Professional eBook Services

eBook Formatting

Will my eBook look exactly like the printed, or PDF, or Word version of my book?

No. eBooks are unique in that the font size can be adjusted by the reader, and displayed on many different eBook readers, each with its own screen size.  This means that the eBook must be fluid and capable of adjusting on the fly.  When we do the prep work for your eBook, we need to do the following:

  • Get rid of columns
  • Turn your tables, charts into images
  • Change your table of contents to no longer reference page numbers
  • Exclude any index you might have
  • Change all floating images to inline images, which might change the way they are displayed.
  • Remove all background images / paper styles
  • Remove all headers/footers
  • Remove all footnotes or move footnotes to the back of the book
  • Standardize the fonts
  • Remove all page numbers

Your file will not look exactly the same, but we will do the best we can to keep the original look and feel while making a properly formatted eBook.

Can eBooks have footnotes?

If by "footnotes" you mean numbers in your text that refer to other text at the "bottom of the page", then no, footnotes are not allowed because there are no bottoms of pages in ebooks.  Remember that ebooks have fluid pages. What is a page on an iPad is maybe 5 pages on an iPhone.

We will use one of two solutions, depending on the number of footnotes...

  1. embedded footnotes – if there are not many footnotes in the document, we might embed the footnotes in the text using brackets. [like this] right where the superscript number would normally go.
  2. document endnotes – like footnotes, the text has the number of the footnote after it. Unlike footnotes, all the descriptions of the footnotes are at the end of the document, not the page (which does not exist).  Document endnotes are automatically made if your Word file was using footnotes.  These footnotes are linked and easy to jump back and fourth. 

How come the converted PDF does not look like my original PDF?

An eBook is unlike the pdf version of your printed book is many ways. Remember that PDFs are now viewed on all kinds of platforms including many very small mobile devices. Backgrounds, large designs and complex layouts do not work. Most importantly, a good pdf version of a book needs a directory that is linked to the sections in the book. It is all about a) readability and b) usability.

Are there any disadvantages of converting a book from a PDF instead of an editable source file?

It is always best for us to convert from a source file, like .doc, .docx, .pages, .rtf, or even .odt file rather than a .pdf file, however, a .pdf will certainly do if nothing else is available. With a pdf file, there are some things to consider:

  1. You pay a bit more. There are NO automatic PDF to source converters that do a perfect job. In fact, most conversions require hours of manual fixes. Time is money.
  2. PDF conversions will require more careful proof reading. Due to the process of converting a PDF, words may break in odd places, lose capitalization or lose hyphens. Most PDF conversions are fine, but some result in many errors based on how the PDF was created. We will let you know if a word for word proofing will be necessary.
  3. PDF conversions take a little longer. PDF conversions can take a few days, plus the proofing process takes a bit longer as well.

We can do an amazing job converting your PDF to all major eBook formats, but just keep these points in mind.