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Key words: ePublishing, Self-Publishing, format, PDF, EPUB, MOBI, Kindle, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ron Kurtus, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions

ePublishing Overview

by Ron Kurtus (revised 23 April 2013)

ePublishing (or e-publishing) consists of publishing and distributing e-books, as opposed to hardcopy books. It is usually a subset of a publishing business.

The e-publishing process typically consists of reformatting the files of the hardcopy version of a book to adhere to the various e-book format requirements. However, you can also start with formatting the material as an e-book, bypassing the hardcopy version altogether.

Typically, that starts with formatting for a PDF version and then using that set of files to put into forms for the Kindle and EPUB e-readers. The e-book is checked on an appropriate e-reader before being sent to the distributor and online bookstore chain.

Marketing or advertising must be done to let people know that the e-book has been published. This is usually done through e-marketing. Often the e-marketing is started before the e-book is released.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Format files for e-book

You can either start with a manuscript formatted for for hardcopy publishing and then format it for a e-book or do the e-book first and then format as a p-book (hardcopy). The advantage of starting with the p-book is that editing the proof copy is easier. The advantage of starting with the e-book is that making changes is easier.

Starting with p-book

Typically, your manuscript has been formatted for hardcopy publishing. I use Adobe InDesign, since it is an industry standard. Microsoft Word and HTML files can also be used as starting point.

Since there are format changes from the hardcopy files, the e-book files should be copied to separate folders.

PDF e-book format

Copy the hardcopy files to another folder to reformat for PDF e-books.

It is good to remove all the blank pages to facilitate viewing as a PDF. Also, hyperlinks should be activated in the PDF version of the files.

EPUB and MOBI formats

Copy the PDF version InDesign files to another folder to reformat to the EPUB and MOBI formats. This may require increasing the spacing between paragraphs and changing heading sizes and separates in order that the content looks better in e-readers.

Convert to e-book versions

You convert your InDesign book files into PDF, MOBI, and EPUB e-books. Then you verify each in the appropriate e-reader.

The most popular e-book formats are MOBI for the Kindle, EPUB for the Nook and iPad, and PDF for the PC and other devices.

Convert to PDF

Let's assume that you are publishing both a hardcopy version of the book and an e-book version and that the hardcopy version is formatted for print in Adobe InDesign. To convert to an e-book format, it is good to copy the files to separate e-book folders, where they can be converted.


Converting from InDesign to the MOBI format can be done with the Kindle Plugin for InDesign.

Although you would like to convert from InDesign, converting from Word may be easier.


It is important to format for EPUB also.

Verify in e-reader

You should be aware that what looks good in a hardcopy book may not look that good in an e-reader. For example, the Kindle allows text to flow, according to typeface and size of text.

Another factor is that long paragraphs are not easy to read on an e-reader. You must think in terms of usability.

Marketing book

Although printing and distributing services such as Ingram's Lightning Source will distribute e-books to various outlets, it is important to submit the e-book files to specific online sales outlets.

You also need to advertise your e-book, similar to what you have done with your p-book.


ePublishing consists of formatting content into a form that can be converted into PDF, Kindle, and EPUB e-book formats. The e-books are distributed to Amazon KDP Barnes & Noble PubIt, Smashwords, and other online book sellers.

You need to market or advertise to let people know that the e-book has been published.

Know the latest technologies

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Publishing Resources


Top-rated books on Self-Publishing

Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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School for Champions

Self-Publishing topics

ePublishing Overview

Self-Publishing topics

Organize business

Decide to start business

Start publishing business

Run business

Publish hardcopy book

Printing preparations

Complete manuscript

Design book

Send to printer

Sell books


Prepare to market

Convert format

Check Copy in eReader


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