Blog to Book Project — Ebooks vs. Print Books

Remember, this an alphabetical listing this month, so expect some topics to be out of order when it comes to assembling your book.

Ebooks vs. Print Books

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) makes it easy for you to create both an ebook and a print book. (I’ll talk more about KDP in a few days). As streamlined as KDP has made the process, there are still some formatting issues that you should be aware of.

Ebooks are digital text that can be read on a Kindle or other ereader device app. Since the ebook can be read on multiple devices (Kindle, iphone, tablet, ect) the formatting is not fixed in order to accommodate text size differences. For this reason, ebooks do not have page numbers.

What this means for you, is that it is easier for you to create chapters from your blog posts without do a lot of formatting changes. You can leave images interspersed throughout the text of the chapter because the ebook formatting allows for that.

The same can not be said of print books. Both soft and hard cover books have strict formatting guidelines. This impacts the size and placement of your images. To make sure your image isn’t behemoth or teeny weeny when it appears on the page, I recommend you use Canva to create standard size images or even a collage of images.

To do this, go to Canva and sign up for an account. It’s free. I use the social media 800 x 800 px template, but you could choose another size. There are even full page options. Once you choose the size you wish to work with, click on it and a new tab will open.

On the left, you’ll see a column with a variety of options. Choose Uploads. Click on  the Upload an Image blue bar at the top. Choose the image to upload from your computer.

Now go to Elements in the left hand column. Then select Grids.

If you have just one image, you’ll want to use the first landscape image. If you have more than one image, click on a layout that meets your needs.

Return to Uploads. Click and drag your image to the layout. It will fit itself automatically.

Download your image to your computer. I recommend either PNG or JPG format. Now replace the image you have in your blog post with this new formatted image. Voila!

Another suggestion that will save you loads of time when formatting your print book is to reduce the number of images included in each chapter. Do you really need every single picture of Aunt Fran making the cake or can you get by with just the final pastry masterpiece? Then start the chapter with that image before the text or end the chapter with the image after the text. While you can certainly insert the image someplace other than the beginning or end, doing so may create more white space than you want in a print book.

Canva also has a template for making your ebook cover, which is really nice! Print book covers have more requirements and are a bit more complex, so we’ll talk about covers another day. For know, I’ll just mention that ebook covers have far less information on them than a print book cover.

There are some other differences between ebooks and print books. You can leave your hyperlinks just like they are in your blog post when you create an ebook. Print books, obviously, don’t have hyperlink capability. Therefore, if you want keep those hyperlinks, you’ll have to write them out and it tends to look messy. I recommend hyperlinks get transferred to the Appendix (remember that part?) We’ll talk about hyperlinks in an upcoming post as well.

Print books have an index to help readers find certain information. Ebooks have a search function instead. Both types of books have a table of contents, however only the ebook is interactive. There are no headers in an ebook. Footers in an ebook are converted to endnotes and appear at the end of the chapter. Ebooks can not include charts, tables or columns unless they have been converted to an image (see above) first. Ebooks also do not include tabs, paragraph returns, symbols, colored font, or text boxes (unless they are converted into an image).

So, there you have the major differences between ebooks and print books, in a nutshell.

Assignment:

Use Canva to format your images for your Blog to Book Project.

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