Formatting

Format an ePub Box Set

Welcome back to the Atticus training zone where you learn how to best use this professional software to format your manuscript so that it’s ready to publish anywhere. 

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to take a set of books that you’ve already formatted within Atticus and turn them into a complete box set ready to publish as an eBook.

Step 1: Format Individual Books Using Atticus

To start, find your collection of books inside Atticus. They should be completely formatted before you begin this process. If you need to learn how to format a book using Atticus, we have additional tutorials to help you prepare your Word document for importing into Atticus as well as for formatting your manuscript entirely within Atticus itself.

As you can see, I have a collection of 4 short nonfiction books that I’d like to turn into a box set. 

Step 2: Export Each Book to .docx

Next, you’ll need to export each book to .docx so you can open in Word.

  1. Click “Edit Book Details” in the top left
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen
  3. Click the .docx export button

Step 3: Save & Prepare Your Box Set Book

When you open your first book, don’t worry if it doesn’t look like the formatting has been retained. When we bring to completed box set back into Atticus, it will automatically reapply all your previous theme and formatting work.

You’ll may have to enable editing for each book.

With your first book open, you’ll want to re-save it so that it becomes the basis for your new box set. Choose Save As and title it so that it’s easy for you to find.

You can also update your Title Page to reflect the title of your box set.

You will notice that Atticus did not export a Table of Contents. This is because whenever you are going to edit your book in a different program, you will need to regenerate the TOC so that the internal links work properly. 

Since we’re going to be bringing this manuscript back into Atticus, we don’t want it to have a Table of Contents at this point. 

Before we bring in our additional books, we want to make sure we can see where each book begins. One way to do this is by adding a new Heading with the Book Title and inserting a picture of the book cover. 

You can choose to use a text only title page if you prefer, but make sure to apply the Header 1 style tag to the title so that Atticus sees it and recognizes it as a place to start a new chapter or section.

I can now go to the very end of the first book and enter a page break by pressing CTRL or CMD + Enter and set up the title page for my second book. 

Step 4: Prepare & Add Individual Books

Now we can work on adding the rest of the books to our box set. Open up the second book that you exported from Atticus. 

We don’t need to duplicate the title page or copyright information, so I’m going to remove that right away. If you have any other front matter that doesn’t need to be duplicated in your book, you can remove that now as well. 

I’m also quickly going to touch up the extra spacing and remove the back matter from this book as well, since we don’t need to see that until after the 4th book. 

Once I’ve prepped the second book, I will press CTRL or CMD + A to select the entire manuscript and navigate back to my new box set document. 

To paste it into place, I will press CTRL or CMD + V.

Now I just need to repeat this process for the third and fourth books in my set. 

Step 5: Include Your Back Matter

When I’m getting the last book ready, I will leave in the back matter, as I want that to appear at the very end of my book.

Our box set is now ready to import back into Atticus so we can do the finishing touches and save it as one complete ePub. Don’t forget to save!

Step 6: Re-import to Atticus

Back inside Atticus I’m going to import my new box set document. As usual, I’ll title it, add my author name, and include it in the correct project. 

Step 7: Establish Front & Back Matter

Atticus will have imported everything into the Body space, but it will only take a few steps to put everything where it belongs. You can see all the chapters, titles and other formatting was brought right back into Atticus so I have very little work to do.

First, I have a choice of either dragging the title page imported from Word into the front matter, or using the one automatically generated by Atticus. I’m going to delete the one we imported. I can make the same decision about the copyright page, either updating the one automatically generated by Atticus for each new book, or moving the one I had imported into place.

If I scroll all the way down to the end of my book, I can see my Back Matter needs to be moved into place so that it isn’t listed as chapters in the body of the book. 

I also want to set the formatting to suit the page, so I’m going to click on the three dots beside each title and convert it to the appropriate page, automatically updating the formatting to the industry standard layout for each type of page. 

Step 8: Create Book Sections

Now I want to adjust my individual book title pages so that they’re not numbered as chapters, but set apart like parts of a book. I do this by clicking the three dots beside the title and unchecking Numbered.

Make sure you update all book title pages.

Additional Notes: Images

Each book may have special formatting or sections that need to be quickly tweaked to achieve the best look for your book. If you have any images within your box set, you may want to double check their settings. 

For example, book title pages will need to be set to fill out the page. To fix this, click on the gear icon in the top right of the image and set the picture to be centered and large, and consider removing the automatically generated caption.

If you don’t want the title to show on specially designed pages showing your cover images, click on the three dots beside the title and choose Custom Page. This will ensure that no theme level formatting is applied to the page, such as the title.

Finalizing

It’s always a good idea to take a quick look at your Table of Contents to make sure you approve of the final order. Each book should be nicely separated by a title with the chapters are displayed consecutively.

All that’s left to do is update your Book Details and make sure the book cover for the Box set it in place and you’re ready to export the ePub file!

I hope you’ve found this tutorial teaching you how to format a box set using Atticus helpful. 

Happy formatting!

Last Updated: 11/01/2021

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