If you receive the error message, “File can’t be opened,” then we can’t open your .docx manuscript (and thus can't use it to create your ebook).
Please follow Step 1 of our manuscript formatting guidelines to make sure you're properly saving your manuscript as a .docx file and then upload your manuscript again.
There are several common reasons why we might not be able to open your .docx manuscript:
Unfortunately, our app doesn’t know why it can’t open your file—just that it can’t!
If you receive the error message, “Manuscript is too large,” then your manuscript is—regretably—too long for us to convert.
Generally, manuscripts which are too long for us to convert have millions of words, thousands of pages, and hundreds of chapters. Our conversion tool has trouble processing all of that text!
If your manuscript is too long for us to convert, then consider dividing it into multiple shorter volumes. You might publish a series of shorter books instead of a single very long one.
If you think you received a “Manuscript is too large” message in error—perhaps your manuscript isn’t thousands of pages long—then double-check your manuscript’s formatting. Turn on non-printing characters in Microsoft Word and look especially for unnecessary page breaks and section breaks. Unnecessary page breaks and section breaks make it seem like your manuscript has more chapters than it does, so they should be removed.
If you receive this error, then your manuscript contains one or more corrupt images whose bad data caused ebook conversion to fail. You need to remove these corrupt images from your manuscript.
To find the corrupt images in your manuscript, follow a process of elimination:
(However, if you know the filenames of your images, then skip the above steps and just remove the images mentioned in the error message you received.)
Reflowable ebooks need to be properly formatted to meet industry standards, and as a result, they don’t look exactly like their original manuscripts. Instead, Pronoun formats and designs your ebook to look beautiful on every screen, for every reader.
Think of your manuscript as a blueprint rather than a final product—a recipe for our conversion tool to create and format your ebook. To give an example, underlined text in your manuscript won’t appear underlined in your ebook. Instead, that’s how our conversion tool recognizes block quotes.
Our conversion tool also designs your book’s interior. Pronoun offers a variety of professionally designed layouts for authors to choose from, each with a unique look and feel.
No matter which one you choose for your book, our conversion tool will style your chapter titles, subtitles, scene breaks, fonts, spacing, and more. As a result, there’s no need to “style” your manuscript yourself (such as change font styles and sizes, add custom scene breaks, include headers or footers, etc.).
If your manuscript doesn’t convert the way you expect it to, the problem could be your manuscript’s formatting. Follow the steps below to double-check your manuscript’s formatting:
Keep in mind that some formatting issues may not be immediately apparent. Some examples:
Following the steps above can help you detect and correct these formatting issues to produce a more beautiful book.
Reflowable ebooks don’t have “pages” in the traditional sense. They adapt to different screens, meaning they vary in length from retailer to retailer and ereader to ereader—they lack fixed page counts altogether.
As a result, we’ll create a hyperlinked Table of Contents from the headings in your book so readers can tap a chapter title and instantly jump to that location in your book.
Pronoun automatically creates your book’s front matter (its cover page, title page, copyright page, and Table of Contents). So if there’s a title page in your manuscript, for example, your book will contain two title pages: one created by Pronoun and one converted from your manuscript.
To avoid this issue, we suggest deleting all front matter from your manuscript before creating your book. As a result, your manuscript will most likely begin with your first chapter or a dedication page/epigraph.
Some retailers, like iBooks, won’t sell books that mention or link to their competitors. To ensure that Apple doesn’t flag or remove your book, please make sure it doesn’t contain:
If you’d like to include links to your other titles, we recommend linking to your author website or Pronoun book page instead.
All of our layouts feature a first-paragraph design: the paragraph is un-indented and we capitalize the first four or five words.
But if the first paragraph of a chapter is short—fewer than 15 words—then we don’t apply the first-paragraph design. (The first-paragraph doesn’t always look as nice if the paragraph is short.)
Here are two examples of first paragraphs using the layout Shelley:
You can re-upload your manuscript and re-convert your ebook files as many times as you like (even after you’ve already published). Simply upload a new manuscript, select an ebook layout, and convert your .epub and .mobi files again.
If you have any questions or run into any trouble, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime (or you can use the “Click here for help” widget on the bottom right-hand corner of this page).