iBooks tips for formatting

Yes, iBooks has formatting rules. You have to abide by them and think about them as you’re formatting a book for ePub. Most of the rules are the same, abiding by the rules set out by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). But there is one little thing that I didn’t know.

Several of my clients like using ALL CAPS for their book titles. Now that’s perfectly OK if referring to a list of their books, or talking about one of their books within the body of the eBook, such as in the Bio… MY INCREDIBLY AWFUL MORNING.  I like to set these titles off in italics or bold italics myself… My Incredibly Awful Morning… because I think the reader’s eye can pick this out better. And also to me ALL CAPS seems like shouting.

However, some like to have this ALL CAPS title on the title page… and I’m betting that’s OK, but the iBooks rules state that titles should be in Title case… which means First and Last word capitalized as well as any words in between except those little ones (a, an, the, you know the ones) in regular case.  So, when you are uploading directly to iBooks (and that means only with a MAC, not even with an iPad although it’s an Apple product… I know this… I asked them), make sure that when you give them your title at the book set-up you use the correct format for it and NOT ALL CAPS.

Also there seems to be a problem with the file name generated by conversion software such as Calibre if your ePub file is  being uploaded at iBooks. They don’t like those spaces that Calibre generates in the Title… My Incredibly Awful Morning – Lizzie Bordon.epub… The spaces bother them. So if you are directly uploading to iBooks, just rename your ePub file… My_Incredibly_Awful_Morning-Lizzie_Bordon.epub or MyIncrediblyAwfulMorning_LizzieBordon.epub.  I think this will suffice. Although sometimes my computer warns me that I’m doing something awful by changing the file extension, although of course I’m only changing the file name and not the extension which stays .epub. But I think that’s an issue between me and my operating system from Microsoft.

I hope this helps someone. To get this info, I even had to have a client who works on a MAC send me the PDF of the iBooks instructions because of course since I’m a PC baby, I couldn’t reach their Content section. Maybe it was because I don’t have a publisher or author account though. But soon… we’re breaking down and getting as cheap of a MAC as we can so that we can offer things like… uploading clients files to iBooks.


About athirstyblog

If you're a published author and are sitting on a basement full of backlisted books, then you've found the right blog. Although I formerly filled these pages with book reviews, they will now be filled with tips on eBook formatting, talk about the current technology of eBooks, and other stuff that interests me and hopefully interests you. I'm currently an eBook formatter, formerly a bookseller, archaeologist, illustrator and lover of all things historical and scientific. And I'm now a permanent citizen of DownEast Maine with my own beach and 175 year old house and everything! Come along for the Journey!
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