Overview

Preview Your Formatted Book 

If you’ve finalized the formatting of your book, you are now likely very excited to preview the finished version. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to preview your books in Atticus, export to both ePub and PDF format, and preview the files efficiently before hitting the publish button to set your book for sale. 

Preview Your ePub in Atticus

If you click on the Formatting tab from the top center of your screen in Atticus, you’ll see a previewer in the right panel. Above this previewer, you have a few options.

Screenshot of the digital previewer in Atticus

To the far right, you can change the font you’re previewing. Changing the font here will not change the font in your exported version, it is for previewing purposes only. All digital reading devices and apps are programmed so that each individual reader can choose the font type, size, and spacing they are most comfortable with. Aside from the chapter headers, Atticus will format your ePub to be completely reflowable on any device, with any font size and spacing your reader prefers. 

In the other drop down menu, you’ll find a list of digital reading device preview options. These are not exact, nor universal, but they will give you a good representation of your book in various devices. Every device, depending on the generation and individual settings, will appear slightly differently, so it’s not possible to show a perfect and exact representation every time, however it will be very close.

You can scroll through your chapter in the preview. To view another chapter, choose the chapter from the left navigation panel of Atticus. In the preview, links will be live, so feel free to click and test them out!

Preview Your Print Book in Atticus

If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the device drop down menu, you’ll find the Print preview option. Click on this to see an exact representation of each page of your book, as it will export based on the Print settings you’ve chosen. 

Screenshot of how to choose Print Preview in Atticus

Because this feature renders your book with every change, it takes a moment to load. Once loaded, if you make changes to your Print settings, such as the font, or trim size of your book, it will update here.

Underneath the preview you’ll find the total page count of your book. This includes all your front matter pages as well, so it will be different from the page numbers on your book. According to industry standards, the page numbering of your print book begins with page 1 in the body content. The total page count is the number you will need for your book cover design.

To preview your book, you can click through the pages and chapters using the buttons underneath the preview. If you’d like a closer look, you can click the preview itself to open up this chapter as a pdf in a new tab of your browser.

Screenshot of the Print Preview view from Atticus, pointing out the Print Settings section of the Formatting tab as well as the total page count feature.

Export Your Book

When your satisfied with how the book looks inside Atticus, it’s time to export it. 

To publish a Kindle or eBook, you will need an ePub file. To publish a print version, you will need the PDF file. Both buttons are available directly underneath the previewer. 

If you’re ePub does not automatically download, you may have a popup blocker stopping the export. The PDF export will pull up this menu, render your book for print, and tell you when it’s ready to download. Just click with you’ve got the green light!

Both files will export to your Downloads folder on your computer, or the folder you have set to collect downloaded files.

Screenshot of the export to PDF and export to ePub buttons in Atticus, found underneath the previewer

Proof the ePub Version of your Book

To open an ePub file, you will need a specific app or program. We recommend using the free tool, Kindle Previewer.

It will show you the most accurate representation of how your book will appear on the majority of devices. You can also use the Kindle Previewer to convert your ePub to a mobi file, if you are sending your book out to ARCs or Beta Readers. We have a separate tutorial for that here: Convert ePub to Mobi

Screenshot of an ePub previewed using Kindle Previewer

Proof the PDF Version of your Book

To open the PDF version of your book, you can use any PDF viewer that you have. Most computers and devices will have at least one option installed.

Screenshot of a PDF being previewed in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Note page number 2 is on the right side of the screen. In a printed book, even page numbers should always be on the left. This is a reverse view of how the book will be printed when published.

There are a few important things to remember when viewing your book in a standard PDF viewer:

  1. Print books always begin the first page on the right. PDF viewers set to a 2 page spread will always begin the first page on the left. It’s very important to remember this because your pages will essentially be backwards of how they will appear in a book.
  2. If you print this PDF to a personal printer, you will need to ensure your printer settings are set to print exact size, rather than scale to fit. It will not print with the margins or other settings professional book printers use, as personal printers simply don’t have this capacity. 

If you have a KDP account and are planning to publish through Amazon, we highly recommend previewing your PDF through their print previewer. You can keep your book in draft – this will not automatically publish it, however it will show you a clear view of how it will print. It will also tell you if there are any concerns you need to adjust for.

Screenshot of a PDF being previewed in KDP Paperback. Note page number 2 is now on the left side of the book, as it should be. In a printed book, even page numbers should always be on the left.

Amazon also offers you the ability to order an Author copy, which is usually printed and delivered to your door within a few days and is the absolute most accurate way to proof your printed book, even if you choose to publish “wide” through other publishers as well.

Start Your Next Book

Once you’ve carefully gone through your fully formatted book, you’re ready to send it to your publisher for sale. Congratulations!

We wish you all the best of success with your book and look forward to helping write, format, and prepare your future books as well.