How To Format Your eBook in Adobe InDesign | Nadège Richards | Skillshare

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How To Format Your eBook in Adobe InDesign

teacher avatar Nadège Richards, Author, Designer, Photographer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Inserting Text & Images


    • 3.

      Formatting Text Using Styles


    • 4.

      Bookmarks, Hyperlinks, & TOC


    • 5.

      Saving & Exporting


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About This Class

The interior design of a book can reflect the mood of a story and enhance the reader experience. With this class, you'll learn useful layout and formatting standards to improve the way you present your ebooks to new readers. You'll also gain helpful skills in Adobe InDesign that will ease your workload before hitting publish. This class will cover different aspects of ebook design and formatting; however, it is not an introductory class. If that's something you're looking for, I recommend starting with my InDesign class for paperback formatting.  

Meet Your Teacher

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Nadège Richards

Author, Designer, Photographer


Nadège Richards is a fiction author and the designer behind Inkstain Design Studio. IDS is an award-winning graphic design company founded in April 2013. Nadège is dedicated to creating original, stunning, and inspiring content for authors, publishers, and entrepreneurs. She specializes in interior book formatting, as well as branding and cover design. 

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome to Unstained Design Studios. E book formatting class in Adobe in design. With me, it does. Richards. This will be a quick and simple guide on how to properly and professionally format your book for Amazon, KDP or other online book retailers like Mud Press, Kobo, iBooks or smash words. I'll be teaching in how to insert different bodies of texts and images and then how to export everything as a global deep up file. Now this class is building off of my other in design class for paper book formatting. So if you're looking for an intro to Adobe in design, that's going to be the best place to start. But if you had some practice by now and you're comfortable with in design tools, let's get started. 2. Inserting Text & Images: Hello and welcome to Class number one to begin formatting our e book in Adobe in design. Let's start by, of course, opening the desktop app and then going to file you document. In the paperback formatting class, I went through the steps of creating a template with exact numbers in margins. But since we're creating a refillable e book, none of that is really necessary. The text within the E book is going to automatically adjust to the size of the different you readers anyway. For that reason, let's just go with the traditional U. S. Letter size of 8.5 by 11 inches. We can keep all the other settings, as is Evan hit, create. So depending on if you're new to formatting and in design, where if you have been using this app for a while, your workspace may look similar to mine under window work space. You can see that I save this as book design, and it's just the basic panels of all the pages bookmarks, paragraph and character styles. And then, of course, my tool menu. If you don't see any of these panels, you can return to window and then make sure that needed panels are checked and showing up on your workspace. Now, speaking of pages, we only have one right now, and since it's our very first page, it will serve as the page for our cover image. As a rule, you're going to want about 6 to 8 front matter pages before Chapter one begins the order of these pages. Air usually cover copyright table of contents, dedication, ever graph and half title. But of course, if you have special front matter info like your acknowledgements or any other sort of notices, this order is going to change. So in the end, as long as your cover images first and your copyright page is second, you're good to go toe. Add in our cover image. You can go to file place or hit command D or control D on your keyboard. Open up the course files folder and select the Mock Jane Eyre cover file. When you're back in your workspace, you'll see that the cover is linked to the end of your cursor. Click and drag to create the size of the cover image. You don't want it to be as big as the entire page because that's just too large. So something about this size is good to fit all you readers. Now let's move it so that it's completely centered on the page. When it's both centered horizontally and vertically, you should see to pink snap guides the Intersect at a point. If you don't see your snap guides, make sure they're turned on under view. Grids and guides snap two guards. Also make sure that you're hitting Characters are turned on in the tight menu so that you can see all the four muddying markers in the document, then go up to file, save as to save, and then you could add it to a folder of your choice. I'm going to save this to my desktop as Jane Eyre. Underscore E book. The file should be dot i N d d Next move over to your pages panel and hit the plus button here to add another page, then click in another four times of that. We have a total of six pages. Double click on page two. Where are copyright info is going to go toe at this first, create a text box starting at the top left corner of the purple pink line box and then drive all the way to the bottom right corner with your cursor still blinking a command or control de again and locate the word document file labeled copyright. You may be wondering why all the front matter text has been divided into separate files, and it's because it'll help in design recognize the different section of the Sea book. We don't want front matter information to overlap or become disorganized when we export. When you have the copyright text selected, it should be placed within the text box right away. We are going to design this and ultimately make it look neater. But let's finish inserting all of the text first to go to Pitch three. Adding another text box. Evan type in TOC for table of contents. This will be our mark reminder to add in the table of contents in our last step before exporting, but at least we'll know where belongs when we're ready on page for Repeat the same steps Text box commander controlled the and this time add in the dedication on Page five at the epigraph, and then finally, on page six, we're going to do something a little different for the half title page, which is just like a title page. Except it doesn't have the author's name. Where the Siri's name. It's just the title, The last intro before the book begins. In most cases, you can just insert another image here, like the cover file, But let's say we want to add the text directly in in design instead. To do that, let's create another text box, but a smaller one this time and type and Jane, with the text highlighted, we can change the font to Bay Boss and bold from the course files and then bump the size up to 1 50 The goal is to basically match what we see here on our cover image. There's a little more spacing between each letters, so we should increase the tracking of our text. The tracking tool can be found in the top 12 menu. It looks like avian in a with arrows beneath it. With James still highlighted, bump up the tracking 2 30 then center. Line the text in the text box and make sure the text boxes fitted to the exact size meted. We still need to complete the title of the book. But rather than go through all the steps of adding a text box and adjusting the fought and tracking, let's just make a duplicate of the text we have right here. There are two ways of doing this. You can right click the text box into a simple copy and paste. Or you can hold down the option or all key until you see a white cursor appear beside your black arrow cursor and then click and drag. This immediately copies the text box over in a fast and efficient way. Now I can double click into the second text box and replace Jane with air. Move it up so that the E in air is right beneath the A in Jane to select both text boxes, hold shift and then click right click to group them so that they could be moved together as one whole item. We have successfully created the half title page. The following pages will be designated to the body text of the book, Chapter one, Chapter two, Chapter three and so forth. But since this is a large amount of text that can't off it onto one page will have to create text boxes that allow text to flow from one box to another. We'll have to do this by adding text boxes, tore master pages, master pages, air like dragon dropped templates that can apply to pages within the document. Right now we have our A master pages. When you double click into them, you'll see that we don't have anything here. And all the pages within the document right now marked with Letter A didn't have any objects on them, either. Not until we added the text boxes, which is what we wanted to be able to control, how each text box is presented individually on each page. This is because whatever we have on our A master pages will be seen on the eight pages of the book. For instance, if I add a circle shape to the left master page, it will also show up on every left page within the book. And if I add one to the right, the same thing happens. This also means that we can't use the same a master pages for the body text of the book because we will need those floatable text boxes and we don't want to disrupt the Master pages we already have. So let's just duplicate the A master pages so we can create a new one to work off of. Right, Click a master here on the right and select duplicate master spread. This opens up a B master page, which is just the same, except now we can add in the text boxes we need so within the master added text box to the left corner to corner and then one to the right toe. Loop them. Move up to the white Square above the tiny document icon. When you click it and then move your cursor over to the left, you should see a chain attached to your arrow. Simply click into the left text box and then both boxes are linked and we're good to go. However, when we returned to the pages of the document and add in our seventh page, you'll see that it still says a meaning. It's connected to the A master to connect this specific page to the B Master Dragon Drop Be master on to that seventh page. It'll change from A to B automatically and then on the seventh page hit Commander Control de to bring up our files and select the 20 chapter Jane Eyre manuscript. Drop it onto the page, and then, after a few moments, you should see that all the text from Chapter one to Chapter 20 has flowed from page to page and fills out the book perfectly. There may be some blank pages at the end, but will take care of those right before exporting. For now, there's one more thing we need to do before moving on to actually formatting the book. We need to make sure that all the front matter we set in place is labelled accordingly. Let's start with Page one, the Cover image right click and moved down to object export options. In the new dialogue box, you're going to select this arrow document partitions cover, and then we're going to Rast. Arise the image as a J peg so that the EPA format knows exactly what it is and doesn't mistake it for text or unknown object. We want everything to convert as we see it, said the resolution at 72. Since that's the best quality for digital photos, it will also keep the file size down so that online e book retailers won't have any problems processing the image quality can remain at high method remains at baseline Check Custom layout center and then insert break after next is your copyright page. So right Click the text box and return to Object Export Options Arrow. Then within preliminary sections and components, choose copyright page. Since this is a text box and non image, we don't need to. Rass arise it. You want the text to remain global and interactive, especially if you decide to add any hyperlinks to your copyright page. Custom layout again. Center break after image or, in this case, break after text box. Same thing here. Repeat these steps with the table of contents, dedication, the epigraph and the half title, making sure to label each accordingly. Also remember to Rast arise your half title and set the DP I resolution at 72. Once that's done, you're ready to jump into class to where we'll be formatting. The text of the E book. Using paragraphs and character styles 3. Formatting Text Using Styles: in the last class, we went over this steps of inserting our e book front matter and body text. So in this class will be implementing a few paragraph in character styles to design and format everything. And this will really set apart formatting your e book and in design from formatting your e book in Microsoft Word. This is just going to be so much faster and less complicated. Let's start by creating a paragraph style because we imported text from word. There may be some carried over styles in your panel. Technically, we could edit these styles and use them since they're here. But for the sake of this class, I'm going to start from scratch and delete the styles. They will be replaced with the default style of basic paragraph, then to create a new one hold option or all on your keyboard, and then click on the plus sign here at the bottom right of the Styles panel and you a dialog box should pop up from here will name this style body text based on basic paragraph . In the Basic Character formats tab, make sure the font is set on a simple Serra font. Readers can process like Minion Pro Book, Antigua Germont or times New Roman. Since the text is already in times new Roman, I'll keep it at that size 12 and then letting at 20. Letting is another word for line spacing the distance between one line of text and the one beneath it or above it. 20 converts really well to eat pub, so it's typically my go to for all kinds of books. Of course, line spacing can be customized within you leaders now, so this isn't something you have to be too picky about. In the in. Dense is spacing tab change the alignment to left justify, and the first line in Dan should be 0.25 a line all lines to grade hyphenation off after you hit done. You won't notice a change in any of the text yet because we haven't applied this style. We'll do that after we finished creating all the styles needed. So let's keep going this time, right? Click on the new style we've created and select Duplicate. This creates a copy of everything we just did, but we're going to rename it first line and make a few changes. First, it should be based on body text and then in the index. Since basing tab. Take the first line in Dent, back to zero, then hit. Okay, now right click again on the newer style so that we can duplicate it and continue building styles off each other, making subtle changes along the way. This one will rename front matter based on first line in the in dense and spacing tab. Change the alignment to center, then hit. Okay, the last style we need to add is chapter header. So right click on the front matter style duplicated We name it Header. Then under basic character formats, let's make it bold Size 20 and all caps. The latter is just a preference. Of course, you can keep it at normal if you just want your headers to be capitalized by the first letter. But I really like the way all caps look, so I'm going to go with that. In the in dense and spacing tab. Put two inches of space before and two inches of space after the before. Space is also just a preference, depending on how high or low you want. The header to begin on each e book page, but the two inches of space after the header is something that should always remain the same. The last step is within export tagging. It's important to remember to select split document for your chapter, header style and Onley this style. This tells in design that you would like each chapter to begin on a new page instead of having chapters run together. This is also important because page breaks are ignored in in design when converted to keep up. So if you don't select this here for the chapter Hatter, you may notice a few errors along the way. Now that that's done, we can start applying our styles. Let's begin by making sure our cover images centered and then double click into the copyright text box on Page two. Hey, command or control A to select all the text. And once it's highlighted, apply the front matter style. This should have centered the text and changed the letting. Also, apply this to the dedication and epigraph again, we'll take care of the table contents last. Something to note now is that while we can hit enter a few times to move text down the page , that will also be ignored by in design when converted to keep up. So if we want the dedication and epigraph to begin somewhere near the middle of the E book page, instead of crammed all the way at the top, we should adjust the amount of space before each section. So highlight that dedication, text and then in your control panel, look for these space before Tool. Right now it's on zero. Let's bump it to two inches, just like we did with our chapter header style. Let's do the same with the epigraph, but with this you want to make sure you're only highlighting the first paragraph of tax, because if you do several, you'll be adding more space than needed. And the formatting will appear very odd when converted. So just see the first paragraph before a new line begins for styling purposes. I'm going to highlight Charlotte Bronte and put her name in all caps and then make it bold just so it stands out from the quote. Seven for the half title page. We're going to adjust its with so that the rest arised J peg image this is going to turn into will remain the right size, no matter what type of device it's viewed on, not too big or not too small. To do this right, click the group text boxes and go down to object export options. Then, instead of Defoe, change this to custom with and type in 100% hit done and then make sure the boxes are centered on the page. Be the pink snap guides. The last thing to know in the front matter is that we did not have space before the copyright text, and that's because generally, copyright pages have a lot more info than this. So it's OK if it begins at the very top of the page, and it's actually better that it does, because then everything can fit onto one page. Adding space before so much text can push the copyright text onto two pages. And that's definitely not something you want if it can be avoided. So as another general rule, you should Onley ad space before short dedication, text epigraph and chapter headings to get our body tax looking as Nias our front matter double click on to page seven and hit command or control A to select all the text all 20 chapters and then apply the body textile from the paragraph style panel. This should have given you in dense nice line spacing and definitely more organization. It's just way easier on the eyes. And what I love most about this is that it applied to the whole book in one easy click. Just like that, the body text is done. Next, click in front of the first paragraph and then hit the first line style. This has the same star bulls as the body text, except now we've removed the in debt. This is because the first line of a chapter or seen break should always be absent of in Dense. It's a way of showing your readers that, Hey, this is a new section where I'll be introducing new information. Every other following line should have in dense moving on to the chapter header less highlight Chapter one and apply the header paragraph style. The change is instant, although we added two inches of space before and after. It's OK. If you don't see the space on top, it'll show up once we've exported the entire file, and the two inches below won't look as wide as it does here, either. So let's go on to move throughout all the chapters and implement these changes. Scroll down to Chapter two highlight, apply header style and then apply first line style to remove the in debt and repeat to Chapter three all the way to Chapter 20. I'm going to speed up my screen for the sake of this tutorial, but you also want to keep in mind that you be applying this same formatting rhythm to seem breaks. If you have an image divider, you can insert it into a blank line between bodies of text, center it and then make sure there is ample space before and after, so that the division is clear end. Of course, remember no in dense on my first line or paragraph of the scene break. Once you finish applying styles, all your chapters and you've reached the end. We can move on to the pages panel, hold down shift and then select each of those blank pages at the end and right click to delete. We say this for last, just in case any text gets pushed down while we format. You definitely don't want to delete pages that may still have text on them. The very final step in this class is the back matter, which, for this book is just Charlotte Bronte's author bio. Add one more page, and then we assign it to master it. Add in a text box command or control DE to bring up our files and then select about the author, drop it into the box and then let's manually left. Justify the bio text No in Dent and then apply the header style to about the author at the top. We'll also want to add in an author photo for this. Let's go to the very next line after the header and hit command or control de again to find Charlotte's author photo. It may not be the ideal size right away when it's inserted, but we can hold shift to keep the image proportions while we sizing the photo. The change will be seen after hitting Phil frame proportionally in the control panel. Now this isn't quite done yet, of course, because I think this space between the header and the images too wide for something like this. To manually close the gap, highlight the header and then in your control panel again change this space after from 2.5 . Let's also do this with the first line of the author bio so that there's ample space before and after the image. Then let's center the photo and make sure there is no indent applied. They're all complete. These last few steps are similar to what you do to insert a scene. Break image. Remember to rewind, replay and pause as much as you need to, and definitely work at your own pace when you're ready. In class Number three, I'm going to delve into inserting bookmarks, hyperlinks and the table of contents as we moved closer to completing this EBA. 4. Bookmarks, Hyperlinks, & TOC : Hello and welcome to class number three. Now that we've finished inserting the text of her manuscript into in design and we fully formatted the front matter, body text and back matter, it's time to finally add in our table of contents. As you recall, we left TOC in the space where it will go. Let's delete that now, since we won't need it and then go upto layout down to table of contents and this new dialogue box, you're going to make sure the style is set at front matter. You can leave the title on contents unless you would prefer the full title of Table of Contents, then below on the right. Make sure header is the style selective. If it's not selected here on the right and click add to move it over to the left header style can remain at same style. Then the last thing is to make sure you've checked, create pdf bookmarks so that we can have an accessible panel of bookmarks to navigate the EBA. Also check make text anger in source paragraph. This connects the tax in the table of contents to the actual chapters in the book. Finally hit, okay, so you should now see your entire table of contents attached to the end of your cursor. When you click into the text box on page three, all of the text should load right onto this page. However, you may see that there is an overflow of texts, meaning it doesn't all fit into the box. You can tell because there is a red plus icon here on the bottom, right as an indicator, If this were a regular body of taxed, we could ideally hit this icon to grab the overflowing text and then drag to create a new text box for it. But we want all the text to fit into this one text box. So I'm going to hit Command Z on my keyboard to go back a few times. And then I'm going to click into theater of contents, hit command A to select all of the text and then choose thief front matter style from my style's panel. This should form at the table of contents more like how we need it, and it fits right into the rest of our formatting, Then to lead the page numbers here one by one, since the page numbers within and design won't be the same. Page numbers in the e pub version. Don't forget to format the contents header so it stands out from the actual list. You don't want to apply the header style because then you'll have a link to the contents page within your contents list, and that's pretty confusing. Remember, your table of contents is linked to this style. Whatever text has the header style applied to it will show up here in this list. So instead, let's manually format this header, highlight the whole thing, then moves your tool panel and bump the size up to 16. Bold. And then let's put one inch of space, right? Blow it and that's it. Your table of contents is complete. The chapters may not look hyperlinked here, but they will in the converted a pub and you'll know for sure, because if you open up your bookmarks panel, you'll see all the chapters and the back matter listed here, and it's completely interactive when you double click. If you don't see your bookmarks tab, go up to a window down to interactive and then make sure your bookmark panel is selected. If you end up with a floating panels. Something like this. You can just drag it over to the right and it'll pop into place so you can always have it available. And, of course, you can always make a new bookmark by going to a specified location of your choice and clicking the plus icon at the bottom of the bookmarks panel. I'll drag this to the trash can to delete it, since I don't need it. But speaking of hybrid links, say you want to hyperlink text in your book or on your copyright page. Doing that is quite simple, and you don't need to add a bookmark to do it. For example, I'm going to select and highlight unstained tutorials in the copyright page, then right click down to hyperlink new hyperlink. Then I can type in www dot ink stain design studio dot com for the euro and hit OK, this is a live hyperlinks, so you will see that it turns blue and it is underlined. It's truly this easy. Another thing to note is that if you have hyperlinks in the word, document up your manuscript before importing it into in design, the hyperlinks will remain in place so you won't have to hunt for all your links and we link them. They should already be in place. And with that, you're ready to move on to the last class. Where will be finally exporting this Jane Eyre manuscript into a reef? Lobel Pub BBA 5. Saving & Exporting: This is the last class in the book formatting tutorial. So we're going to roll right into step one. Hey, command or control s to make sure you save this file, Then look down at the bottom of the in design window to make sure your preflight settings are all green. Preflight is the automatic in design era checker. If there's an image file missing, they fought, your computer can't locate or if there is just something going wrong internally, this panel will show red with a list of what you need to fix before exporting. However, your pre fight right now should be green, so we're good to export its a file export. Rename it as the actual title of the book Jane Eyre, and then save it to wherever you think is best again. I'll go with my desktop. You're format is going to be eat pub re floatable. The reef global part is very important because that's what keeps our e book interactive. Solans can work and readers can make their own customization is within their e reader. Next day, select this option here, since we don't want to export the e book with the same underscore e book we had for the in design file. We just want the actual title, then hit Save This should bring up another dialog box, and the first thing we're going to change here is the cover of the book. If we keep it on rest arised, first image in design will take a snapshot of the Jane Eyre cover on the first page and use that as a cover. But it will also come with the white page behind it, and that's not too appealing. So instead, go with Choose Image and then open up the course files to once again select the Jane Eyre Mont cover under navigation table contents. Choose multi level content. Orders should remain at based on page layout and then check mark split document. Remember that we also turned on split document for our chapter heading style so that in design will start every new header on a new page. This is where we actually need to activate it, So always make sure split document is on. Based on that header style in the metadata tab, let's put in the title again. Jane Eyre, You're identifier will remain the same as it shows up There's really nothing to change their when you eventually move on to personal projects will have more metadata to put in, like the date description and the publisher. But since we don't need all of that for the demonstration, we can skip over it and hit OK as soon as you do, the iBooks app should open up automatically if you're on a Mac. If it doesn't open for you, you may need to manually open it or download the app from the APP store. Or, if you're using windows, you will have to view the E pub from another app, like Cali, Bre or Adobe Digital editions, which are both free. APS available for you to download from online caliber is also a great app toe have if you need to convert the E puff file to a Mobi file for any reason. But once you do open the pope file, you should say that our cover images on the first page, as it should be in their front matter. It's beautifully on their pages. The table contents is linked as it should be. Even the half title page looks great at the 100% we said it too. So now this book is read on different E reader sizes. The title will always fit proportionally on the page. Also recall that we rest. Arise it as a J peg, which is why we're able to see the Bay Boss bon here. This is technically an image. If we hadn't rest, arised it in design would have ignored the Bay Boss font, and this would have been turned into times New Roman. This is because fancy fonts just don't work well with e books. The simpler the better. But for where? Occasions like this where you need it for the title, or perhaps maybe even the chapter headings remember that it should be in a text box by itself. And it should always be wrasse arised as a JPEG following through Oliver, chapters begin on a new page, so it's looking great. And at the very end, the back matter is looking how we wanted to as well up top. Here is where we can navigate between the chapters. It's the built in table of contents and many newer e readers have it, including kindles and the Kindle app. Because of this, sometimes there is no need for a list of table of contents in the front matter. It's a preference and style choice, and personally, I omit the list the table of contents so that readers can jump right into the story. They'll still be able to navigate the chapters from here, and removing the list will still be accepted by e book retailers like Look Press and Adobe KDP. If omitting the table of contents is something you prefer or something you'd like to try, you can head back into in design and select the TOC text box on Page three, then move it completely off the page so that it's hidden in the gray area. It's still there, but since it's not on the page, it won't be seen by a reader. You don't want to delete it completely, since that will also take away your bookmarks. Then you can delete the page so that you don't have any blank spaces, then return to file export to repeat all the steps we did before, then hit. Okay, this time, when you view the pub, you should see that there isn't a list of contents in the front matter. But the built in TOC is still there and it still works. Our e book is done and ready to be published, but the very, very last step that is probably the most important step in rule. It's the package. Your in design file packaging. The file means in design will put together all the image files, font files and any other necessary information into one folder so that you always know what went into creating Yuri Pub. This is important because you may delete a photo or font from your computer that was used in this file, and once it's gone in design won't be able to source where it came from, and you won't be able to properly edit or export your E puppy book in the future. So remember, remember to always package your file before you exit in design. To do that, let's go to file package. This dialog box will give you a rundown of all the photos and fonts you used, then hit package. Name it anything you like. I'm just going to keep mine in style with the original file name. Make sure copy Fonds and copy linked graphics are checked as well as update graphic links in package idea Mao and pdf, the pdf preset can remain on high quality prints. As soon as you hit package, you've completed this book tutorial course. There were many steps, but with practice designing and formatting, and e book will take you no more than a few hours. In the end, it will save you money, and it will impress your readers or your clients and will ultimately speed up yourself publishing process. I hope you've learned a lot, and I'll see you for another course next time.