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In yesterday’s post, I encouraged you to become as familiar as possible with the various e-readers. Why? The more understanding you have of how these devices work, the more effective you will be at producing books that work well across multiple formats.
So let’s take a look at this question:
What do I do if my book has a lot of worksheets? Will that work for Kindle and Nook?
When it comes to worksheets, both the Kindle and the Nook are missing a vital capability. Neither one can print. This presents a potentially serious issue for a book with worksheets that are a key part of the content. It doesn’t mean that you cannot find a workaround to adapt your book. It does mean that you need to consider this carefully before you start formatting.
The two options I usually suggest to my clients are:
Remove the blank lines or spaces for writing from the worksheets and simply list the questions in the book.
This can be a simple and effective solution, particularly if the reader can easily answer the questions without a real need to write down answers. This method also works well for books with just a few occasional questions. If the reader wants to write down answers, there’s always the option of taking notes on paper, or even using the Kindle’s note taking feature to record answers.
Create a PDF of the worksheets and make it available on your website as a reader-only download.
With this option, the reader is able to visit your site and print out the worksheet pages. Often this is the best solution, especially for books with a significant number of worksheets or worksheets located at the back of the book.
To restrict access to the worksheets, create a password protected page on your site. Somewhere within the Kindle version of your book, give the reader instructions on how to access the worksheets. Include the page URL and the password within the Kindle book. Make sure that you do not put this information in the first 10% of the book, because Amazon will automatically use the first 10% of your content for the book’s preview. If you include your download page and password information too early in the book, you make the worksheets available to anyone and everyone.
There are some cases where a worksheet-based book just isn’t a good fit for e-readers. If your book essentially is a workbook, not a book with worksheets, you probably are better off releasing it as a PDF and possibly a print book.
During the month of October, we’re chatting about everything self-publishing—design, branding, marketing, formats—you name it! Pulling questions from Design by Insight clients, Re:Write Conference attendees, and you, we’ll take a look at what can often be a confusing and potentially overwhelming subject. Have a question you would like me to answer? Leave it in the comments!
Miss a day? Visit the main post for links to each day.