Even though ebooks have to be flexible to account for changes or adjustments people make on their ereaders or electronic devices, that doesn’t mean your ebook has to be plain. Special ebook formatting can showcase your content and help it mirror your print book’s interior.

While automated converters won’t be able to produce the enhanced features listed below, ebook formatters can code these features into your ebook, producing a clean and professional result.

Nested Table of Contents

If your ebook has a complex hierarchy (e.g., parts, chapters, sections, or appendices), a nested table of contents structures your front matter to make it easy for readers to find and jump to the section they’re looking for on all popular ereaders.

Drop Caps

A drop cap is an oversized first letter in a paragraph, commonly used in print books to add visual appeal to the beginning of a chapter. But you can also use drop caps to match your print book or to add an extra visual element to your ebook.

Text Borders

A text border is a stylized line around a block of text in your ebook. These borders work well for callout quotes (explained below), chapter headers, or any information from your book that you’d like to highlight.

Background Color

You can also highlight the text within a text border with shading or a background color. The background color can be a different color than the border color, adding an additional visual element (e.g., a light blue background with a dark blue border). Keep in mind, however, that not all ereaders display color.


If you have a reference or nonfiction book, sidebars are a useful feature to separate key information from the main text. Background color or shading helps sidebars stand out even more.

Color Text

The standard text color is black, but you can have text in other colors as well. A word of caution: you should use color text sparingly and only to enhance specific aspects of your ebook, such as chapter headings or the table of contents.

Complex Lists

If your ebook has a bulleted or numerical list, you’ll need special formatting to make sure they appear clean and professional. These complex lists can include Roman numerals, letters—both upper- and lowercase—numbers, and bullet points.

Callout Quotes

Callout quotes are typically italicized and have smaller margins than the other text on your page. This allows the quotes to stand out and gives readers an easy visual cue that they’re reading a quote.


Nonfiction books often use tables to showcase information, but for the flexible layout of an ebook, special formatting is required so the tables display correctly on all devices.

How Mill City Press Helps

Mill City Press has a team of experts who can code enhanced formatting features for your ebook, making sure your content looks great on all ereaders. Visit our enhanced features services page to learn more.