My ebook looks like (bleep) and my publisher refuses to fix it!

My ebook looks like (bleep) and my publisher refuses to fix it!

Q –

My publisher finally got my ebook up for sale and it looks horrible! There are broken sections of text and extra spaces all over the place. I asked them to fix it and they are refusing to do so. They said that’s the best they can do with current technology. I find that impossible to believe. Do you have any insight into this? Have you seen these types of errors before?


A –

I was reviewing the “look inside” feature of a book on Amazon recently and I noticed lots of errors. Page after page of things were broken. It was a large, well-known publisher! I immediately felt sorry for the author, while also wondering why a huge New York publisher would allow such a mess to go up for sale.

When the ebook file is provided to Amazon for Kindle products and software, Amazon uses that file for the “look inside” feature on their website. So, you can easily see if an ebook has distracting and unprofessional errors before you buy it. Amazon even flags some ebooks with poor design and editing so readers are warned before purchasing one of those titles.

And, if your ebook formatting is distracting to your readers, expect one-star ratings on Amazon and other sites, through no fault of your own! Yes, if your publisher has committed this horrible e-faux pas, it can, and likely will, affect your ebook ratings, rankings, and sales – across all ebook retail platforms. 


As tempting as the automatic ebook generators might be, they almost always spit out errors – lots of them. The more complex a book’s formatting is, the worse the ebook will look using those types of cheap, too-good-to-be-true programs.

There IS a way to produce high-quality, accurate, beautiful ebooks but it requires special software, which can be pricey, as well as experienced, hands-on coding for the best results. It can be less expensive and far less time-consuming in the long-run to hire a professional ebook designer. Unfortunately, too many publishers seem to take shortcuts, both in price and time, when spewing ebooks en masse out onto the market. And, they apparently don’t look for errors when putting said ebooks up for sale. Here are three examples of formatting issues that each publisher didn’t seemed to notice:

Harper Collins included 2 covers at the beginning of this ebook. Except for the sizes, they are identical. This is an obvious formatting flaw. 

Penguin Books must be VERY proud of their logo! They included it three times in a row at the beginning of this ebook – on the cover, immediately AFTER the cover (where the entire logo is as large as the cover graphic itself!), and then once again after that.

Coterie Classics erred by including the heading for Part One twice in this ebook.

How can authors avoid these and other types of embarrassing ebook formatting and conversion errors? You can find affordable, high quality ebook formatting and conversion services at the WritersWeekly Author Service Center.

And, best of all, YOU will own all rights to your ebook files! Almost every publisher claims all rights to ebook files they create. At the WritersWeekly Author Service Center, YOU own all rights to your files and you can do whatever you want with them, including listing them for sale anywhere you choose, giving free copies to reviewers, and even selling them yourself through your own website.

The ebook formats provided by the Author Service Center are KPF (what Amazon uses for Kindle products and software), Epub (what the other ebook retailers use), and PDF, which some ebook lovers prefer because many computers, reading devices, and even phones already have PDF software installed.

Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of, the President and CEO of and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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Angela is not only the publisher of She is President & CEO of,
a self-publishing services company that has been in business since 1998. Ask her anything.