On this blog every Tuesday and Friday I write about story techniques, structure, and/or publishing. Comments and questions are welcome. I also have a personal blog, Amy Deardon, on which I write about a variety of topics purely as they catch my fancy.

I've written one novel, A Lever Long Enough, that I'm honored to say has won two awards. In my life BC (before children) I was a scientist who did bench research.

My book, The Story Template: Conquer Writer's Block Using the Universal Structure of Story, is now available in both hard-copy and e-book formats. I also coach would-be novelists and screenwriters to develop their story. YOU CAN CONTACT ME at amydeardon at yahoo dot com.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to Publish an E-Book: Part Three

This series discusses how you can format, e-publish, and sell a book on Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes and Noble (Nook).

I'll be talking today about inserting charts, diagrams, tables, and illustrations. I'll also go over formatting a professional table of contents.

Illustrations usually (but not always) translate well to the Kindle and Nook. The Kindle and some Nooks use e-ink that only displays in grayscale. The Kindle Fire and other Nooks have a full color screen. Make sure therefore that your illustrations and diagrams will be understandable if they are in just black and white.

To insert diagrams within the body of your manuscript, you first need to name the jpeg files correctly since some formatting platforms are touchy. Simply name the file in lower case letters with no spaces -- for example, I might name an illustration "publishonkindle.jpeg."

Next, go to the Insert menu and insert the file where you want it to go. Put in page breaks before and/or after the illustration if you wish.

Remember that the e-book formatting platforms don't correctly translate hard tabs or most formatting marks. If you need to use a table within your text, create it in a jpeg that you can insert within the body of your manuscript like any other jpeg.


Table of Contents (TOC) gives a professional presentation to your book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction. The TOC allows easy navigation through the front matter, back matter, and body of your work. TOC are most elegantly formed through Headings, but also may be perfectly formatted using hyperlinks. This is the method I'll discuss today.

To start, at the beginning of your book type out your table of contents. You'll link it soon.

Hyperlinks are formed through a two-step process:

1) the location to which you want the hyperlink to travel is BOOKMARKED.

2) the desired clickable word or phrase is HYPERLINKED to the bookmark.

To form a BOOKMARK place your cursor at the location to which you wish to navigate. Go to the Insert menu --> Links --> Bookmark and type in a short name for this location (only you will see this).

To form a HYPERLINK highlight the word or phrase that you want to be the hyperlink. When the reader clicks on this word or phrase, he will travel to your bookmark. Then go to the Insert menu --> Links --> Hyperlink --> Place in This Document --> select the bookmark short name.

Your hyperlink in your table of contents will now appear underlined and blue. You can control-click the hyperlink to check the hyperlink goes to the correct location. Continue this process until your entire Table of Contents (TOC) is highlighted. Check to make sure all links are correct.

Finally, you need to mark the TOC so that the e-book reader recognizes it for the reader. Simply type "Table of Contents" at the top of your TOC, then bookmark it with "TOC."

On Friday I'll discuss how to get a beautiful e-book cover.

Copyright 2012 by Amy Deardon. All rights reserved.

check out www.ebooklistingservices.com


  1. Amy, I'm tracking this series on ePublishing and saving the posts in case of need later.

    This is a useful educational service you are making available. I hope many find it.

    I'll be giving it a close look later on. Right now I'm doing a lot of art (Summer flowers in bloom, and lots of sunshine making possible outdoor painting). Glorious creation, always good to pause and contemplate its richness and beauty.

    And I'm giving Donald Maass (Breakout Novel Workbook)a careful read daily, etc.

    In other words busy, like you!


  2. You've made it sound simple and doable.

    One question, I was thinking section breaks were required during chapters rather than page breaks. Not sure where I read that. Any thoughts on that?

    I'm following Kobo with interest too. They have a very nice site.