I finished another novel, in draft, during November. It turned out to be my twelfth year of participation in National Novel Writing Month; I think I'd thought it was ten years. I hope my writing's getting better, generally, but this year, I'm learning how to write an e-book.
Silly me, I thought it was the same as writing a print book. I guess in some ways it is: you need to put quite a few words in a sensible order; you need an appropriate balance of exposition and dialogue (and you need to know/be consistent in how you spell words like dialogue, and prologue, and epilogue, and not mix up using the ue or not ...). (Not to mention that you have to resolve for yourself the question of whether to have prologues and/or epilogues; in novels, you pretty much have to include dialogue.) But there are differences, and they are significant.
In a print book, an author has good control over which words appear on which pages, and over line-breaks and spaces between paragraphs, and fonts. Sure, sometimes you have to remonstrate with your conversion-to-PDF programs, but once you get those issues settled, it's up to the author how the book looks. Not so, way not so, when we're talking about an e-book.
The conversion programs are just as quirky, and that includes their reluctance to recognize/accept embedded fonts. With enough patience, it is often - not always, but often - possible to persuade the conversion programs to cooperate.
I am fine with making my paragraphs shorter, because 'pads and tablets are sometimes narrower than the pages of a paperback, so paragraphs present as longer on a screen than they might on a bound page. I can just about keep the indentations consistent, too, because you kind of can teach an old author new tricks. (I am well-trained to leave just one space after a period now, and it really didn't take me too long to get out of the habit of tapping the space bar twice.) But there is no way for an author to control font size! Aaurgh!
As a reader, I love being able to change the font size. As a writer, I am less enamored of that option. I'll give you an example. My "post-Arthurian fantasy," Mere Mortals' Magic, includes epigraphs at the head of each chapter. They are Italicized (no problem) and centered . . . as long as the reader doesn't take the font beyond size 3. I'm fine with making sure the line breaks accommodate size 3. Beyond that, however, I cannot take responsibility. Beyond that, even the chapter headings (Chapter One - Mordrath the Magician) get mangled. Chapter One - Mordrath/the Magician, margins askew, looks terrible!
As much as I am learning about how to write for e-publication, I am learning how to read an e-book. As I slog through prepping my novels for e-conversion, I am becoming a kinder, gentler reader. I hope you will be too.