Submission Guidelines

We can accept just about any format and create just about any format you need for a book project. If it's not listed here please just ask us.


  • A physical book (scan from hard copy book)
  • A Microsoft Word document, or any other kind of document like Mac Pages, RTF, Open Office etc.
  • A PDF
  • Layout software like InDesign, Quark, Corel and Pagemaker
  • Websites, HTML, XML
  • TeX/LaTeX
  • Many other formats—please tell/send us what you have so we can quote


  • epub2
  • epub3
  • iBooks Author
  • KF8
  • PDF print-ready
  • PDF web-ready (also called accessible PDF, interactive PDF, e-text)
  • Printed books

We are experienced in creating ebook files that will be accepted by major vendors and ebook software platforms like Amazon, Apple, Kobo, GooglePlay, Barnes & Noble Nook, Adobe Content Server, Ebsco, CoreSource, VitalSource, Overdrive and others.

Manuscript Submission Guidelines:

All Book Projects

  • Do not have any tracked changes, comments, questions or notes to yourself or your editor left in the document.
  • If you do leave instructions for the designer put these [in square brackets] and also tell the designer to do a search for square brackets while they work on the layout via email.
  • Content changes requested after book layout or ebook conversion commences are possible, but will incur a fee.
  • We can accept just about any starting format (for documents and images), but please let us know prior to obtaining a quote exactly what we will be working with, as it may take more or less time depending on what you supply.

    Please read on to the Images section below if your project contains images.

  • For ebook projects, our default expectation is that you will supply ONE (1) complete PDF or Microsoft Word document ready for conversion exactly as is, to epub. The only thing we will change from a content perspective is the publishing details page, which, if included in your quote, we will add ebook details to (such as ISBN). See more on this below in the Ebook Projects section.

    The layout of your supplied file will change in that Word and PDF docs are not usually set on a page size anything like an ebook reading device. So, while a Word document is essentially reflowing already, it is often on an A4 page, so the eventual ebook file will not look much like it does. Please read more about what a reflowing ebook is and watch our video about the difference between fixed layout and reflowable ebooks.

  • For printed book projects, we usually start from a manuscript—a Microsoft Word document and supplied high-resolution images (see Images section below).

  • If you have had another designer involved in typesetting your book's internal layout and/or cover design, and Australian eBook Publisher are to take over from them and/or arrange the printing, please note that we will charge for our services.

    We cannot predict what workflow a third-party designer may have been using, therefore what state your book files will be in and what quality control has been done up until this point nor how suitable the work so far is to the current project scope. We will charge for our time to organise your project, check the files you supply, communicate with you, respec files so they are ready for print, and set-up the Word doc(s) and/or the InDesign package from your designer on our own system.

    You may also be interested in:

    Can I bring my own cover design for print?
    Can I bring my own interior book design or layout for print?


  • Like most writers, you may have a document in Microsoft Word without any fancy formatting; it may contain mostly left-aligned text with 1.5 line spacing and a small indent at the start of paragraphs and a blank line as a text break where required for a changed point of view etc. This will all be adjusted to a better layout (such as single line spacing, first paragraph left alignment with no indent at the start of a chapter or after a text break etc.). There are standard questions in our start-up procedure that we will ask. Where ambiguity lies our designers will either ask you what you prefer or have a go and send you a draft to consider before applying the same formatting (in paragraph and character styles) to the entire book.
  • Formatting is a joint responsibility of the writer, the editor and the designer. For the best outcome please let us know if you want formatting improvements to be made or not. For book design projects (for print) we almost always have to amend the formatting, and this is a standard part of our book design quotes. For ebook projects, however, it may not be a priority for you to have perfect industry-standard, professional formatting, so we can include Ebook Designer's Touch™ or editing or leave it up to you (follow how you have your manuscript set up, as far as this is possible in ebooks).

Ebook Projects

  1. Word or Pages document
    If we are designing the ebook for you (as opposed to a straight conversion) then the state of your Word document will help determine our quote.
    If you would like to format your Word document using best practice guidelines, read our blog article about how to format a Word document ready for an ebook conversion house.
  2. Text-based PDF (i.e. with live text and hyperlinks) x ONE (1). We can piece together multiple files for you, but it may take time to communicate about this and get it right, so if you don't have one single PDF ready for conversion please communicate this during sales.
  3. Hard copy of book (or image-based PDF scanned at 300dpi)
  4. InDesign Package
    • Should include all InDesign files (.INDD) and linked images and fonts. Might also include a master InDesign Book file (.INDB).
    • Should include final output file (.PDF) as well, so we can be 100% sure how you/your designer intended it to appear.
  5. No matter what format we start with the following rules also apply to major ebook vendors
    • No dead links allowed (nor link farms or malicious websites)
    • No advertisements allowed (except author's other books)
    • No mention of competing ebook vendors, for example 'This ebook is also available on' in the epub

Image Submission Guidelines:
There are no hard and fast rules in graphic design, and it takes a professional to truly understand your unique requirements and manage your project effectively and with the flexibility that different formats require. The following guidelines are general in nature, please consult Australian eBook Publisher for specific instructions relating to your project.

Images for use in Printed Books
For printed book projects, images should be supplied in the highest quality available. We can work with just about anything, but if you don't want (a) extra cost improving low-resolution or messy images and/or (b) pixellation, blurriness or grainyness to be visible in your printed book, please follow our "Ideal Images for Highest Quality" guideline below.

Our ultimate aim, depending on the printer we are working with for your project, is usually to have images that are clear and sharp with a height and width that matches to the final intended print size at 300dpi, with colour type CMYK and in the format .PSD. We do not expect customers to supply them like this. Usually we get 72dpi, RGB .JPG images, and we can work with that.

Problems sometimes arise where people save images off websites (note: not stock images websites) and assume these will be usable in print. The truth is they may be or they may not be. It takes a graphic designer to manage this. There are likely to be quality issues, because images used on websites are designed for (a) screen reading and (b) fast loading. This means they are usually reduced in size (compressed).

Images for use in Ebooks
Now that you understand some rules about images for use in printed books, you can ease it back a step for ebooks. Many tablets these days do have a large screen size and a high resolution, some as high as 264dpi, which is not far off print quality. So if you have a full colour photographic or illustrated book where the image quality is very important, or you want your readers to be able to zoom right in on your pictures, follow the printed book guidelines. Otherwise, you can feel free to use web quality images in ebooks, if you just bear in mind that on high resolution tablets these may come out smaller than you expect.

There is really only one way to set images up in an ebook so that they look and function the same way on all devices, and that is to make them very big. In this case each image will fill the screen no matter what device is being used, and smaller devices will shrink them down. Doing this, however, will result in a large ebook file size which may impact on sales and royalties.

If you have images in an ebook smaller than any particular device's screen size and resolution, then there will be differences from device to device in regards to the size ratio between text : screen : image.

Printed Books and Ebooks
Communicating where to put your images

Low quality versions should be inserted into a Word document to indicate placement, or leave clear instructions like "[insert tree_photo123.jpg here. Caption: Fir tree, South Australia. Credit: Photo by: Joe Blogs]".

Inserting high quality images into your Word document may seem like a good idea, but there are a few things to bear in mind if you do this:

  • Inserting 50 or more large images (4Mb+) or 100 or more medium images (2Mb+) into a Word document will make most computers slow down. It might even crash Word and make you lose your work. It will also make it hard to transfer the Word document to your collaborators (editors, designers etc.). You will have to use file transfer programs like Dropbox, rather than email.
  • Inserting any quality image into Word compresses them, thereby reducing the quality permanently in those embedded images. Most printing projects benefit from having the original images files (even if they are JPGs) rather than the ones embedded in Word.


When self-publishing, including with Australian eBook Publisher, you are responsible for ensuring that you have the necessary permission, license and/or copyright release to use the image in your work. If any images need to be recreated, re-sourced (eg. for copyright clearance and/or print resolution), we can assist with this at our hourly rate.

During any book design project, our designers will make minor improvements to images in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, save them to the correct format, colourspace, DPI and size, for their intended purpose. See our Book Design page for more details.

Ideal Images for Highest Quality

  • Stock images purchased from a stock image website
    Stock image websites provide all images at 300dpi and you usually just have to choose what size (dimensions) you need for your project. Bear in mind that we can always reduce in size, but we avoid stretching bigger as this results in quality loss, however small, which may reduce the sharpness of your final printed product. When we buy stock images we buy them at the size we need them. Eg. from,, etc.

  • Scans of film-printed photos
    Scan photos at 300dpi and save them as JPG or TIFF format (RGB will be the default colour type and that is fine, as we will save them to CMYK later). These may not be good enough for a full colour photo book at a large size, but they will be passable for most types of book project.

  • Original digital photos straight-from-the-camera
    These aren't usually 300dpi but it does not matter, as the megapixels—height and width—are very high and we can change it to 300dpi for printing without visible differences in quality). The height and width matters here in terms of how large we can make them in the layout without quality loss. For print we would normally expect these digital photos to be at least 2,000 pixels wide. They will be RGB and we will usually only turn them to CMYK (the colour type needed for printing) when they're completely Photoshopped and inserted into the book layout, and we are making the files ready to go to the printer.

    Do not do anything to your images prior to sending them to us unless you are a professional graphic designer and know exactly what you're doing. For example saving them to 'email size' then expecting them to be good enough for a printed book project is not logical. Every time an image is modified and saved, there is quality loss, especially in JPG format, which is a compressed (lossy) format.

  • Layered photoshop images (PSD)
    If you are having us work on a project that another graphic designer has already been involved in, there may be layered photoshop files available. These will sometimes have the background removed or cut out (we call this deep etching or extracting). They may have layers, masks, filters, fonts or image effects in Photoshop that are not flattened and can therefore be modified without starting from scratch. If you have a layout package (InDesign layout) with a links folder, don't assume these are the original layered Photoshop files.

    One workflow for an InDesign project with layered images is to keep these in a 'Working images' folder, and to have flattened CMYK PSD files for the final print layout (links in InDesign). In other words, there should be two sets of images you can supply to us: (a) the original layered photoshop images, probably RGB 300dpi .PSD files and (b) the final images inserted in InDesign as "links", probably CMYK or greyscale 300dpi .PSD files.

  • Vector images (AI, EPS)
    Illustrations and line art are best saved in this format, as the quality is infinitely good and infinitely scaleable. No pixellation. If you have hand-drawn illustrations that you have scanned or photographed, we will sometimes 'live trace' them in Adobe Illustrator, before inserting into the book layout, as this will make them the best quality possible at any size.

  • PDF
    PDF is a format that can be made up of just about any other format. It is a container, sort of like a zip file, that embeds text, raster type images, vector type images, audio and video files. PDF, in and of itself, is not a factor in deciding quality. You cannot say to a graphic designer, "If I give you my images in PDF format will they be good enough quality to print?". The simple fact is that whoever made the PDF may have made it from any kind of image at any kind of quality. Only a graphic designer can tell you if any given PDF is at an appropriate size and resolution for what you need. We work with a lot of PDFs, and often the quality is sufficient for our purposes, but bear in mind that the quality of the embedded images in the PDF will be the limiting factor in the image quality of your project.

If in doubt, ask your graphic designer or publishing coordinator. Here at Australian eBook Publisher, we're here to help.

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