works on all the other online stores. As well as how to place bookmarks in your ebook that take the reader to specific places like the beginning of the book.

Generating a Clickable Table of Contents and Adding Bookmark Links
Converting Your Microsoft Word Document into an EPUB or MOBI File in Calibre
1 Lecture 09:04

How to download Calibre, choose the correct file format for a conversion to eBook and convert your Microsoft Word document to a .Mobi for Kindle and an .ePub for all the other online stores.

Converting Your Microsoft Word Document to an EPUB or MOBI file in Calibre
Previewing Your eBook Before Publishing to the Online Bookstores.
1 Lecture 09:47
Step by step instructions for downloading Kindle Previewer and Adobe Digital Editions on to your system and how to preview you eBooks on each of them.
Preview 09:47
About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
615 Reviews
6,691 Students
5 Courses
Author, Writing Software Teacher and Book Cover Designer.

My writing life began when I decided to write a quick novel while I was between Interior Design jobs because that was what I had always wanted to do — Yeah, Right! It was a lot harder than I expected.

I bought Scrivener, learned a couple of the main functions and got to work on my novel. It was only at the end of the novel that I discovered I could convert my manuscript to .mobi for Kindle right there inside Scrivener. Upon closer inspection I discovered that Scrivener had some fantastic functions that I had hardly begun to tap in to. I was hooked. Before I knew it, I had told all my writing friends about this cool new thing and was offering to convert their manuscripts, and was urging them to switch to Scrivener in order to convert their own manuscripts. In my enthusiasm I inadvertently ended up being the 'the go' to person for their Scrivener problems so I had to learn Scrivener fast.

Once I delved deeper into the software, I could have kicked myself for not learning it properly in the first place. The time I could have saved! Don't get me wrong. Knowing your way around Scrivener does not make you a better writer — you have to learn that skill separately — but it sure does make everything else in your writing project easier.

The problem is, learning it all via the User's Manual can be time consuming and confusing so I found myself popping around to people's houses to get them started or taking step by step screen captures to email to them. This is no way to work, so I learned how to make screen capture videos so that it would be really easy to learn, and my writers could get on with the important work which is writing great content.

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