While there are several great ebook writing and conversion apps available—from free to hundreds of dollars for every platform—most people still prefer writing in a traditional text editor. I can’t imagine writing in anything else than Google Docs (and not only because of the voice typing), but many writers use Microsoft Word, Scrivener or other word processor. Most self-published authors today decide to convert their own ebooks; only to realise many hours into the project that it might not be as easy as they have imagined. This article is helping you to prepare your manuscript for ebook conversion, regardless of whether you decide to convert your book yourself or hire somebody. The advice we give can be followed from the start of writing or applied to a manuscript that is already done.
Prepare manuscript: why is it important?
Text editors and ebook converters might look similar on the outside, but they have very different purposes. Word processors help users to work with the text: write it, edit it, share it with your editors, betas and grandmother. Word processors have built-in spell check, most of them follow user changes and support different note-taking and highlight options.
Ebook editors, on the other hand, come into the picture once your book is ready: they are designed to create an epub that is difficult to change by the user and displays according to the publisher’s intents on many different devices, may it be a computer, a Kindle or a smartphone. Since the idea behind ebooks and word documents is so different, it is not surprising that they only look similar on the surface.