I don’t have to tell you that the ebook industry is exploding. Everyone seems to be putting out a book. Unfortunately, many of these would be authors will have problems with their ebook output they didn’t foresee, simply because they didn’t familiarize themselves with how an eReader works.
People are used to viewing HTML coded pages on a computer monitor — a Web Page. You can view, scroll, and even have the ability to see the entire document (or most of it).
eReaders, on the other hand, do not have this large screen luxury. Most have small screens, approximately the size of a mass-market paperback. Though a few have slightly larger screens, you are still limited to being able to display a small section of information at a time.
Because eReaders allow the reader to adjust the size and width of text presented, this can wreak havoc on content display — especially ebooks that rely on special formatting, such as poetry.
MOBI and EPUB ebooks use HTML/XHTML coding (respectively). Every Web site utilizes a form of HTML; however, not all tags are supported by e-reader devices. In addition, automated conversion solutions can destroy the look, layout, and size of the table. Plus, due to the readers ability to increase font sizes, ‘text’ tables tend to reflow, making some content difficult to read.
Create a graphic image (JPG) of your table and insert it into your document. This will ensure the image / table display s exactly the way you intended.I no longer suggest creating graphics of tables as this makes it difficult for people with visual impairments who are using a screen reader. However, if you do have text embedded in a graphical element, be sure to use the ALT (alternate tag) element — adding all the text for the image.
Image and Style Limitations
When formatting your book, a style sheet (CSS) is created in order for the page to display properly (chapter headings, paragraph indents, etc). Amazon’s Kindle does not support all CSS styles. In turn, the Kindle displays graphics in grayscale, so use of colors will be ignored.
PDF to eBook Conversion
NEVER CONVERT FROM A PDF TO KINDLE OR EPUB. OK, perhaps I yelled it, but it needed to be stressed.
The ONLY reason you convert a PDF to MOBI or EPUB is for your personal reading. A PDF file includes coding proprietary to Adobe files, and does not convert properly.
READ: Why you Shouldn’t Convert a PDF to MOBI (Kindle) or EPUB for e-Publishing. It provides options on how to extract PDF content and put back into a word document for proper formatting and conversion.
Learning the Language
Kindle (MOBI) uses the authoring language of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language. EPUB utilizes XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language), a family of XML markup language that extend versions of HTML.
SOLUTION:When formatting your ebook, learn the basic HTML tags and CSS styles that are compatible with ereaders in order to avoid time consuming mistakes. Your goal is to offer the best reader experience to the consumer without sacrificing quality.
NOTICE:Learning HTML and CSS Styles for fiction is a lot easier than you may think. Use our DIY Formatting Kit that provides DIY ebook, workbook, videos, sample pages, templates and more — available MAY 2011.