Preparing for eBook Conversions

BookBaby makes eBook conversion easy and simple.

In order to sell your book as an eBook, you must first convert your document to a format that can be read by eReaders. There are currently two main formats in use in the industry: ePub, which works with almost every eReader, and .mobi, which is used by Amazon’s Kindle.

We recommend the following to prepare your manuscript for conversion:

  1. VERY IMPORTANT! Proof your file for proper spelling, grammar, and syntax. Before you start doing any formatting work, take the the time to read over your manuscript one more time. It’s very time consuming – and costly for authors – to make any changes to your manuscript once you’ve uploaded it to BookBaby. BookBaby’s conversion process is very detailed and built to provide high-quality ePub and .mobi file outputs. Making changes – even small ones – requires us to restart the process from scratch. We’ll need to charge $100 to remove your file from the process and to submit an entirely new file. If you require us to make changes to the file, it will cost $50 + $2 for each change over the first 10.
  2. Proof your file for proper spelling, grammar, and syntax. Once your book has been converted to ePub format, it's too late to fix a typo! BookBaby does not proofread your book.
  3. Use a consistent method of paragraph and line formatting throughout your document. You may use tabs or your program’s paragraph or alignment formatting functions, but do not use a mixture of both. Do not use the space bar to format paragraphs or individual lines.
  4. If you choose to include the publisher's name and address, the date of publication, copyright information, ISBN number, or any appropriate collaborative credits, please do so within the first two pages of the document.
  5. Use a standard font for your document like Times New Roman or Courier New.
  6. Do not use very large or very small font sizes. We recommend 12pt font size for body text and 14-18pt for chapter titles.
  7. Extract content that is displayed in tables or sidebars and list it as ordinary text. Tables, inserts, and sidebars will not display properly in ePub format.
  8. Do not include any elements that refer to page numbers other than your formatted Table of Contents. On an eReader, whatever the user isolates on their screen is a "page," so all headers, footers, footnotes, and indexes will be deleted.
  9. Do all image resizing outside of the document, then reinsert them before saving. All images must be in .png, .jpg, or .tif format, minimum 72 dpi, and in RGB color mode.
    • Cover image: At least 1400px wide, portrait or vertical rectangle-shaped artwork (no squares) and we recommend a height/width ratio of 1.6 (1400px wide x 2100px high)
    • Full-page images: minimum of 150dpi/ppi, which equals a resolution of 1275px wide x 1650px high on a letter sized page
    • Logos or simple images: 75 - 100 pixels high
    • Don't worry too much about the exact size of images within your document. The best approach is to size it how you want it to appear in relation to the text.
  10. Do not wrap text around images. All images (except full-page images) should be set "in-line" with text.
    Do not wrap text around images. All images should be set in-line with text.
  11. Be aware that special symbols may not convert properly to ePub unless they are characters in a standard font set. For this reason, we ask that you choose a font like Times New Roman for all text and symbols.

Need more information about images and graphic elements in your ebook? Check out our eBook Graphics page.

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Questions about preparing your eBook?

Download our helpful guide
eBook Conversion Guide