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Formatting Non-Fiction

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Hi all,

I was wondering if you knew of any links/resources that would act as a guide for best practices in formatting non-fiction.

My primary concern is what to do with weblinks. Do you make them full hyperlinks or do you, say, print the full address in brackets (with http:// included)?

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My blog on the Tuesday Tips day has a series on Kindle-ization and next up is the how-to re: my experiences formatting nonfiction. and check out Tuesday posts.

I recommend the full URL rather than hot-links because not all platforms support hotlinks--and your reader will be frustrated being unable to find/access the recommended link. Kindle-for-PC supports hotlinks but the reader itself doesn't. *shrug* It may in the future but you'll still have some readers that are not able to do so. Give readers every opportunity to access recommended info.
Hi Amy,

Thanks for that, and I will keep an eye on your blog.

There are obviously a lot of restrictions formatting non-fiction (more so in mobi than epub). You can't really use different fonts, you are limited with text sizes and such, and I don't want to go overboard with bold and italics.

I'm thinking of paring it back completely.

In the non-fiction books I formatted (in my previous job as a books editor who took on the job of converting for the Kindle market) I always put in the full web link. Re the formatting, I kept it all quite simple. I'll throw in as well that I think a table of contents is much more important for non-fic than it is for fiction, plus 'back to the top' links so readers could go to the beginning of the chapter or book.
Looks like keeping it simple is the way to go. That works for me.

I have a very detailed Table of Contents, fully hyper-linked in Word. I know I will lose all that when convert to mobi and ePub, but it helps me keep track of what I will have to hand-code, and I need it anyway for the PDF version.

About the "back to the top" links. Did you do that because readers like to go back over a chapter again? It sounds like a good idea, I'm going to consider it (although most chapters are quite short).

There was going to be a lot of screenshots in two of the chapters, but they just look so bad that I think I will host all that content outside of the book on a website.
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