Creating Distinctive Chapter Headings for Ebooks
Are you an author who wants more flair in your books? After your words, the front cover is the next thing that defines your story, unless you count buying good reviews ahead of a good cover.
But, what if you want to take it deeper – inside the book. Dress up those Chapter Headings. Employ a distinctive font, or take it to the next level with a catchy illustration or graphic to kick off each new chapter.
On paper, it’s easy to do.
Ebooks are great, allowing the reader to match font size and eye prescription. Some even let them pick between Serif and Not-so-Serif fonts. But that’s their choice, not the author’s.
After all the work you’ve put into planning, writing, editing, re-writing, re-editing, re- … you know the drill. Your heart and soul is in that book, not to mention sweat, tears, blood, and Jeremiah the bullfrog. Why can’t Ebooks be as expressive as paper books?
They can be, and it’s pretty easy. Ebooks use HTML, the language of the web. And everyone knows that the web supports images, graphics, and pictures of all kinds. The next step is to get out of the box – the Scrabble box specifically. (It’s filled with word parts.) The secret to having creative, expressive Chapter headings is to think in pictures, not words. And you don’t have to be a graphic artist to do it.
One of the simplest tools for creating attractive Chapter Headings, a piece of software called Paint by Microsoft, comes with every PC. It can be found under Accessories in your list of Programs. The fonts embedded above, Broadway, Harrington, Papyrus, and Castellar are all pictures created in Paint and inserted into this text. Regardless of you browser’s capabilities or lack thereof, those fonts will remain as embedded.
How Do You Do It
Open up Paint, select the Text tool represented by the letter “A”, drag the Text box to your appropriate size and the Font toolbar will appear. Select the font and font size.
If your fashion sense runs to something beside basic black, use the color bar at the bottom to set the tone before you start typing. Once you’ve created the Chapter Heading, grab the lower right button in the corner of the canvas (canvas is the white area and the dotted square is the Text box) and drag it inward until the text box is the correct size. Just enough to accommodate the words.
Save the Chapter Heading as a JPEG file type (one of the Save As dialog box choices). If it’s JPEG, it’s a picture (after all the ‘P’ stands for Photographic). I would save the Chapter Heading shown here as Chapter12.jpg.
You will have to make a picture for every Chapter Heading.
After you’ve done the first one, the rest are pretty easy. You now have a white canvas that’s the right size. You just change the number, and save (Chapter13.jpg), change the number and save (Chapter14.jpg), etc. ……….. Monotonous, but effective.
Next, go to your Word manuscript.
Use your cursor to select the words of the Chapter Heading.
With the text selected, select the MSWord command: Insert/ Picture/ From File.
Browse to the file that contains the Heading you want to paste here. (Just guessing, but it’s probably named Chapter1.jpg in this example.) Use your MS Word tools to align (center, left justify, etc.) to make sure that the picture of your Chapter Heading is positioned correctly.
Now when you upload your Ebook the Chapter Headings will be pictures of the font of your choice, not the fonts Kindle forces on you.
As long as you’re doing pictures, you don’t have to stop there. You can add artistic interest. Copy and paste a curlicue into Paint and then add the Chapter number. Save it as a JPEG, and you’re ready to go – like this Chapter34.jpg.
Have Romance on your mind? You can make a Tramp Stamp for every chapter by copying a picture and laying the Paint text-box over it.
A detective novel could use a badge with the Chapter number (ex. 23) overlaid on the badge.
If you have more sophisticated graphic manipulation software you can do a lot more, but even with something as simple as Paint you can create memorable Chapter Headings pictures to separate your book from the masses.