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Preparing Your Source Document

Preparing your source document for conversion to e-Book, or print-on-demand format takes some special care and attention. The first thing you should do is decide which formats you will need. See more details in Guide to eBook Formats on the left menu. We can help guide you through this maze :

  • Standard eBook for most major retailers (.EPUB)
  • Fixed format eBook for specific retailers, such as Apple and Kindle Fire
  • Kindle and Mobipocket (.azw; .prc; .mobi)
  • Android-powered phones and tablets
  • Nook (color or black and white, EPUB or EPIB)
  • Print-on-Demand PDF

We generally delivery one converted EPUB file and one Mobi for Kindle file in our standard package. Print-on-demand files are delivered in PDF format. On the price quote form, please specify what formats you need, or talk to our digital publishing team to help you decide. Please also tell us if need us to upload your finished files to your established retail accounts.

Formats for Source Documents

Please submit your interior text in Microsoft Word 2003, 2007 or later, or Adobe PDF. InDesign files are not preferred, but are accepted. Image specifications are outlined below.

Page Setup Recommendations
(Apply to both e-books and print-on-demand, unless otherwise stated)

 1. Submit your file on 8.5 x 11” page, carefully following our guidelines below. Files that do not meet our specifications will be rejected. Whether you file appears in color or black and white depends upon the reading device on which it is seen. Use these steps.Minimum of 48 pages
Maximum of 420 pages (price is quoted per number of pages and other considerations. E-mail us for special pricing on volume orders.

2. Use PAGE SETUP inside Microsoft Word to set your margins as follows:

  • 0.5" top margin
  • 0.5" bottom margin
  • 0.5" margin inside
  • 0.5" margin outside
  • No bleeds off of any page, except for the cover
  • Send files as single pages, not spreads
  • Please do not include printer’s crop marks in your file
  • Single space between lines. Do not double space inside paragraphs

3. Tips and Warnings

  • Design your book with e-book limitations and restrictions in mind.
  • Whenever possible, use the built-in styles offered by Microsoft Word software.
  • Let your text wrap automatically. Do not use the carriage return to advance to the next line of text unless at the end of a paragraph
  • Do not use the space bar to indent. Use the tab key
  • Use widely-accepted type fonts such as Ariel and Times New Roman. Avoid fancy type.
  • Send work as single pages, not double spreads
  • Check your work several times before submitting.
  • Be sure your source file is clean and has no hidden codes from prior iterations or transfers from one format to another.
  • Be consistent in apply fonts and headers. If you are familiar with cascading style sheets offered in Word, it is best to use them.
  • Back up your work. We are not responsible for lost files Do NOT send original files or images.
  • The e-book ISBN number must be distinct from any printed edition. Ideally, you should have a discreet ISBN for each e-book format. Some publishers are assigning only one ISBN to an e-book edition, regardless of the number of formats. You can purchase an ISBN number for your e-book at Amazon also now requires a product ID, which can be the ISBN or another “made-up” number. You can name your files by title while in production, but when you are ready to upload them, the files will need to be renamed by the ISBN number or ID.  Be sure to check with your retailer to comply with file-naming rules.
  • Standard eBooks (as opposed to fixed formats) are "reflowable" partly depending upon the user's personal settings and the capabilities of the particular reading device. The author or publisher should not expect an e-book to exactly match a printed book, though we try very hard to achieve high quality results. Fixed formats may be the best way to produce your material. Discuss this with us in the assessment phase.
  • There may be variations in size and resolution of type or images, depending on the device. Presentation may vary from device to device.
  • E-Book reading devices assign page numbers of the document, thus any page numbers will be stripped from the source file before conversion.
  • Footnotes cannot appear in the standard e-book, but you can group them at the end of the document as End Notes.
  • E-books have a number of technological limitations. While we do our best to provide a high quality file, there are times when a formatting issue may have no solution.

4. Select type faces: Not all type faces are suitable for converting to e-books.
ONLY one of the following fonts may be used:

  • Times New Roman
  • Arial
  • Bitstream Vera
  • Deja Vu
  • Gentium
  • ChairsDrop caps or other graphic treatments will incur higher costs and may not be recommended.
5. Submit your cover art work and MS Word or PDF text block as two separate files, or embed cover in the PDF text block. For standard formats: Save and submit your cover as a separate file in .jpg or .gif format. The cover image should be at least 1800 pixels on the long side, with correct aspect ratio saved at 300 DPI. Interior text should be saved in high-resolution PDF as an RGB format, not CMYK. For fixed formats: all elements of the standard format submission apply. In addition, the actual fonts must be sent as separate font files. Graphics must be embedded in the source file to show position, and also must sent as separate high-resolution jpegs. Images should not contain text unless it is to be part of the graphic image and not searchable. Talk to our publishing team for specific guidelines.
6. NAME YOUR FILES: Important, your file must comply with this naming convention for the retailer you are targeting. While you are in production, you can name your files what you like. But best practice is to name them the way the final files should be named when you upload them to various retailers. In fact, you will need to rename any files that do not comply with each specific retailer’s naming conventions. Most retailers accept the following formats for uploading.For the cover:
  • 0000000000000cvr.doc (or .PDF) where the zeroes represent your ISBN number (no hyphens).

For the interior text:

  • 0000000000000txt.doc (or .PDF) where the zeroes represent your ISBN number (no hyphens).
When files are delivered to you they should be named by the ISBN or ID number you gave us in the production files, and will look something like this: 0000000000000.EPUB; 0000000000000.jpg If you do not have an ISBN number, save the file as a keyword from your title, followed by an underscore and your last name. Example: gonewithwindtxt.docx. Save your graphic file as gonewithwindcvr.docx, or gonwithwindtxt-jones.doc, gonewithwindcvr-jones.pdf
7. SUBMIT YOUR FILES TO AUTHORLINK via the ORDER FORM, or an e-mail attachment, or, if too large, send through a large file transfer services such as or
8. CONFIRM RECEIPT: We will confirm receipt of your files within 24 to 48 hours. If you do not hear from us, please e-mail to be sure we received your file.Other Rule Considerations
  • Gather all of your descriptive information (meta data) before you begin: Front matter section; Title, Sub-title, Author(s), illustrator(s), Publisher(s), original published date, etc. If we are doing the upload for you, we’ll send two required forms to you to complete.
  • Table of Contents and Footnotes – keep to a minimum
  • Fill out all applicable fields on our Order form

If you want a printed book too, in addition to an e-book, please specify that on your Order Form.Carefully read submission specifications before you send your work!