Monday, November 13, 2023

The Basic Layout of an eBook

The exact layout of an eBook is not set in stone. But if you’ve never prepared one for formatting, there is a basic layout pattern you’ll want to stick to for a professional appearance.

First, let’s cover the standard pages:

Title page – this should contain the title, the author’s name, and the publishing house. You can also include the logo and html web address.

Copyright page
– this should contain the copyright year and author’s name, ISBN, publisher’s name & address, “all rights reserved,” and disclaimer (“work of fiction, etc.). You can also credit people such as the cover artists. If you are registering it for a Library of Congress Control Number or a PNC (pre-assigned control number), that information will also go on this page. (Note that a LCCN or PNC are not assigned to eBooks only but can be included when you register a print book.) If you are getting a LCCN (for publishers with books in multiple libraries) then you will also get a Catalogue in Publication block, also called a CIP block.

Dedication – keep it short and simple.

Table of contents – either chapter titles or numbers. There will be no page numbers, but each chapter title will need to be hyperlinked to its corresponding chapter.

Manuscript – this is the body of your text. Note no headers or page numbers required. You can add graphics for chapter titles/number.

About the author
– a paragraph about yourself. Include links to your website and social sites (but not to retail sites – Barnes & Noble frowns upon eBooks linked to Amazon!) You can also include an author photo.

In between dedication and table of contents, one can also have a list of other books or acknowledgements.

An important item to include is the book’s reviews/blurbs. When readers are skimming the first few pages, reading the free sample, glowing reviews will help them make the decision to buy the book. Reviews for the book can come after the title page or after the dedication.

Other items you might want to include:
Bonus material

Those items will appear after the manuscript ends but before the author page.

And there you have it! The basic layout of an eBook. Now you are ready to get started.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for sharing your tips, Diane. I have no idea how to layout an ebook so it was really helpful.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Keeps it simple and easy!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I always think about including bonus material, but never seem to get around to doing it!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Elizabeth, some of my authors have great bonus material, like Sherry Ellis' Bubba & Squirt books with recipes and such in the back.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Bonus material? I never thought of that! Great idea.


Keeps things simple and straightforward.