Archive Post – How to Create an Ebook from a Word Document

There are two phases to creating an Ebook, not including the actual writing of your novel or tutorial or whatever.
1.  Formatting your word document.
2.  Converting word doc into Ebook.

For this process you will need:
Your word document.  This needs to be a .doc and not a .docx.
This means you need to ´Save as´ and choose the word 97 / 2003 option so that the document will be compatible with older versions of word.  I warn you in advance that I am working on a Spanish operating system and using a Spanish version of word so this is a rough guide.  The actual 100% terms that are on the word program….I have no idea but…. It´s all very similar.

A cover for your book.

Width 1077
Height 1600
At least 300 dpi.

(If you also plan to take advantage of the Amazon Createspace Print on demand service, make sure there is at least a half inch space on all sidesof your cover that doesn´t have any text.  No white borders allowed.

You also will need to install a program that I love.  Calibre

This is a great tool for organizing your Ebook library, converting your Ebooks from one format to another and creating Ebooks from various sources.

Before you begin formatting, I recommend clicking this icon in the upper section of Word.

This allows you to see the formatting you are doing as you do it.  It gives a visual representation of the hidden programming you are adding to your document.

To format your document you need to:
Put a page break at the end of every page / section where you don´t want the next page to start immediately.  So at the end of every chapter.  At the end of the title page, the copyright page, the dedication page, the table of contents etc.

Place the cursor where you want the page break to be.  Go insert – page break.  That´s all there is to it.

You also need to format your chapters.
First you add markers (not sure of the exact term here but it is very easy to find)

Let´s say your document is broken down like this …… after the title page, dedication, copyright pages etc. you have:
Table of contents
Chapter 1 etc.

Scroll down to the Introduction chapter (not the word Introduction in your table of contents)
Highlight the word.   Copy it to the clip board.

There are three commands about half way across the tool bar – one over the other.  First is LINK (Maybe Hyperlink)  then MARKER and the last I have no idea what it´s for….the translation looks like ´Cross Reference´ or something like that.

While the word you want to link TO is highlighted, click Marker.  A little window will pop up.  In the space provided you need to name the marker.  If you previously copied the word to the clipboard, paste the name (Ctrl + V) into the space provided.  If not, type in the name.  There can be no spaces in the marker title and some characters get rejected.  Your marker name cannot begin with a number.

Repeat this process for all the chapters or sections to which you want to link.

Now, when that is finished, go back to your table of contents.
Highlight Introduction.
Again go to INSERT.
This time click HYPERLINK
On the left hand side of the window that pops up you choose ´Link to a point in this document´ or something like that ….. you get the point.
Now a list of your MARKERS will appear.
Click the appropriate marker and click accept.
Again, do this for all the pertinent sections in your document.

You can check your links by hovering the cursor over the link while pressing Control (Ctrl)  Your cursor will activate just like on a web page and then if you have done it correctly, you will be taken to that section of your document.

Once you have confirmed that you have formatted your links correctly you are ready to convert into Ebook format.

The first step in conversion is to ´Save  as´ a Web Page.
Click ´Save as´ on the alert window that pops up, choose the format type (just below the name of the file ….. save as)  choose ´Web Page´

Now you are ready to fire up Calibre.

The first step is to click the ´Add books´ command in the upper left corner.  Scroll to the web document that you just created and open it.  The program will churn away for a minute or two and then a link to the Zip file will appear.  (right hand side of the page)  The book title will also appear in the library section.

Next choose the third command – again upper left hand side.  This is ´Convert books´

There are a number of tasks you need to perform here – in no specific order.
1.  Upper right hand side – choose your format.
.mobi for kindle
.epup for Nook


2.  Upload your cover.  (middle area of the program)

3. Fill in the book information.  (right hand side of the program)  This can include metadata like keywords and a book description, author, publisher etc.

4.  Programming.  On the left hand side of the screen there are extra commands.  This is an area I am not 100% sure of.  I do use the appearance section to choose the font size and type and the page configuration to choose the device type I am creating the document for …. I go with the basic Kindle and Nook since I want the document to be able to be read on older devices.

Finally, click the accept button in the lower right hand corner and the conversion begins.  A new folder will appear in My Documents called Calibre Library.

Go in there and find your document.  Or you can view it directly on Calibre.  Check for any mistakes or problems with the formatting.  Often text will look HUGE and you will need to start from scratch with your word doc.  Sometimes, unexpected page breaks appear.  This is a trial and error process.  I have done it so many times that I can do and redo twenty conversions of one of my books in about an hour until I get it 100%… ok 99%…..who am I kidding …….94%.

There are always going to be kinks since from one device to another the document displays differently.  If Joe from Kokomo has his kindle set to 14 point text, it is going to display differently than Sean from St. John who has his set at 12 point.  It´s the nature of the beast.

I hope this tutorial is of some help, especially to the ´do it yourselfers´ like myself.

David Gordon Burke

Find my Ebooks and Paperbacks here. 


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