When you make an e-book on our platform you can either upload your manuscript as a Word document or as an EPUB file. We do not support PDF manuscripts for e-books. When uploading an EPUB file, our system will check if it conforms to EPUB standards.
This guide will walk you through how to create an EPUB, and how to edit one created by our publishing platform. If you’d rather create your e-book manuscript using Microsoft Word, then we have another guide for you.
How do e-books work?
Before we get into how to make an EPUB, it’s important to establish how e-books actually work, as it’s worth keeping in mind when creating your manuscript to avoid mistakes.
The main thing to be aware of is that EPUBS are “reflowable”. That means that the text in an EPUB file adapts to the size of the screen it’s displayed on – go science! This means that on a smaller screen, sentences are shortened and your book will have more pages than it would on a bigger screen. As such, the layout of your e-book will vary depending on the device on which it is being read.
How do you make and/or edit an EPUB file?
In order to properly work with EPUB files, it’s important to use the right programs. Calibre is one of the best options for this, and a personal favourite of ours. It’s a free program available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Here’s everything you need to start working with Calibre:
Check your e-book for errors
It’s possible that our system rejects an uploaded EPUB file if said file doesn’t conform to certain standards. While this is obviously really annoying if it happens, it’s usually due to certain mistakes in the file.
Luckily, Calibre has got you covered here. The program features an option to check for errors. You can access this feature by going to the ‘Tools’ menu and selecting the ‘Run Check’ option. When errors are detected, you can choose to let Calibre try to resolve them automatically, or you can fix the issue manually. If Calibre doesn’t detect any errors, it’s likely our system won’t either.
Calibre lets you add a cover to your EPUB file. While you are free to do so, it’s not exactly necessary, since the creation and placement of a cover is part of the publication process on our platform.
Should you already have a cover ready and added to your EPUB file, make sure that the resolution of the cover image is high enough. Our system will then pull the cover image directly from the EPUB file and load it in the cover design step, meaning you won’t have to do anything in that particular step.
I had a designer format my EPUB for me, but I’m getting error messages when trying to upload it. What should I do?
Occasionally, it can happen that a formatted EPUB file gets rejected by our system. This happens due to the file not conforming to EPUB standards and our platform not being able to fix these issues automatically.
I’ve uploaded an EPUB with a cover included, but I don’t see this cover in the cover design step.
This issue is usually caused by the resolution of your cover image being too low. It might also be that the width/height ratio of your cover isn’t compatible with the web stores you’ve selected. The easiest way to fix this issue is to use our cover designer, which automatically creates a cover with the right dimensions, which is then automatically added to your book.
I can’t open Calibre, is there another program I can use?
Sure thing! There are a number of different ways to create and edit your e-book and several programs that you can use. Feel free to look around and pick the program that works best for you. The only requirement is that the program you end up using produces an EPUB file that conforms to current standards.