Ebook Formatting: Title & Copyright Pages

I’ve had some people ask how I managed the fancy title page and chapter heads in the ebook I made for Beauty and the Feast. Someone also asked about the copyright page. So, two birds with one stone, so to speak. Here’s what I did using Scrivener and Paint.net.

This title page is for a reformat I’m doing on the very first ebook I ever attempted (I’ve learned so much):

To make the title, I created a simple graphic in Paint.net. I sized the canvas at 3″ by 4″ so it makes a nice fill on the Kindle screen. I did a transparent background so the words appear to float. On the page itself I added a small header. That’s because Scrivener gets ouchy when it converts. It wants text. I was accommodating. I also inserted that little header on the first page of every story. That way readers don’t “forget” what they’re reading (I do that, sometimes) and I figure it doesn’t hurt.

Next, the copyright page. I’m formatting this one for the Kindle. If you are setting up a book for Smashwords, you must include “Smashwords Edition” somewhere on the page. It’s one of their requirements.

Because this is a collection of short stories, I included the story titles after the main book title. If you are producing a story anthology with multiple authors, make sure you add their copyright notices. I lifted this setup from printed books, just to keep things neat and simple.

The rights statement and the disclaimer are both optional. My philosophy is keep them simple. I caution writers against hostile rights statements (“Copying this book will get the FBI on your ass! Don’t steal this book! You’re a pirate if you didn’t pay for it!”) If someone is going to steal, they’ll steal. Nothing you can do to stop them. You can, however, refrain from treating your buying customers like thieves.

If you want, you can copy these statements and paste them into your own ebook. They’re all purpose.

All rights are reserved to the author. No part of this ebook may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.

This is a work of fiction. Names, character, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

If you don’t wish to use graphics for your title page, here is my suggestion:

This in MS Word. I turned on the Show/Hide feature so you can see the hard returns. I have a style sheet set up called “headers” and that automatically gives me 14 pt Times New Roman, bolded and centered. This will give you a nice, neat title page.

Not quite magic, but it works.

6 thoughts on “Ebook Formatting: Title & Copyright Pages

  1. Okay, my brain just shut off aside from totally understanding what to say re the disclaimer and the restrictions…

    • Your brain shut off? Ah come on, Julia, I thought everybody loves to spend hours and hours rooting around, playing with silly little details. Or is that just me?

  2. Jaye, You are officially my hero. Your obsession and research are going to become my OCD when it comes to future books, but I’m okay with that. Because the end result will be pretty ebooks that look like somone put some thought and effort into them! Yay, stamp of quality!

    …hm. Is the future “oh this must be self-pubbed” marker going to be beautifully and carefully produced ebooks? lol

    • You made me laugh, Lily. I tell you what. I’m more assured of finding quality formatting and production values in indie pubbed ebooks than I am with traditional pubbed books.

  3. Hey Jaye, I’m finally finishing up my e-book(which I’m creating in MS Word).

    My only dilemma is that I don’t know where or how to I can use an image as my book cover.

    A quick question that could clarify it. Is the e-book cover the 1st. page of the document?

    • Congrats on finishing the book, Kenny. Big accomplishment!

      i always use a title page (which is different than the cover). Not everyone does, but I like to open to a title page when I first get a book (it jars me a bit to open a new book and have it go straight to the first page of story). It is a preference. All I put on the title page is the title and author, follow that with the copyright, notice of rights and disclaimer. Some people combine the title page with the copyright.

      You can load your cover into your ebook when you build it, but it’s just as easy to upload it separately. I don’t recommend inserting it into a Word file. I don’t trust Word to do right by the image. When and if you build an ebook through Calibre or Mobipocket you can load the cover then rather than waiting to upload it at Amazon, SW, B&n, etc. Does it make a difference? I don’t know. Either way, the only way readers will see it is if they use the navigation menu and click to see the cover.

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