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  • Before You Upload

    What are the key differences between eBook and print formatting?

    If there's one thing you should understand before you prepare your manuscript for eBook publication, it's this: eBooks don't have pages. Nearly all of the annoying formatting pitfalls authors run into during this process boil down to that one basic fact. Print books, as we have come to know and love them, exist in a fixed format. Many of the elements that we associate so strongly with the idea of a book are necessary only because of the print book's sheer physicality and static nature, such as page numbers, footnotes and even basic page layout. However, in the world of eBooks, they become obsolete.

    Each e-reading device will display the same eBook file differently; plus, different people might choose to experience the same eBook on the same reading device differently. This means a "page" on an iPhone would have to be entirely different from a "page" on a Kindle. And a "page" for one Nook user might be entirely different from a "page" for another Nook user. And what that means is nothing can be fixed in an eBook. Nothing can be static. An eBook's formatting must be free-flowing if it is to display properly on all devices, for all users. And that's what Book Country promises: Follow our guidelines and your eBook will display beautifully for all devices, for all users.  

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    What type of file can I upload to Book Country's Online Editor?

    The document you upload in the text editing section of the Online Editor must be a Word document (either .doc, .docx or .rtf) or an ePUB file (.epub). These are currently the only file types that we accept, as they ensure the smoothest transition into an eBook.

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    Are there any restrictions on file size or word count?

    2,500 word minimum with a 5MB maximum file size. The file size is important so the Online Editor will can upload your manuscript and scan it for formatting errors. Before you can publish your eBook, your text must contain at least 2,500 words.

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    How should I order my manuscript?

    When you submit through the Online Editor, format your manuscript in this order: 

    1. Dedication
    2. List of tables/figures
    3. Foreword
    4. Preface/Introduction
    5. Acknowledgments
    6. Prologue
    7. Main body (minimum of 2,500 words)*
    8. Back matter

    * Note: The table of contents, copyright and title page will be inserted for you automatically. You should use our formatting guidelines or Online Editor to identify the chapters for your table of contents. Do not add these elements to your eBook or they will be duplicated.

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    Do I have to include a title page and copyright page?

    No, we'll do that for your. Your eBook will contain a title page and copyright page, but our Online Editor will add them to the beginning of your eBook automatically during the submission process.

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    Can my eBook have footnotes?

    No, but your book can have endnotes. Because there's no fixed page structure, there's no consistent way to anchor footnotes near their associated text. That means all footnotes must be changed to endnotes at the end of your eBook.

    Don't worry if your manuscript is filled with footnotes! As long as you used Microsoft Word's footnote functionality, when you upload your manuscript to our online text editor, we'll automatically convert all footnotes into endnotes. We'll also link the endnotes so your readers will be able to navigate easily through your eBook.

    If you manually inserted and formatted footnotes or endnotes into your document without using Word's functionality, the footnote/endnote text will appear as part of the page without endnote linking.

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    Can my eBook have a table of contents?

    Yes! In fact, a table of contents is required for almost all eBooks distributed through popular vendors, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Because there aren't traditional pages, a linked table of contents is the only real way for readers to navigate your eBook. There are two ways to prepare your table of contents: (1) using the "Header 1" label in a Word document or (2) using our Online Editor:

    • Mark Chapters Using the "Heading 1" Style. Our Online Editor will interpret any text in a "Heading 1" paragraph style as the beginning of a chapter. As your manuscript is uploading, the editor will automatically create a table of contents by finding and linking what it interprets to be your eBook's chapter breaks. If for some reason it's not right, don't worry you'll be able to preview your table of contents and make changes and corrections in the Online Editor.
      Note: Please do not use the table of contents tools to create a table of contents page with hyperlinks in your document prior to upload. If you do this, you will end up with two tables of contents in your eBook.
    • Mark Chapters Using Our Online Editor. Once you upload your manuscript, you will be able to simply highlight each chapter's title and click the "Add/Remove Chapter" button. Use this to build your table of contents from scratch or to make changes to the editor's automatic interpretations.

    Do not include a table of contents as part of the text of your manuscript as this will become redundant with the linked table of contents created in the editor. You can preview your table of contents in the Online Editor and easily make any edits you need.

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    Can my eBook include hyperlinks?

    Yes. You may include both internal and external links in your eBook. Set hyperlinks up in your document, or use the online text editor. The hyperlink tool within our editor offers basic options for defining the link type and its target plus some more complex options for the advanced user.

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    Can my eBook include in-text images? 

    Yes. You have two choices: You can insert your in-text images using our free DIY service. You place your own images in your eBook through your Personal Media Library on the Editor tab by clicking the "Insert Image" icon or clicking the "Media Library" toolbar on the left-hand side of the page.

    If you purchase one of our four higher-level packages: Standard, Landmark, Discover or Prospect, these packages let you include 10-25 images (depending on which package you choose) which we will place in your book for you. Check our Planning FAQs for more information on how to prepare your images.

    No matter which package you've selected, you will be able to upload images to your Personal Media Library on the "Editor" tab by clicking the "Insert Image" icon or clicking the "Media Library" tool bar on the left-hand side of the page. For those who purchased the Standard, Landmark, Discover or Prospect packages, a Book Country team member will contact you after you've uploaded your images for instructions on the placement you want.

    Please note: You must upload your in-text images into your Personal Media Library regardless of which package you bought. The online text editor will automatically strip any images found in your manuscript.

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    What image guidelines should I follow (for in-text images)?

    Follow these guidelines for the best-looking in-text images. Be aware that some retailers may reject an eBook for sale on their sites if it contains blurry or grainy images. All images will need to be uploaded separately from your manuscript.

    1. The images you upload must be in one of the following file formats:
      • .jpg
      • .gif
      • .tiff
    2. For optimum results, we strongly recommend an image size of 500 x 700 pixels. It's not the end of the world if an image doesn't fit those exact proportions, but you must always use a minimum of 600 pixels for an image's height.
    3. Ppi stands for pixels per inch. For best display on electronic reading devices, a minimum resolution of 72 ppi is required for all interior images. For cover images, a minimum of 200 ppi is required, though 300 ppi is recommended.
    4. All images must be in RGB color mode, not CMYK (used for print). If you're using Adobe Photoshop, you can check and/or convert your image's color mode under Image > Mode. If necessary, it's best to convert images from CMYK to RGB before manipulating or altering them in any way.
    5. You must own the copyright to the image or have written permission to use the image from the copyright holder.

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