Ebook Errors: How to Avoid 5 Common Problems

11 Dec

 Rain clouds at sunset

A white paper is highlighting common formatting errors that frequently pop up for publishers when transferring their titles to digital. The focus of the report was a solution list for five common problems in e-book formatting. The problems were:

  • Headers with Hyphens
  • Strange Characters Inserted into e-Books
  • Chapter titles, Headers, and Sub-Headers Separated on Different e-Book Pages
  • Unsightly Indentation, and Random Blank Pages in the e-Book
  • Overall e-Book Aesthetics

For example, the report states that the problem of sloppy indentation and blank pages are often caused when converting EPUBs from Microsoft Word. Many users of Word use “Tab” to indent paragraphs and “Enter” to insert line breaks, rather than using Word’s formatting styles. The solution: if hand-coding an e-book, one should apply styles to the document (in Word or InDesign) before converting the file to EPUB.

The report also outlined the various contributing factors that lead to errors, which would persist as long as e-books “remain second class citizens in the production workflow,” meaning that print workflow still dictates e-book workflow at the traditional publishing houses. Creating a single XML file at the outset of production would address many of the e-book errors currently plaguing publishers.

Vook’s white paper can be read here


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