Pick Reader Content Conversion Guidelines

for Publishers and Authors

Revised June 2016

Welcome to Pick Reader Writing Guide! We've put together guidelines that are intended to help you format your book so that it uploads smoothly into our store and displays beautifully on all devices. Our aim and yours is to give your users an enjoyable reading experience.

This resource will provide an overview of file types and sizes that can be loaded into our system, best practices for cover images, instructions on formatting Word documents for conversion to ePub, as well as steps and guidance should you encounter errors during the upload process for your book.

Note that these guidelines do not include information on how to create an ePub file from scratch, as this may requires an understanding of html and is beyond the scope of this document. However, our FAQs provides links to resources that can help you create your own ePubs.

While formatting is the responsibility of the author or publisher, we are always happy to help, so please feel free to contact us if you have any questions at support@pickreader.com .

GENERAL RULES

In order to sell your book as an eBook, you must first convert your document to a format that can be read by eReaders. The main format in use in the industry: ePub, works with almost every eReader, including Pick Reader.

We recommend the following to prepare your manuscript for conversion:

1.VERY IMPORTANT! Proof your file for proper spelling, grammar, and syntax. Before you start doing any formatting work, take the time to read over your manuscript one more time. It’s very time consuming to make any changes to your manuscript once you’ve uploaded it to Pick Reader.

2. Proof read your file for proper spelling, grammar, and syntax. Once your book has been converted to ePub format, it's too late to fix a typo! Pick Reader does not proofread your book.

3. Use a consistent method of paragraph and line formatting throughout your document. You may use tabs or your program’s paragraph or alignment formatting functions, but do not use a mixture of both. Do not use the space bar to format paragraphs or individual lines.

4.If you choose to include the publisher's name and address, the date of publication, copyright information, ISBN number, or any appropriate collaborative credits, please do so within the first two pages of the document.

5.Use a standard font for your document like Arial, Times New Roman or Courier New.

6.Do not use very large or very small font sizes. We recommend 12pt font size for body text and 14-18pt for chapter titles.

7.Extract content that is displayed in tables or sidebars and list it as ordinary text. Tables, inserts, and sidebars will not display properly in ePub format. Alternatively, if you definitely need a table in your ebook, reduce the width of tables as much as you can.

8.Do not include any elements that refer to page numbers other than your formatted Table of Contents. On an eReader, whatever the user isolates on their screen is a "page," so all headers, footers, footnotes, and indexes will be deleted.

9. Do all image resizing outside of the document, then reinsert them before saving. All images must be in .png, .jpg, or .tif format, minimum 72 dpi, and in RGB colour mode.

  • Cover image: At least 1400px wide, portrait or vertical rectangle-shaped artwork (no squares) and we recommend a height/width ratio of 1.6 (1400px wide x 2100px high)
  • Full-page images: minimum of 150dpi / ppi, which equals a resolution of 1275px wide x 1650px high on a letter sized page
    Logos or simple images: 75 - 100 pixels high
    Don't worry too much about the exact size of images within your document. The best approach is to size it how you want it to appear in relation to the text.

10.Do not wrap text around images. All images (except full-page images) should be set "in-line" with text.

11.Be aware that special symbols may not convert properly to ePub unless they are characters in a standard font set. For this reason, we ask that you choose a font like Arial, Courier New or Times New Roman for all text and symbols.

FILE TYPES & SIZES

You can upload your content file in any of the following formats and they will be converted into a Pick Reader formatted ePub:

  • .doc and .docx
  • .odt
  • .ePub
  • .pdf

Regardless of the file type, the file size for your book cannot exceed 10MB.

BOOK COVER

File size

Your cover image should be no larger than 5MB

File format

Both .jpg and .png files are accepted.

Resolution

For best results, your image should be 900 DPI (dots-per-inch). However, files as low as 300 DPI are also fine.

Dimensions

Most screen sizes have a width to height ratio of 3:4. It is therefore a good idea for you to make sure that the width of your cover image is ¾ of its height.

WORD DOCUMENTS

For Word document to ePub conversion, files should be as simple as possible to ensure the smoothest conversion experience.
There are two types of Word documents that can be uploaded: .doc and .docx.
.docx is the file extension of Word documents created in the latest version of Microsoft Office, while .doc is a file extension for documents created in an older version of Microsoft Office. Note that if you are able to create a .docx file, then you can also still create a .doc file, by changing the file type to “Word 97-2003 Document” when saving your file.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

If you would like there to be a Table of Contents page inside your ebook, then you will need to create one inside your document. However, note that even without creating this page, if you have formatted your chapter headers properly, when users read your book using our app, they will be able to navigate to the various chapters of your book using a built-in navigation function.

How to set up page navigation

For chapter titles to appear in the navigation pane for your book, you need to format them as

“Heading 1”. This can be done by highlighting the chapter title text, and then selecting “Heading 1” under the Styles menu. The location of this menu may vary depending on the version of Word you are using. Generally, this is near to where font selections are made.
Formatting your chapter titles in this manner is highly recommended as it enhances the reading experience.

How to set up a Table of Contents page

Setting up a Table of Contents (TOC) within the book itself is entirely up to you. As mentioned previously, for this is not needed for the purposes of navigation; however, you may still feel that it would be of interest to your readers.

When deciding whether or not to include a TOC, you may want to keep in mind that when you publish your book to Pick Reader, a preview of the first 5% of the book might be made available to readers. If you would like readers to be able to immediately dive into the first chapter, then perhaps you would not want to include a TOC. However, in other cases, particularly for non-fiction or cookbooks, prospective readers might enjoy perusing the TOC to see get an overview of the contents of the book.

To set up a TOC:

1.Ensure that all headings that you would like to appear in the TOC (i.e. chapter titles) are formatted as “Heading 1”. (See How to set up page navigation below for an example)

2. Insert the TOC by going to the References menu and selecting “Table of Contents”. A TOC will appear at the location of your cursor.

3. Verify that the headings in the TOC are hyperlinked to the correct location in the book.

4. Delete the page numbers that appear in the TOC.

It is extremely important to delete the page numbers because pages work differently in eBooks than in print books, or Word documents. Once your book is converted to an ePub, these numbers will be meaningless and could even possibly cause conversion errors.

PAGE LAYOUT

eBook pages are reflowable. This means that the content that appears on a page is adjusted based on the size of the device the reader is using, and also based on their own preferences. Readers can enlarge or shrink font sizes, alter line spacing, and even change the font of the book they are reading. This is important to keep in mind as you are formatting your book.

Line spacing

You should only use soft returns (SHIFT+ENTER) between lines and paragraphs, instead of hard returns (ENTER). Using hard returns or adding extra lines will cause very large spaces between paragraphs.

To further increase the space between paragraphs, you can use the Word paragraph tool.

Page breaks

To start a new page, use the “Page Break” option. Do not insert a section break, as these are ignored in the manuscript conversion process. Also, do not use either hard or soft returns to start a new page, as these will add spaces between lines but will not guarantee that the text will actually appear on the next page once converted.

Paragraph indentation

To indent paragraphs, set up a first line indent using the Paragraph dialog box. Using the TAB key will cause issues during conversion.

Large indentation

To indent a large portion of text, for example when creating block quotes, use Word’s margin controls.

Columns

Do not use columns in your document. These are not supported.

Tables

Ensure that your tables can be viewed when your Word document is in Portrait mode, rather than in Landscape. This will guarantee that the tables fit on the page after conversion.

Lists

To create a bulleted list, use the built-in bulleted list tool. Do not insert symbols to create bullets – most symbols will translate into a question mark ("?"). To create a numbered list or multilevel outline, use the built-in numbered list tool.

Footnotes & Endnotes

Endnotes are supported, but footnotes are not.

Headers & Footers

Headers and footers are not supported.

TEXT

Fonts

Please use one of the following fonts: Arial, Times New Roman, or Courier New. Bolding, italic, underlining, and strike-through are all supported.

Cases

To type in upper case, use Caps Lock. Do not use the Word format for “All Caps”. For small caps, type in all capital letters and change the font size for the text area that you want to appear in small caps. Do not use the Word format for “Small Caps”.

Superscripts and subscripts

It is not recommended to use superscripts and subscripts, as these will cause extra leading (space between the lines of text).

Symbols

Avoid using most symbols. Also, ensure that any fractions are kept in #/# format (ex: 1/4). Word will automatically format fractions to appear as symbols, which will not translation correctly at conversion to ePub.

IMAGES

File size

We recommend that images are no larger than 3MB. It is also important to keep in mind that the maximum file size for the entire book (images included) is 10MB.

File format

Both .jpg and .png files are accepted.

Resolution

For best results, your image should be 900 DPI (dots-per-inch). However, files as low as 300 DPI are also fine.

Alignment

Images can be formatted as flush left, flush right, or centered.

Text wrapping

Text wraps should be above and below the images, not around the image.

Page Numbers

Once converted to an ePub, your book will be reflowable. This means that the content on a page will vary, based on the device it is viewed on and on reader preferences. For example, when viewed on a tablet, there will be more words displayed on each page than if viewed on a mobile phone.

As a result, we ask that you do not insert page numbers into your document. These will be ignored during the conversion process, and could potentially cause conversion errors.

EPUB FILES

If you have made your own ePub file, or have generated one through a different conversion service, make sure that you run the file through an ePub validator before uploading it to your Pick Reader publisher account. Note that there are many free ePub validators online.

ePub files might fail to upload to your Pick Reader publisher account if the file size is too large or if there are errors within the file.

If errors are flagged when you run your file through an ePub validator, be sure the correct those errors and run the ePub through the validator again before uploading the file to your account.

Files with errors in them may display properly on our devices and in our applications, but in order to guarantee that your readers can view the file on any device, we do not allow for files with any formatting issues. You will therefore receive an error message at file upload if your file contains any errors.

PREVIEWING YOUR BOOK

When you upload your eBook file at the “Upload eBook ” step, your file is immediately converted to a Pick Reader formatted ePub. After conversion is complete, the page will appear with a new link that says “Download and preview your ePub”.

To preview your ePub file, select the “Download and preview this eBook” link, and open your file in an ePub viewer. If you do not have an ePub viewer on your computer, you will need to download one in advance of opening the file. Note that there are many free ePub viewers available online.

FILE UPLOAD OR CONVERSION ERRORS

At the “Upload eBook ” step, you may receive an error at file upload or at file conversion.

If you are uploading a .doc or .docx file, try the following:
Ensure that your file adheres to the guidelines in this document, and try to re-upload.
Re-save your .doc file as .docx, or your .docx file as a .doc, and try to re-upload.

If you are uploading an .epub file, try the following:
Run your .ePub through an .ePub validator, correct any errors that are flagged, and try to re-upload.

Try to upload your file in a different format (e.g. .doc, .docx).

If you are uploading a .mobi file, try the following:
Try to upload your file in a different format (e.g. .epub, .doc, .docx).

Contact support@pickreader.com if the error persists.