The easiest way I’ve found to make an ePub from a Word .doc is to use Pages on the iMac. Here are a few tips that help me get the best output possible:
1. Make sure all the styles are consistent within your Word .doc. All body text in one style, for example. All Chapter Headings in another style, etc. ***
2. Use Heading 2 (you can modify it to look how you want) for your chapter headings. When your .doc is converted to ePub in Pages, this heading will be used to make the NCX/Table of Contents. It also creates a page break in the ebook. I use Heading 2, for Heading 1 seems to add an extra empty page at the end of each chapter. Each of your Heading 2 headers will show up in the Table of Contents (TOC).
3. Save your Word document as a .doc file. (Not .docx)
4. Open Pages, and then open your Word .doc file. Take note of any warnings that come up, but I generally ignore them.
5. Go to View, then click on Show Inspector. This will show the styles in your document. Ignore the grayed out ones. They don’t matter. Make sure there is only a checkmark beside Heading 2, and not beside any of the others.
6. Go to File, Export, and choose ePub. Save it where you’d like it saved.
7. If you’ll proof your ePub on an iPad, connect your iPad to the computer and open it to iBooks.
8. Open Book Proofer
9. Find your ePub file via Finder and drag and drop it into Book Proofer.
10. Click the box in Book Proofer so it will sync with the iPad
11. Check the ePub in the iPad. Check the TOC, and make sure it looks how you want. Make sure the links work. Scroll through the entire document (sometimes it helps to look at it in different sized fonts) and make sure everything is as you’d like it to be. If not, go back to Word, make the changes, and open it again in Pages, etc. (Or make the changes in Pages, if you’re familiar with that software.) Repeat as necessary.
12. Once I’m happy with the look of the ePub file I also check the file on the different platforms to which I plan to upload it. For KDP, I upload it, then download the preview file and proof it via the Kindle Previewer, which I’ve downloaded to my PC. I also check it on Kindle for PC (can be accessed via “View” in the Kindle Previewer). If I plan to upload it to NookPress for Barnes & Noble, I open the ePub in Nook for PC, and check the file there. This will often show up errors that aren’t seen elsewhere. (NOTE: I have not downloaded the Kindle Previewer or Nook to my iMac, but I’m sure the software is available, and would work the same.)
And that’s it!
*** If your ePub output looks awful, you’ll need to go through and carefully reformat your Word .doc so it will look right in the ebook format. I’ll put a shameless plug in here for my short ebook, How to Format an eBook for Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. NOTE: This book does NOT have instructions for the Mac! Not yet, anyway. However, the general principles for ebook formatting still apply. Smashwords’ Style Guide (which is free) is also an excellent reference.
Microsoft Word (for .doc file)
Pages for the Mac
an iPad, if possible