Formatting your ebook Part 3

Smashwords template

Click for the template

Scroll to bottom for Smashwords links

Last time we had just finished creating all of the custom styles for your ebook (get Part 1 here). Now it’s time to move onto the actual contents of the book, including a linked table of contents which will allow your readers to jump to the various sections of your ebook. Lets start at the beginning, with some front matter:

At the front of your book, you will need the title, and your name.  Smashwords also suggests using a brief copyright statement, and even offers you a sample one that you can use:

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your enjoyment only, then please return to or your favorite retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

This will lead onto your linked table of contents, that will enable people to navigate easily through your story, on their chosen ereader. I would suggest putting the headings in the contents list, but leaving the linking part until the end.

Next, write your masterpiece, including chapter headings. Then add ‘About the Author’ and ‘Also by the Author’ pages (if you want), then when that’s all done, it’s time to start linking the individual parts to the contents list.

Linked table of Contents

If you’ve been following along, you will now have your book split into several parts:


Prologue (if you have one)

Chapter One

Chapter Two


In order to link these things to a contents list at the beginning of the book, you are going to have to create some bookmarks. This is the simple matter of selecting the text you want to link TO within the book (eg. Chapter One, Acknowledgements, etc). Ensure you select the relevant text – don’t select above it, or select several lines of text – it makes things messy! Once selected, in Word’s ‘Insert’ menu, select ‘Bookmark’.

insert Menu

This will bring up the ‘Bookmark’ option, where you will have a chance to give your bookmark a name. Make it something that means something, so you can link it easily. No spaces or underscores, folks!

add bookmark

Work your way through the document creating bookmarks at some of the major points (Too many, and your table of contents will be three pages long!). Next, we need to create the links in your table of contents. Find your way back to the contents, and select the first item you wish to link. Select this item, and in the ‘Insert’ menu, click ‘hyperlink’ (see above). This will give you the following options:


Click ‘Documents’ (highlighted) then click ‘Locate’, and this should bring up a list of all the bookmarks you just created. If you can’t see them, click the dropdown menu and you should hopefully see them. Please bear in mind that I’m using a Mac, so Windows systems may look slightly different.

Once you’ve found the item that corresponds to the bookmark you are looking for, click it, and voila! You’ve just created a linked table of contents item! Now go back and repeat for all your other bookmarks until they are all completed and link to their corresponding places in the text.

That, my friends, is that. Ebook formatted and ready to go. I will finish by saying that the Smashwords Style guide and associated template goes into much greater detail, and also covers things like using images, so for a more comprehensive guide, I would recommend you spend some time looking through that.

I have begun using my template for all of my stories, whether intended for Smashwords or not. It just makes everything look nice! Let me know if this series has been of use, in the comments section.

Here are the Smashwords links:

sw hand



Smashwords style guide

Smashwords own template

Smashwords own detailed template


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