Your book’s interior and cover need to be pleasing to the reader’s eye. This is something they take for granted. Have you ever received an email written entire in capital letters? Was it annoying or what? The same principle holds for a book’s readability. Fonts are important and should be easy on the eye. Usually a serif font is easier to read, as long as it’s not too ornate or a distraction in itself. You may not realize it, but fonts are a form of art and thus have personality which can help convey your message. Choose it wisely!
Fiction books typically have indented paragraphs while nonfiction is formatted like these pages, with flush margins and more space between paragraphs. Guidelines for industry standards are available online. Check them out!
Readers DO judge a book by its cover. Make sure yours looks professional. Put as much thought into your book’s appearance as you do your story.
Your book’s interior should be formatted for readability. Both Create Space and Smashwords have “How To” documents you should read and follow. Poorly formatted books lose readers.
If a paragraph is too long, it’s hard on the reader’s eyes. Break them up for visual appeal, even if in a technical sense it’s only one thought.
Know the difference between formatting for fiction vs. nonfiction. As noted above, fiction typically has indented paragraphs, nonfiction has block paragraphs.
Give your book a professional appearance by formatting it properly, whether for an ebook or print version. If you don’t want to bother doing this, hire someone to do it for you. Proper formatting contributes significantly to your story’s readability.
It’s best to mark your section breaks with a few asterisks rather than simply rely on an extra space, which might not be noticeable on an electronic reading device. This is particularly important if you change the point of view with the next section.
Section breaks add to the appeal of your book interior layout if instead of asterisks you use a glyph that relates to your book in some way. There are many options in the various unicode and wingding fonts available.
In traditional fiction publishing, the first paragraph in a chapter or section is not indented, but flush with the margin. This help set the stage, even subconsciously, that it’s not a direct continuation, but new. This is particularly important in ebooks where extra spaces are often lost.
Formatting an ebook boxed set requires attention to detail. When you create the bookmarks for each chapter, they must have unique names. This can get tricky, but worth it so the final result works properly.