Much of the styling that you can apply to text content in BookWright passes directly through to your ebook. Here are some tips on what styling works best.
Text alignment, justification and indentation
BookWright’s text editor supports left, right and center justification. Most alignment will automatically pass-through during the RTF import.
- Avoid using spaces for indentation, instead use the indent tool in the text editing toolbar, or the Tab key.
- Avoid using hanging indents in Word before importing your RTF file.
- Use center justification rather than using the space key to center content.
- Avoid using fully justified text. Although standard for print books, this sometimes leads to widely spaced words in the last sentence on a page in ebooks.
- Paragraphs are not automatically indented. If you would like to indent the first, or every paragraph in your ebook, use the Tab key on each paragraph to indent the content.
Fonts and special characters
Blurb and BookWright provide you with a wide variety of fonts (53 to be exact!) licensed for use in your ebook. In addition, our Flourish Font contains beautiful glyphs to add inline ornaments to your chapter titles that scale with the size of the text in e-readers.
- Use black, or dark font colors. Light colors may be hard to see because by default most e-reader backgrounds are white.
- Use our Flourish Font glyphs instead of images for chapter title pages. For more information on the Flourish Fonts click here.
- Custom embedded fonts are not supported. Only the “ebook friendly” fonts listed in BookWright may appear in your final ebook.
In general it’s best to keep your line spacing or leading in whole numbers. Avoid 1.5 spacing, for example.
Web links (hyperlinks)
BookWright and its generated ebooks support internal links (from one page of a book to another) and external links (any page on the internet).
- Always double-check all links in your book before publishing your ebook.
Tip: Internal links from your Word document won’t work in BookWright. External links may have some formatting issues. Click all your links to be sure they work as expected.
- Avoid inserting URLs with long query strings (text following a question mark in the URL)
Content elements in the Background tray, such as page numbers, headers and footers, and background colors are ignored in the ebook.
Designing for print and ebook simultaneously
BookWright does an amazing job at balancing the needs of creating an ebook and a print book at the same time. But sometimes there are specific layout adjustments you may wish to make for one version but not the other.
- Finish laying out your print or ebook version
- Browse to where you saved the .blurb file for the book
- Duplicate that .blurb file, and give it a unique filename
- Open the new file in BookWright
- Make the print or ebook specific modifications to the separate file.
Tip: If you follow the above strategy there will be unique entries on your Blurb dashboard for each of these books.
How to add images to your book
Because images aren’t imported along with your RTF content, you’ll need to add them in as a separate step. Here are tips how to size and position images, and how to maintain their quality when adding images to BookWright.
First, move or resize any Flowing Text Containers to make space for an image. Then drag and drop image directly into the empty space.
Resize to make space
Tip: Images for ebook use should be 500 KB or smaller, no more than 300 DPI, and be in sRGB color.
Tip: Resizing containers might cause text to overflow; if so, you’ll need to add and link more flowing text containers at the end of the text flow.
Adding captions to images are the one time you should use simple Text Containers instead of Text Flows
- To draw a new text container, click the Draw Text Container button under the Layouts section in the toolbar.
- Drag the pointer to draw the text container below the image.
- Move the Text Container up so that its top edge snaps snugly to the bottom edge of the image.
Tip: Don’t overlap the text container and the image.
Tip: we don’t detect captions above an image, even if they are snapped together.
Image Best Practices
Here are some tips when working with images
- JPEG and PNGs are the only image file types accepted
- Avoid using transparent PNGs. Amazon Kindle devices do not support them.
- Try to keep your image file sizes under 2 MB each and no more than 300 DPI. If you're making a print book and an ebook, make sure to compress your images so that the total BookWright project (.blurb file) is no larger than 2 gigabytes. If your project is larger than 2 gigabytes it won't upload.
- Never overlay a text container on top of an image. Instead add the text in an image editor like Photoshop.
- Use sRGB image colorspace and not CMYK.
While you can place a single image across both pages in BookWright, because there are no spreads in reflowable ebooks the image will be shrunk to fit on a single “page” in the ebook. Only add one spread image per two pages in BookWright.
- Be careful that non-spread images don’t overlap the spine, or middle area, between the left and right pages in BookWright.
Ebooks don’t require as high resolution as print books to look great on e-reader screens. Our ebook conversion always tries to preserve your original image. However under certain circumstances the image may need to be processed and saved as a new image. You can avoid image processing by matching the image container’s aspect ratio (width and height) with the image’s. Even though the image may look small in BookWright, the full-sized image is saved in the ebook. Double-tapping the image in most e-readers will show the image closer to full size.
Conditions that trigger image processing:
- Cropping and rotating images within an image container. If the source image inside of an image container is bigger than the container, the image will be cropped.
- Photographs containing EXIF information. EXIF information can specify the orientation of the image, ex. images taken from your camera phone in landscape or portrait. To make sure the image has the proper orientation we strip EXIF information and resave the image in the correct orientation.
- Unsupported colorspaces. If the image is saved in CMYK (used for print) or other unknown colorspaces we will convert it to sRGB and resave.
- File size is too large. We want your ebook to work on all marketplaces and if the total file size of your ebook is too large (greater than 500KB) we may need to resave it to reduce size.
- Image pixel density greater than 300 DPI. 300 DPI is great quality for print, and overkill for ebooks. 72 DPI generally is fine.
- Image resolution greater than 3.2 million pixels (ex 1550x2050).
Creating Cover Art
Don’t forget to add a cover image. You can’t create an ebook without a cover. You can insert cover art by pressing the Covers button.
Tip: Create different covers for the ebook and print version.
Tip: For expert help creating cover art our Dream Team can help.