What Exactly Is An Ebook?

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Ebooks, digital books, electronic editions, and plain old electronic books. There are many terms used to describe them, but they are catch-all phrases that collectively refer to any product that tries to deliver content in the style of a traditional book through a digital file that is read from a screen. Read the rest of this entry

Building An Ebook Template

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Ebook templates save lots of time for any author planning to create a significant number of them. As an information publisher, the ebook and e-report are the basics of my business and I create a lot of them. Speed of creation and a professional look are extremely important to me and setting all of this up is one of the more tedious and time-consuming aspects of ebook creation.

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To speed the process and maintain a high quality product, I built an ebook template in Open Office that I use for all of my ebooks. Open Office is a free office suite software package that includes a first-rate word processor. This word processor also has a high quality PDF exporter built into the software which creates beautiful ebooks for your business. It is my favorite software to use.

The basic settings I modify for my ebook template are the fonts, the font sizes, the line spacing, a page header, a page footer, and a few other bits of 'boilerplate' content. I also like to put a border around the pages to dress it up a bit.

Font Settings For Ebooks

Font size for my ebooks is set to 14pt and the line spacing to 1.5 or 2. It's important to remember that many people will be reading the content from the screen and a larger font is easier on the eyes. The increased line spacing also helps with on screen readability. These settings also look pretty good when printed, so it is a good compromise.

For fonts, I use a sans-serif font for the headings and titles and usually pick Times Roman or Bookman for the body copy.

Layout and Design for Ebooks

Next comes the header and footer for all of the main pages. The header usually contains the name of the ebook and the footer has a promo teaser on the left and the page number on the right. Some people like to include copyright information at the bottom of every page as well. I also like to separate the header and footer from the main text with a divider line.

Standard Content for Ebooks

Finally, I create some boilerplate legal pages, an index page, a resource page and an about the author page to round everything out. These might get modified from book to book, but they are always present in every book so it saves time to have them as part of my template file.

Putting It All Together

If you want to see an example of my template in action, here is a recent free report I created using it:

How I Made My First $100 Online

It took a little while to figure out the nuances of creating page styles in OpenOffice, but now this it's done and I've built the framework for my ebooks, I just cut and paste content into my template. Working this way easily saves 1 to 2 hours on every single project.

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