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A Step-By-Step Guide To Formatting Your Ebook

A Step-By-Step Guide To Formatting Your Ebook
Formatting Your Ebook

Photo Credit: jblyberg via Compfight cc

You know one of the ways to establish your expertise is to write a book.

If you’ve been an occasional writer, or even a regular blogger, you know writing a book is a way to become even a better writer.

But a likely problem really, is how to format and design your ebook.

Many of you have commended the formatting and design of my ebooks: the page layout, the neat table of contents and the cover page. And recently, some of you have asked me how they could give their ebooks nice formatting and design without breaking the bank.

In this piece, I’ll take you by the hand and walk you step-by-step through the process of creating sizzling ebooks without spending a penny. It’s the exact process I use to create my own ebooks.

Aside your well-edited manuscript, you’ll need the following resources:

Shall we delve into the process now?

#1: Structure your manuscript in MS Word

Neatly structure your manuscript into chapters and sub headings as you like. Make sure you use a legible font like Times New Roman. Choose A4 as your paper size, landscape as your page orientation and 20 as your font size. The font size 20 will appear too big in MS Word, but never mind. It will look just nice when converted with CutePDF Writer.

One after the other, highlight your headings and click on “Heading 1” under the MS Word “styles” pane. Also highlight each of your sub headings and use “Heading 2”. Note that you can edit the formatting of the “Heading 1” and “Heading 2” when you right click either of them and choose “modify”.

Formatting Your Ebook

#2: Insert the table of contents

Go to the position you’ll like the table of contents to appear. Click on “References” and then choose “Table of Contents” in the far left.

Formatting Your Ebook

This step will only work if your headings and sub headings are in “Heading 1” and “Heading 2” as described in step #1. The font type and size you’ve chosen when you modified the “styles” in step #1 will reflect in the table.

Formatting Your Ebook#3: Use Paint to design your book cover

Browse Google or Compfight for a nice background image you like. You may need 2 or more images as was the case with the design of my book, Vertical Writing.

Save the image(s) on your PC. Open your Paint and import them into it. Fit the images together and write some texts as appropriate. Remember to keep the design simple.

#4: Copy the book cover into your manuscript

Save the book cover you’ve just designed. Then copy and paste it into the first page of your MS Word manuscript.

#5: Download “CutePDF Writer

This is a PDF converter that works like a printer. Just download and install it. You may opt for other alternatives like DoPDF but I’ve found that CutePDF Writer has advanced functionalities I can’t take my eyes off.

For instance, I like it that the ebook created with CutePDF Writer easily scrolls to the next page when you click the “scroll down” button or when you use the keyboard directions. It makes reading such books a cinch.

#6: “Print” your manuscript

Open your MS Word manuscript and click on “Ctrl + P”. In the printer name box, choose CutePDF Writer.

Formatting Your Ebook

Complete the printing process within 10 seconds and your book is now in PDF. Click on “save as” and save your ebook.

#7: Create the 3D version of your book cover

UPDATE: I just discovered and wrote about a simpler and better way of creating 3D book cover. See it here.

This is what you can display on your blog or website. It will look like a hard cover book you photographed. Where you can do that for free is On the website, you’ll need to upload the front page, side spine and back page of your book.

Formatting Your Ebook

The back page can be just any image of the same colour with your cover page.

Once you’ve chosen all the 3 images, click the “create 3d-box” button and wait for the next page to load. Use your mouse to move the created 3D image to a desirable viewpoint.

Formatting Your EbookFinally, click the format you want the 3D cover to appear (i.e., JPEG or PGN).

There you are! Your ebook and 3D book cover are ready. No penny spent. And everyone who sees your ebook would think you’re a pro. 😉

What now?

Whether you’ve already written a book, or are about to start – or you’re still not sure if you want to write one – this is a tutorial you must keep handy. It will save you some time and money some day. So digest it, share it and bookmark it.

Question: What experience do you have with formatting and designing ebooks? Share with us in the comments.

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Your Right to WriteIf your dream is to be a writer and influence the world, the theoretical and practical insights the author provides have the power to convert your dream to reality.

-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Very helpful,bro.

  2. Yesterday night, I finished the design and everything for my ebook. But my concern is how to get people to edit or review it before I’ll publish it.
    As to the creation, I used powerpoint and cute pdf writer. I designed the back and front cover with power point, I designed the 3D design also manually with power point.
    I wish you could see the design of the book, It’s so great.

    • Hi James,

      Great to know that. Congrats on your book.

      You can get a couple of friends to help you read and critique the book. Or if you have a large audience, get a handful of them as beta testers to read and offer feedback before it goes public.

      If you want me to see, you may send the book cover to my email. I’ll have a look.

  3. Thanks a great deal, I’m learning a lot from you. Your generosity with information is amazing.

  4. great idea abt creating an ebook. This what i ve been looking for n now i found it. I hope to send u my ebook coming out soon. Can i use powerpoint or coreldraw to create a design cover for my ebook? And how can i paste it on my blog? Thanks

  5. Tochukwu O. A. K says:

    so lovely and helpful.
    have been looking for this software and KNOWLEDGE.

    will highly be indebted to you when i finally creat my blog and write my ebooks….
    you are a rare Gem!

    hope u remember the name, am still with your contact, will call you when am through with my plans……

    Thanks COACH

  6. Hello Coach,
    Please what should the size of the book cover image and spine I created on Paint be, so it fits into the 3D box on

  7. you are awesome.This is what some people sell.God bless

  8. Thank you for this, on my way to becoming a better online presence because of the quality of your input. keep doing what you are doing…

  9. Cool info thank Mr abdul

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