Ebook Formatting

Ebook formatting starts in Microsoft Word. Styles are designed and applied to chapter titles, subtitles, chapter first paragraphs (including drop caps and small caps), scene first paragraphs, and scene breaks. In contrast to print design, choices are limited for any excerpts that would normally be styled with a different font (news articles, text messages, computer screen text, etc.) In ebooks, these can usually be styled with italics, quotation marks, or extra spacing before and after. The goal with ebooks is to make the reading experience as comfortable as possible for the reader, which means allowing them to set their own font, font size, even their own margins and alignment.


Front Matter

Though it’s best to avoid this with body text, fonts can be embedded in ebooks for your title page. Seeing your cover will help me to design a similar style for your title page and chapter titles.


Chapter Title Pages

Chapter titles can also have embedded display fonts that will fit your genre’s style and tone. First paragraphs use drop caps and small cap styling (if desired) and are styled with no first line indentation.


Body Text

Body text will be styled to standard settings that will conform to Kindle and epub enhanced typesetting standards. This allows readers to control the reading experience on their device.



Hyphenation will be turned off, since each device handles its own hyphenation. There is no way to control or style word breaks in ebooks.


Widows & Orphans

Similar to hyphenation, reflowable text makes it impossible to control widows and orphans in ebooks.


Running Heads & Folios

Running heads and folios do not appear in ebooks. These will be removed in Word before ebook conversion.


Scene Breaks

Scene breaks can be styled with a blank line or with a set of marks (asterisks or bullets). Using images will increase your ebook’s delivery fee, thereby decreasing your royalties. Use images with caution.


Back Matter

Each page of your back matter will be styled to fit with your front matter. Any hyperlinks will be verified as functional.


Epub File

I use Calibre to convert your Word file to epub. Styling and adjustments are made in Calibre’s CSS editor. This epub file can be uploaded to Amazon with enhanced typesetting enabled. Amazon will convert it to their own mobi format.

Sample Pages

Epub as viewed on iPhone. Note embedded chapter title font and drop cap.

Mobi file after epub conversion by Amazon, as viewed on a Kindle Paperwhite.

Ebook Formatting Does Not Include:

Cover Design

My service does not include cover design, though I will require a high-resolution cover file to include in your epub file.

Complex Image Formatting

My service does not include styling your chapter title pages with images. I’m happy to add images to your front and back matter, if desired.

Retailer Assistance

My service does not include uploading your file to any retailer. However, if there is an error or issue with the file itself, I’ll be happy to troubleshoot with you.

Ebook Formatting Process


Before I schedule your project or quote you a price, please fill out my ebook formatting questionnaire, where you’ll make selections on certain design styles.


Next, we’ll find a time slot that works for both of us. I generally require about a week for ebook formatting, but I’ll also need to find a time slot that works with my editing schedule.

Quote & Contract

Once we’ve secured a time slot, I’ll send you a quote with a plain-English contract that outlines terms that protect both your interests and mine.

First Invoice

After you accept the quote, I’ll send an invoice for a deposit of 50% of the total cost of the project. Payment of this deposit is due before formatting begins.

Send Manuscript

Now that you’ve sent your deposit, it’s time to send me your manuscript. I accept manuscripts via email, Box.com, or Dropbox.com.

Sample Pages

After a few days, I’ll send you sample pages to look over and either approve or request changes. After approval, any further formatting changes may incur an extra fee.

Delivery of Files

When I’ve completed formatting, I will send you the full epub file. Look over this file and note any formatting issues you see (rogue page breaks or line breaks, etc.)

Final Invoice

The bulk of the work is done during the formatting phase, so along with your file, I’ll send you a final invoice for the remaining fee. This invoice is due upon receipt of the epub file.

Minor Adjustments

If there are any minor design issues, as noted in step 7, send me your list and I’ll make adjustments. This doesn’t not include typos that were present in the original manuscript, though I will make one pass of changes, if they are few.

Final Epub & Receipt

After adjustments (if any), I’ll send you the final epub file, which you will upload to your retailer. I’ll also send a paid-in-full receipt for your records.

Have you booked interior print design?

If you’d also like your book’s interior designed for print, click here for details on my interior print design service.

Post-Proofread Changes

Sometimes, proofreading comes after formatting. If you’ve had your book proofread and you have a list of changes, I’d be happy to make those changes either for free or for a small fee, depending on the amount.


Ebook Formatting

$0.001 – $0.0015

per word

I use “per word” pricing, since this is the easiest to calculate, and it leaves little room for misunderstanding. Formatting costs vary, depending on complexity. Use the calculator on the right to get an idea of the price range I will quote you for.

Ready to book your project?

Whether you're ready to book now or just want to discuss your project and get a free sample edit or proofread of your work, click the button below to get started!