Reformatting My Printed Book to Make an EBook: Using an 8 Point Check List

To make an eBook that will work on an iPad your manuscript needs to be converted to an EPUB format.  If you are not a self-publisher this blog post may not make much sense to you.  But if you are, it may be quite helpful.

I never thought that it would be so difficult to make an eBook.  Lulu (the publisher I’m using) gave me the idea that they would do most of it for me, that if I just follow their 21 page guide (Lulu Complete EBook Creator Guide) it would be so easy.  Ha!  After reading it, it seemed complicated.

But, nevertheless, I set out to do it.  I read the guide through, took a few notes, made the changes on my book that I thought were necessary, and sent it in.  Lulu rejected it! And they didn’t tell me specifically why it was rejected, just that there were some errors in the formatting. So I looked it over, made some more changes, and sent it in again, and again, and again. I think I’ve sent it in at least a dozen times.  But it’s always been rejected.

I was so discouraged, but I decided to keep trying. I eventually decided to read the instructions very very carefully.  I was determined to get it right.  And what do you know, finally I got it right. To tell you the truth, Lulu’s guide wasn’t really that complicated, if I would have just been determined to read all of it thoroughly from the start, instead of just skimming over it and hitting the high points—as I did at first.

Here is a list I made up of things that need to be changed in the formatting process.  I hope someone out there finds this helpful.


This is my paperback version.

1. Remove headers and footers and page numbers. 

2. Remove all sections breaks.

3. Remove text boxes.  This was the main reason, I think, that mine was rejected.  There was a text box that was hidden to me on the title page. It was a text box that I did not create.  It just appeared there somehow. Strange!  Oh, also, you need to remove all drop caps.  They are considered text boxes too.

4. Remove justification of paragraphs.  Line them up on the left margin.

5. Remove hyphenations of words.

Zenith of prayer as eBook

This is the new eBook version, only $2.99. Click on this image to buy.

6. Apply styles to title pages, chapters, and the main sections.  On your Microsoft Word page, at the top, you will see Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3, etc. Applying styles is simply putting your title pages under Heading 1, your chapters under Heading 2, and the main sections under Heading 3.  This will automatically link them to make a table of contents.  As you do this you can click on your Navigation Pane and you will also see the headings coming together.  In fact, your eBook table of contents will look just like the Navigation Pane in Word.

7. Make sure your paragraphs are separated and chose the type of paragraph you want, either the box style or first line indent.

8.  Remove all extra spaces between paragraphs.  If you need more space between paragraphs you can do that by adjusting your settings for paragraphs. But don’t make extra spaces using your Enter key.

The key to this formatting is to simplify your manuscript.  I didn’t mention charts and graphs.  There may be a way to do this correctly, but I may just remove them.  Also remove bullets and numberings that you create from Word.  I just found out that if you have MW and want to use bullets you can use Alt + 7.  Also, use only Arial, Times New Roman, or Garamond fonts.  All others will be rejected.

Well, as I said, I finally figured it out and also put together a cover, as you see above. You can see more details when you click on  the images.

About Stephen Nielsen

I'm an author, a self publisher, and a painting contractor. I live in beautiful Minnesota, USA . Welcome to my blog site.
This entry was posted in About Zenith of Prayer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Reformatting My Printed Book to Make an EBook: Using an 8 Point Check List

  1. preacherwin says:

    Congratulations for wading through the process there, the helpful hints are good ones. How about fonts? Every time I have tried to make an epub format document it kills my fonts. Any thoughts?


  2. They will accept only one of three kinds: Times new Roman, Arial, or Garamond. Yes I really did struggle with it. But now that I know how to do it, it will go easy, but still time consuming. I hope my eBooks will sell better, especially with the lower price. I hope everything is going well with you, your family and your ministry. I will keep you in my prayers.

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