Before your eyes glaze over and you go into spasms of agony, I promise this won’t be a dissertation on a computer’s binary code but rather a small explanation of why, when you make an ebook, you could get some errors.

As I’ve said before “computers are dumb.” Not their fault really but hey, they can’t think like we do so maybe they’re not dumb exactly but they do expect what you input to be precise. They have to be told the difference between a Capital letter and a small letter.

This is where Binary Code comes in.

Binary Code is made up of ones (1) and zeros (0). And now you know why I didn’t invent the computer. I mean, really, what kind of language is that?

Well, it’s the language your computer understands. For instance:

A Capital letter “A” has a Binary Code of 01000001 and a small letter “a” has a Binary Code of 01100001. And every letter in the alphabet has a different binary code.

So what does Binary Code have to do with ebooks?

Quite a bit actually because if your ebook’s title is JumpOverTheMoon.html and in your Table of Contents file or your Table of Contents NCX file has jumpoverthemoon.html in their hyperlinks, then when you compile your ebook, the program you’re using will spit out errors.

Spaces, underscores and special characters also have binary code attached to them. So if you write your ebook’s html title as Jump_Over_The_Moon.html then both your Table of Contents better have the same name in their hyperlinks.

Now if you’re saying I don’t have these Table of Contents so this doesn’t apply to my ebook then that’s fine but your readers are going to be extremely upset when they click Menu in their Kindle and there’s no Table of Contents and worse, no navigation at the bottom for them to use their five-way controller. To them, it means you are an amateur.

Sounds harsh I know but you’re competing with “big boy publishing houses” who have either programs worth thousands of dollars that convert their ebooks or they have a ton of people just formatting their ebooks.

So all I’m saying is be careful and use exact letters and numbers in your html code.

graphic of Judith Tramayne's signature for her post on Binary Code

P.S. My Kindle eBook Course will give you all the files you need to make an outstanding, professionally formatted ebook.