New How-To Videos: Printed Book Pagination and eBook Conversion Tips

book pagination

We’ve added two new videos to our self-publish production series: How To Set Up Your Book Pagination and eBook Conversion Basics. Watch and learn!

How To Set Up Your Book Pagination

Understanding how pagination works is critical to understanding how to prepare your files for book printing. Page one is the first right-side page in your book. When you open your cover, the interior of the cover is on the left side. This is not a printed page and should not be included in your content PDF.

Unfortunately, one of the most common writing programs, Microsoft Word, dos not easily display an accurate view of how a finished book will look. More specialized layout software like Adobe InDesign defaults to a preview that will show you the proper pagination. Fortunately, since all books will be submitted as a PDF, there’s a common free tool called Adobe Reader that you can easily set to view your PDF like a finished book.

This short video shows you how!

eBook Conversion Basics

One of the most common questions we receive is “Why doesn’t my eBook look like my source file?”

A standard ePub is a re-flowable document that allows readers to change the font size and style to suit their preferences. eBooks can be read on everything from a smartphone to a desktop computer, so our job is to make sure your eBook file is responsive on the multitude of devices people might use to read your book.

No two readers are likely to display exactly the same information on a page – what displays on the screen is a result of the code that makes up your eBook. You’ll need to take a few actions to prepare your files for a successful eBook conversion.

  • The first thing you’ll want to do is turn on “Show Non-Printing Characters.” This will help you identify problems within your formatting.
  • Readers operate with a limited number of fonts built in, so you need to use a common font like Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial.
  • eBooks do not have header or footer text, since pages don’t actually exist in an eBook, so you’ll want to remove these elements from your document.
  • When you want to force text to the next page, do not use a series of returns, use a page break instead. This way, when someone changes a size or font, the page will still start at the desired point.
  • Let your text flow naturally – do not use a return at the end of every line. Any changes in the text will cause your lines to break in odd places.

By following these easy steps you’ll avoid some of the most common delays in eBook conversion.

Watch this video for more.

See more how-to videos at the BookBaby YouTube channel.

If you have any other questions, be sure to send us an email at and we’ll get back to you!



  1. […] Check Out The Latest BookBaby How To Videos How To Format Your Book Using Microsoft Word on a Mac New How-To Videos: Printed Book Pagination and eBook Conversion Tips Whatever Your Story, BookBaby’s Book Editing Service Is The Right Fit Your ISBN: Answers To […]

  2. […] your printed book. (For more information on how a printed book is laid out, please watch our “Book Pagination” […]

  3. I’m reading an ebook now that has “Loc” numbers on the bottom left (on Kindle). I am always annoyed by Loc numbers; I want to know what page I would be on if it were a hard-copy book. When one downloads the book, it will say the book is 300 pages, but then no option for page numbers vs. Loc numbers in many books. Only those that have been published traditionally then as ebooks seem to have page numbers as an option. How does one make sure their book offers a page number and not just a Loc number? If BookBaby formats it for me, can one do that?Thanks.

    • Hi Edwina,
      The Location number is how your device manages your content and tracks and remembers your reading progress.

      Other devices display this as a “page” number but as you modify your display settings, that page number will change too.
      Those devices designers chose to display this bit of information as the more familiar notion of a “page” but it is the same principle as the location number.

      Since this is a device specific issue, there is unfortunately nothing Bookbaby can do for you to force a device that does not recognize “pages” to display it as a “page” instead of a location.


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