How to Perform Additional Cleaning for a Professional Ebook Conversion – How to Make an Ebook Series

by Rob O'Byrne on December 12, 2012

In this lesson, illness you’ll learn how to create bullet points and numbered lists for a professional ebook conversion.

How to Use Styles to For a Professional Ebook Conversion – Part 1 is part of our ongoing How to Make an Ebook Series as part of our Professional Ebook Conversion and Kindle Formatting Service.

So far in this mini-course we’ve gone over a great deal of things that help you make your own ebook look professional and clean, including How to Use Styles. Now I’m going to show you how to make your own bullet points and numbered lists and avoid the troubles that come with using Microsoft Word’s built-in lists.

Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

If your book is fiction, you may not have use for this information, but I urge you to read it anyway. You never know when you’ll have to use bullet points or numbered lists in your ebook.

If your book is non-fiction, there’s a high chance you use lists in your book. They’re a great way to categorize, separate, and emphasize bits of information without confusing the reader with huge blocks of text.

The Big No-No

Before we get started, just remember one thing. There’s one big no-no (and it’s an easy no-no to remember). Under NO circumstance use Microsoft Word’s built-in options for bullet points and lists. In Microsoft Word for PC, you’ll see them in your Home tab up top, in the Paragraph section. Below is an image of where you can find the list options in the Mac version of Microsoft Word 2011.

bullet and numbered lists

Why not Microsoft Word’s built-in options?

Because when you put the .doc through Amazon’s one-size-fits-all conversion software, it doesn’t recognize Word’s built-in options and leaves you with a messy ebook

Bullet Points

On a PC, just press Alt+7. That’s it. Hold down your Alt key and press 7 on the number pad. That creates a bullet point. On a Mac, press Option+8 for the same result.

From there, all you have to do is space them however you want to. I just do the bullet point, then a space, with a single line space above and below the other items on the bulleted list. You can also create a special style that uses a hanging indent if you want it to look just like Microsoft Word’s built-in list option where each line of text is aligned on top of each other.

Numbered Lists

These are just as easy as bullet points. Just put the number, followed by a period and a space. You can also create a style just for numbered lists. If you do this, you’ll have to create one specifically for numbers 1–9, another for numbers 10–99, etc.

Now you know how to do bullet points and numbered lists in your .doc to prepare it for a conversion. I have only one more tip for you in this “How to Make an Ebook” series.

Stay Motivated

Most everything you do to make a professional-looking ebook is as simple as what you just read. It’s really not as hard as you think. It’s a process—a series of steps that anyone can do when armed with the proper knowledge.

Until next week, happy formatting!

In this lesson, illness you’ll learn how to create bullet points and numbered lists for a professional ebook conversion.

How to Use Styles to For a Professional Ebook Conversion – Part 1 is part of our ongoing How to Make an Ebook Series as part of our Professional Ebook Conversion and Kindle Formatting Service.

So far in this mini-course we’ve gone over a great deal of things that help you make your own ebook look professional and clean, including How to Use Styles. Now I’m going to show you how to make your own bullet points and numbered lists and avoid the troubles that come with using Microsoft Word’s built-in lists.

Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

If your book is fiction, you may not have use for this information, but I urge you to read it anyway. You never know when you’ll have to use bullet points or numbered lists in your ebook.

If your book is non-fiction, there’s a high chance you use lists in your book. They’re a great way to categorize, separate, and emphasize bits of information without confusing the reader with huge blocks of text.

The Big No-No

Before we get started, just remember one thing. There’s one big no-no (and it’s an easy no-no to remember). Under NO circumstance use Microsoft Word’s built-in options for bullet points and lists. In Microsoft Word for PC, you’ll see them in your Home tab up top, in the Paragraph section. Below is an image of where you can find the list options in the Mac version of Microsoft Word 2011.

bullet and numbered lists

Why not Microsoft Word’s built-in options?

Because when you put the .doc through Amazon’s one-size-fits-all conversion software, it doesn’t recognize Word’s built-in options and leaves you with a messy ebook

Bullet Points

On a PC, just press Alt+7. That’s it. Hold down your Alt key and press 7 on the number pad. That creates a bullet point. On a Mac, press Option+8 for the same result.

From there, all you have to do is space them however you want to. I just do the bullet point, then a space, with a single line space above and below the other items on the bulleted list. You can also create a special style that uses a hanging indent if you want it to look just like Microsoft Word’s built-in list option where each line of text is aligned on top of each other.

Numbered Lists

These are just as easy as bullet points. Just put the number, followed by a period and a space. You can also create a style just for numbered lists. If you do this, you’ll have to create one specifically for numbers 1–9, another for numbers 10–99, etc.

Now you know how to do bullet points and numbered lists in your .doc to prepare it for a conversion. I have only one more tip for you in this “How to Make an Ebook” series.

Stay Motivated

Most everything you do to make a professional-looking ebook is as simple as what you just read. It’s really not as hard as you think. It’s a process—a series of steps that anyone can do when armed with the proper knowledge.

Until next week, happy formatting!

Here’s the thing about the excerpt and ebooks. Once they’ve bought the ebook, page there’s no reason for them to read an excerpt. All they really want to do is go straight to the beginning and start reading. The same goes for putting endorsements in the beginning. Endorsements and excerpts are most effective when used on the book page, say on Amazon, when a customer is deciding if they want to buy the book or not. Once they’ve bought it, they don’t care anymore.
The same goes for a print book. Unless you’re a big enough author that a brick-and-mortar bookstore is going to put your book on their shelves, people will only see your book on places like Amazon. Once they buy the print book and it’s mailed to them, they don’t care about excerpts or endorsements—they’ve already made up their minds.

In this lesson, illness you’ll learn how to create bullet points and numbered lists for a professional ebook conversion.

How to Use Styles to For a Professional Ebook Conversion – Part 1 is part of our ongoing How to Make an Ebook Series as part of our Professional Ebook Conversion and Kindle Formatting Service.

So far in this mini-course we’ve gone over a great deal of things that help you make your own ebook look professional and clean, including How to Use Styles. Now I’m going to show you how to make your own bullet points and numbered lists and avoid the troubles that come with using Microsoft Word’s built-in lists.

Bullet Points and Numbered Lists

If your book is fiction, you may not have use for this information, but I urge you to read it anyway. You never know when you’ll have to use bullet points or numbered lists in your ebook.

If your book is non-fiction, there’s a high chance you use lists in your book. They’re a great way to categorize, separate, and emphasize bits of information without confusing the reader with huge blocks of text.

The Big No-No

Before we get started, just remember one thing. There’s one big no-no (and it’s an easy no-no to remember). Under NO circumstance use Microsoft Word’s built-in options for bullet points and lists. In Microsoft Word for PC, you’ll see them in your Home tab up top, in the Paragraph section. Below is an image of where you can find the list options in the Mac version of Microsoft Word 2011.

bullet and numbered lists

Why not Microsoft Word’s built-in options?

Because when you put the .doc through Amazon’s one-size-fits-all conversion software, it doesn’t recognize Word’s built-in options and leaves you with a messy ebook

Bullet Points

On a PC, just press Alt+7. That’s it. Hold down your Alt key and press 7 on the number pad. That creates a bullet point. On a Mac, press Option+8 for the same result.

From there, all you have to do is space them however you want to. I just do the bullet point, then a space, with a single line space above and below the other items on the bulleted list. You can also create a special style that uses a hanging indent if you want it to look just like Microsoft Word’s built-in list option where each line of text is aligned on top of each other.

Numbered Lists

These are just as easy as bullet points. Just put the number, followed by a period and a space. You can also create a style just for numbered lists. If you do this, you’ll have to create one specifically for numbers 1–9, another for numbers 10–99, etc.

Now you know how to do bullet points and numbered lists in your .doc to prepare it for a conversion. I have only one more tip for you in this “How to Make an Ebook” series.

Stay Motivated

Most everything you do to make a professional-looking ebook is as simple as what you just read. It’s really not as hard as you think. It’s a process—a series of steps that anyone can do when armed with the proper knowledge.

Until next week, happy formatting!

Here’s the thing about the excerpt and ebooks. Once they’ve bought the ebook, page there’s no reason for them to read an excerpt. All they really want to do is go straight to the beginning and start reading. The same goes for putting endorsements in the beginning. Endorsements and excerpts are most effective when used on the book page, say on Amazon, when a customer is deciding if they want to buy the book or not. Once they’ve bought it, they don’t care anymore.
The same goes for a print book. Unless you’re a big enough author that a brick-and-mortar bookstore is going to put your book on their shelves, people will only see your book on places like Amazon. Once they buy the print book and it’s mailed to them, they don’t care about excerpts or endorsements—they’ve already made up their minds.

Evening, nurse folks. Hope you’re ready for yet another lesson in our How to Make an Ebook Series. To access any of our previous articles individually, pop over to http://www.ebook-editor.com/how-to-make-an-ebook/ and have yourself a read.

In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to use the Find and Replace option to make your ebook look more uniform, clean, and professional.

Clean Up That Document!

Like any worthwhile endeavor, cleanliness is a must. Your kitchen, your bathroom, your office space, and your tools of the trade, be you a carpenter, a doctor, an artist, a barber, or indeed, any respectable profession.

People don’t go to restaurants if there are cockroaches scurrying about the tables, lipstick smears on the glasses, and mold growing on the walls. So why would you expect people to read an ebook that has paragraph breaks all askance, inconsistent and erratic line spacing, and single and double spaces in between sentences running hither and thither yon as though they belong in the same document?

Cleaning up a Word doc—fortunately for us—is a great deal easier than getting on knees and elbows to scrub stubborn grime off of tiles. For this task, you need nothing but your trusty Search and Replace option. Let’s get started.

Tabs

See that Tab button on your keyboard? You know, that button that hasn’t had any practical use since the early 1990s? That’s the one. If you used it when you wrote your book, you’ve made a mistake. Luckily it’s an easy mistake to correct. Go to your Search and Replace option on your Home tab in Word.

All you need to do here is enter “^t” in the “find” bar and, in the “replace with” bar, put nothing. Just leave it blank. Then click replace all.

How to remove tabs using the Search and Replace option in Microsoft Word

There it is. Your pesky tabs have been unceremoniously hurled out the window. Don’t mourn them, and don’t worry about first-line indents for your paragraphs. Using styles properly does that for you throughout the book. See http://www.ebook-editor.com/how-to-use-styles-for-a-professional-ebook-conversion-part-1/ for a previous article of ours explaining how to use and implement styles for a professional ebook conversion.

Double Spaces

Double spaces after a sentence are no good, at least for an e-book. Replacing them all is easy. We use the same method.

In the “find” bar, hit the spacebar twice. It will look blank, but we know that there’s something there, don’t we? In the “replace” bar, just hit the spacebar once. Click “Replace All.” Keep clicking “Replace All” until there are zero items found. That way you know you got them all.

Paragraph Spaces

Now the time has come for us to remove spaces at the end of paragraphs and at the beginning of them. Search and Replace, here we come.

In the “find” bar, put “ ^p” Notice the blank space before the ^ symbol. That’s intentional as hell. Now, replace that with just “^p” without the space. Ignore all those quotation marks, of course. It should look like this:

How to remove spaces before and after paragraphs using Microsoft Word's Search and Replace tool

Click “Replace All” as many times as it takes.

Now, do the same thing, only instead of a space before the ^p, put one after. Like this—“^p ”

Replace them with the same “^p” as before.

Removing Double Lines

I’m sure you see the pattern by now. Nothing needed here but Search and Replace. What we’re doing now is removing any double lines in the document, or anywhere that you’ve hit the “enter” key twice to manually put spaces in between paragraphs.

Search for: “^p^p” with no spaces in there. Just as you see it (again, sans quotation marks).

Replace with: “^p”

That takes care of that.

Quotation Marks

You definitely want to make sure all of the quotation marks in your document are uniform, whether you use curly or straight quotation marks. Personally, I recommend going with straight (see why here http://www.ebook-editor.com/7-tips-to-perform-your-own-kindle-formatting-service/). Go to step 4.

Also, in step 4 of that previous “How to Make an Ebook” article (linked above) it not only tells you why I prefer straight quotes, but also how to change all of the curly quotation marks in your document to straight ones.

Give The Doc A Once-over

For this, you don’t need Search and Replace. You only need your eyes. Go through the doc and make sure nothing looks askew. You don’t have to read the damn thing, just scroll down the length of the doc at a slow pace, searching for anything you might have missed.

Usually—well, almost always—you’re going to find something. It could be a chapter heading you missed, it could be two separate words together without a space in between. Likethis sentence, forexample. It could be an image you forgot to center, or a paragraph that’s in your original font instead of Times New Roman, or whatever you set your Normal style to.

Could be any number of things.

Of course, once you can view it on your Kindle, that’s when you’ll really notice any formatting changes you need to fix. Putting the doc into Kindle format to review is very easy, but unfortunately it isn’t a subject in today’s lesson.

As usual, I leave you with:

Stay Motivated

The key to making a professional-looking ebook is to not give up. Don’t be discouraged or overwhelmed at the technical aspect of formatting an ebook for Kindle. The learning curve is pretty small—anyone can do it, especially if that someone wrote a fiction book, which is the easiest of them all to make a great-looking ebook.

Until next time, Happy Formatting and Happy Holidays!

{ 1 comment }

Primedia eLaunch December 19, 2012 at 9:41 am

Hello Rob, I have landed in your blog while touring in the blog land. I am really appreciate your research work. I loved this blog and bookmarked it as well. Your blog article is really helpful for many people who are in this business of Ebook conversion. thanks mate for sharing such knowledge with the readers. Keep it up. Love to see more from you.

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