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Best format for self-publishing?

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Kasper Hviid, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Sage

    I have a little short story almost ready, but I'm unsure about how exactly I should present it.

    A4 is best for normal printing. But the lines are too long for comfort unless you make the margins really big.

    A5 looks good on screen and zine printing is pretty easy with Acrobat Reader. But A5 sucks for normal A4 printing.

    I could also create a ready-to-print booklet with two A5 pages on each A4. But that can only be printed, not read on the screen.

    I could also just put the story online, to be read without the potential reader having to actively download it. But I feel that there is something a bit shallow about the web medium. We're skimming stuff more than we read. So I would prefer a download.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

    You need to make a choice between print and electronic. The key difference is that with print you know the dimensions of the page; with electronic forms you cannot know the dimensions of the page. With electronic you have to let go of things like line length, leading, even font choice. It's all up to the reader. With print--even with PDF--such considerations are fundamental. The two are as different as print and audiobook.

    If you want to offer both, you'll need to offer in both formats, with the attendant formatting issues.
  3. Kasper Hviid

    Kasper Hviid Sage

    In theory, yes. But if we look at this forum, we need to make double line breaks for paragraph breaks, and the lines continues far too long for comfort. Might look better on a mobile phone. Still, I think an A5 .pdf is a safer bet. For some reason, the .pdf has become a standard for "serious digital publishing". Perhaps because it's less cluttered than your average web page.

    The .epub format can work pretty well for electronic reading, but not everyone use it.
  4. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Inkling

    Sign up to Draft2Digital. They'll do all the work for you for free (without even having to publish anything). You can upload a manuscript (of pretty much any length) in standard Word format (they accept a few more). And they'll format it to .pdf, .mobi and .epub. You can then download them. For pdf, they offer a choice of pretty much any size normally used for printed books.

    Just upload your document, go through the steps and stop in step 3 of the process. Don't tick the "this is done and ready to be published" checkbox and you're good to go.

    This gives you the 3 most common formats for reading documents on a computer (other than a webpage). You can just offer all three of them.
  5. Arranah

    Arranah Troubadour

    Or for eBooks you can go to smashwords.com and publish for free there.
  6. Ned Marcus

    Ned Marcus Sage

    Whichever format you choose, some people will not use it. If you want your story to be available to more people, it's best to publish in multiple formats and sell/make available on multiple platforms.
  7. Toby Johnson

    Toby Johnson Minstrel

    double space double lined

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