Formatting eBooks is different from formatting books for print. The basics aren’t difficult; print books are consistent in that each page prints out exactly the same. Not all eReaders are the same, so an eBook must accommodate for that. Much as website design must accommodate different browsers; each one “reads” and interprets the code with slight variations.
Even with Kindle, a book will look different on the various types of Kindles. With ePub for eReaders, I’m discovering it’s worse.
I have three eReaders for ePub editions. One is a Firefox addon, one is FBreader, a free open source download, the other comes with Calibre, also free and also open source. But what they do to an eBook seems to be nowhere near the same.
Firefox renders the text in different sizes. I’ve gone back and checked my original file, which is consistent in text size, font, and paragraph style. Can’t figure it out.
FBReader is quirky, as in the forward arrows don’t work. For the book itself, it doesn’t recognize the paragraph style (which should be indented). That annoys me.
Calibre seems to do the best job of interpreting my code. The font is different than the other two (serif rather than san-serif), but font and text size are adjustable anyway, to accommodate the reader’s preferences.
I will concede that I am no expert in the eBook writing and formatting department. ePub is important at Smashwords, because it is a format used by Nook and Sony (if I’m recalling correctly). Hopefully, I’ll figure it out with practice.