Over the last six years, the world has changed \u2013 a huge percentage of people now read mostly on electronic devices \u2013their computers, their phones, laptops, tablets, Kindle readers, Nook readers etc. \u00a0Where once we carried a paperback book around with us, now we can carry hundreds of books, all in one small device \u2013 we have a new ability to read anything, anywhere, anywhen.\r\n\r\nWe also, as a result, have more opportunities than ever to publish our own content. \u00a0That can be as books, in a digital format, as short reports that support our business, as articles in online magazines or as blog posts in a personal or business blog. \u00a0Having your material out there is a great way to boost your personal and business authority \u2013 but there are a few traps here, for unwary players. \u00a0Authority is not boosted by badly presented material \u2013 so, no matter how good your content is, you need to know how to best format and present it, to create a great reader experience, or you will not get the results that you are looking for.\r\n\r\nEach type of final digital product requires different formatting \u2013 just typing things up in a standard Microsoft Word document does not get you to an end result!\r\n\r\nSo \u2013 what are your options? \u00a0Here is a summary of different formats that you may need to consider:\r\nPresenting your work as an Adobe PDF document\r\nThis is the simplest option \u2013 just lay your work out in Word, so that it is well spaced, has clear headings, and is in a font that is easy to read (try Arial or Calibri), then save it as a PDF. \u00a0PDFs can also be set to have live clickable links in them, which is useful if you mention your website with your content. You can provide a PDF to someone via email, via download from your website as a \u2018freebie\u2019 or via download after selling it from your website. \u00a0This is the best format for creating short reports or \u2018books\u2019 that you will deliver to customers from your website.\r\nPresenting your work as a blog post, on your own personal or business blog\r\nBlog posts should be fairly succint. \u00a0They are about getting an idea across or starting a discussion. \u00a0The way that you format your text for these will partly depend on the website editor tool that you have (which, in WordPress, will be modified by the theme that you have chosen), and partly on the presentation style of the site where you will be posting it.\r\n\r\nThe key is to make it easy for the reader to read, and understand \u2013 short, clear sentences, paragraphs not too long and headings and dot points used to break up big blocks of text.\r\nPresenting your work as an article in an online magazine\r\nThis can be very useful for generating authority, and has the advantage that, generally, you will simply provide the editor of the magazine with your article, in a Word document, and they will deal with all the pesky formatting issues to present make it present correctly, on their site! \u00a0Similar considerations to writing and structuring a blog post apply, although an article is more often educational in some way, and more formal in language style than a blog post.\r\nPresenting your work for Kindle readers in .mobi format\r\nIf you want to sell your work as a digital book on Amazon, this is the format that it will end up in. \u00a0You can also send a .mobi file directly to someone\u2019s Kindle library (even though they have not bought it on Amazon), by emailing it to the \u2018Kindle email address\u2019 that Amazon creates for every person with an account. Whilst Amazon has a tool that converts your content from Word to .mobi, as it is uploaded for publication, there are lots of things that you need to do, in preparing that Word document, to make it convert well, and provide a good reading experience. \u00a0There are also other programs on the market that will do the conversion for you, with varying degrees of challenge in using them.\r\n\r\nRegardless of how you get from the Word document to the .mobi file, there are some key things that you need to understand about how the Kindle reader applications work, which affect what you do in your formatting. \u00a0When someone reads a book on a Kindle reader application (using a Kindle device, a phone, an iPad, a computer etc) the screen size will be different depending on what device they use. \u00a0They will also have the opportunity, within the app, to choose how big they want the font to be, on the screen \u2013 this is great for people with less than perfect sight, but it is a key cause of formatting challenges for you, as an author!\r\n\r\nThe reader applications dynamically re-flow the text, to fit the screen size, and the font size chosen by the person reading. \u00a0That means that, in your word document, you need to have almost no page breaks \u2013 only put them at the start of a chapter or new section, where you want it to start on a new page regardless. \u00a0It also means that you will not have page numbers (because the number of \u2018pages\u2019 in your publication will vary depending on the device, and the font size) and that any Table of Contents will use hyperlinks, not page numbers.\r\n\r\nAny images that you use will need to be centered and to be a size in the Word document that looks bigger than the end result that you want. \u00a0It also helps to minimize the use of dot points, and of special characters, because they do not necessarily convert well.\r\nPresenting your content in .epub format.\r\nThis is the format used by the Nook electronic book reader and many other readers. \u00a0There are some variations within the standard, and you will need to use a conversion tool to convert your Word file to suit. \u00a0It is always worth checking the converted result very carefully, to make sure that it looks the way that you want it to. \u00a0Most of the things required for a good conversion to a .mobi file are also required for a good conversion to a .epub file.\r\n\r\nNow that you have an understanding of the differences in approach to formatting that are required, depending on where you want your material to be published, you will need to make some decisions. \u00a0Ask yourself the following questions\r\n\r\n \tWhere do you want to publish?\r\n \tWhat result do you want from it? (authority, new clients etc. ?)\r\n \tDo you feel confident about getting the formatting right yourself?\r\n \tIf you don\u2019t, are you willing to learn how, or are you going to pay someone else to do it for you?\r\n\r\nOnce you have that sorted \u2013 focus on writing, knowing that you have a plan to make absolutely certain that the end product will be presented in the best possible way, to increase your authority, and grow your business.\r\n\r\nAbout the Guest Post Author\r\n\r\nKim Lambert has extensive business experience in a wide range of areas, from Government and Corporate to both online and offline small business, wholesale, retail and support services.\r\n\r\nShe has worked in fields covering everything from Floristry to Information Technology. \u00a0She owns a number of small businesses currently and is focussing on the areas of Publishing and Photography at present. Her business website is at www.dreamstonepublishing.com.