3 Writing Tips from Someone With Experience

A Guide to Book Formatting

It can be difficult to begin writing your own book. Compared to learning to play a musical instrument, writing a book also needs to start slow and taken a step at a time. If you read the discussion below, you will find some tips on how to format your book so that it becomes ready for printing.

Getting your book into an electronic format is very important. You should type your text into a Microsoft Word document. It is important for printers that book manuscripts be sent as a PDF file. The problem if you are using styles in Word is that the document will become unstable if it is opened in a different version of the program. However, Word does a great job for typesetting, editing, and formatting.

When it comes to cost savings, size really matters. Most books are 5×8 inches tall. For a hardcover book, the finished size is 5.5×8 inches because the cover overhangs the paper’s edge. The page size and set up for both hardcover books and paperback are the same. In order to set your page dimensions you should select from the file menu the tab for paper size where you type in your page dimensions. It is important to put the right margins so that it will look great when printed and there will be space enough to bind your book. A half inch on the top, bottom, and outside is ideal. There should be 0.75 inches in mirror margins. Choose 11 or 12 points for your font size. If you want an easy to read font, use Verdana or Garamond. Each line should have around 50 to 60 characters including spaces. Most pages should contain approximately 40 lines. If this is followed, then there will be 250 words in one page.

The use of styles will help your document have uniform text, paragraph settings, character spacing, and other qualities to selection text portions. The title can be in one font size and bold style. The chapter headings in a smaller font like Times New Roman, and the body can be in Verdana or whatever font you like best. There will be a consistent look for your book if you use styles. Using styles in the document allows you to make changes throughout the book very quickly.

For your headers and footers, include chapter titles and page numbers. This can be done by opening the header and footer tab from the view tab of the word toolbar. You can then type your chapter title, author’s name, book title, page number, etc.

Every task involved in self-publishing is your responsibility but you can also outsource some tasks. Writers usually don’t see their own typos. Even if you are an excellent writer, you need someone to proofread your book.

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