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Formatting Tips

Self-Publishing

Feedbooks is not just a neat place to download e-books: it is mostly a publishing service. Any book available on the website was uploaded by one of our users, and to constantly provide new and interesting books, we need your help.

To contribute, whether you decide to upload public domain books or your own creation, there's no need to be an expert: you'll just have to grasp a few basic concepts.

The Basics

Whenever we use a word processor or do any sort of text editing, we usually work on a single flow of text.

Rather than dividing the text into separate elements, we modify the style of the text to give a visual indication that there's a division: a slightly bolder font or a different alignment.

 

Feedbooks rely on a different paradigm: we consider that the structure of the text is very important.

Thanks to this structure we can automatically build a table of contents or divide the text into multiple text flows (which is necessary for advanced formats such as EPUB).

Based on the output format we can also style things differently: while Mobipocket provides limited options for chapter headers, we can create good looking ones in PDF and ePub.

 

To create or modify the structure of a book, there are 2 basic actions: you can Add add content or you can Remove remove content.

Whenever you start a new book, you'll notice a Add icon, otherwise these actions will show up while you're over an element.

Where you decide to add an element is also important: Feedbooks supports multi-level table of contents. If you add several chapters inside a part, that's where it'll show up in the table of contents, instead of the spine of your book.

 

You'll notice that each element has a light grey bar on its left. Thanks to this bar you can see the depth of an element. If you click on it, it'll show/hide the element.

 

New Chapter New Chapter Rolled

The Structure of a Book

A book on Feedbooks is divided into: parts, chapters, sections & text flows.

Let's introduce all of these elements:

 

Text:

This is the most obvious element: you'll need one whenever you'd like to add text.

Each time that you add one it'll add a page break: let's say that at the beginning of your book you'd like to add a short dedication and on the next page a copyright notice.

Just add a text element for each one.

If you create a new chapter or a new section, you'll notice that you don't have to click on the Add icon and go through the dialog, a link will directly appear in your chapter/section.

 

Part:

Unlike a block of text, a part will create a new entry in the table of content.

Parts are automatically numbered, and are displayed in every format the same way: "Part (number): Title".

Use a part whenever you need to group chapters/sections together.

In a part you can add the following elements: Chapter, Section and Text.

 

Chapter:

Chapters are pretty much self-explanatory: they'll display a chapter header that is automatically numbered and the title of your chapter.

If you add a chapter in a part, it'll automatically reset the counter to 1 for all of the chapters included in this part.

Use chapters when you'd like to have our chapter headers. If you need something more generic, use sections instead.

In a chapter you can add the following elements: Section and Text.

 

Section:

Sections are the most generic elements, you can use them whenever you need an entry in the table of contents and a part/chapter won't fit for what you need.

Sections can hold other sections, and using strictly sections and text flows you can create any structure that you'd like for your book.

Editing a title

You can edit any element inline: just click on a title to edit it.

If you've removed the whole text, click on the element's type (part, chapter or section) instead.

Editing a text flow

Editing a block of text works the same, but instead of a basic text field, you'll get a full WYSIWYG editor, where you can style the text the way you want and even paste somewhere.

Check out our page dedicated to formatting tips too.

 

TinyMCE

Cover

Although Feedbooks always generate a generic cover for books, you can upload a different one if you'd like.

Just click on the cover while editing and you'll get a dialog to do so.

Uploaded covers are also embedded in the e-book output.

Preview

At any point that you'd like, you can preview your book. Just click on the format that you'd like and we'll generate a preview on the fly.

Before publishing your book, we highly recommend to preview the output and make sure that everything looks fine.

An example

Let's say that I'm uploading the following book: on the first page there's a dedication, on the second one there's a quote, then a preface and finally 2 parts with several chapters in each part.

This is what the structure of the book will look like:

Example

The best way to really understand in which situation you'd like to use a part/chapter/section is to play with the publishing feature a little: try creating a few structures and you'll quickly understand how to use them.

Best Practices