Tips for Formatting Your Book
There are many people who want to write a book but don’t know where to start. Starting to write a book is just like trying to learn to play a musical instrument. Below are some tips that can help you make a printer-ready manuscript.
Getting your book into an electronic format is very important. Open a Microsoft Word document and type your text there. Most printers prefer that your book be sent as a portable document file or PDF by using some layout programs. If the document is opened in a different version of the program and the file is using word style, then the document can be a very unstable one. You can use Word for typesetting, editing, and formatting.
When it comes to cost savings, size really matters. The average book size is 5×8 inches tall. For a hardcover book, the finished size is 5.5×8 inches because the cover overhangs the paper’s edge. But, both paperback and hardcover books have the same page size and setup. Page setup should be selected from the file menu and open the tab for paper size where you should type in your page dimensions. The margins have to be set up properly so that it can be printed correctly and allow enough room for binding. The margin on the top, bottom, and outside should be set at 0.5 inches. Mirror margins should be set to 0.75 inches. Choose 11 or 12 points for your font size. You can choose your own font size but if you want it to be easy to read choose Verdana or Garamond. The characters in each line, including space, should be 50 to 60. Each page should have approximately 40 lines. A page will contain 250 words if these setting are followed.
Using styles can help you create uniform text, paragraph settings, character spacing, and other qualities to selected portions of text. Use one font size and bold style to your book title. Times New Roman, a small font, can be sued for your chapter headings, and Verdana or whatever font your like best can be used for the book body. Using styles make a consistent looking book. Another advantage is when you change an attribute of the text in the paragraph, everything with that style will automatically update throughout the entire book.
Chapter titles and page numbers should be included in headers and footers. This can be done by opening the header and footer tab from the view tab of the word toolbar. Then you can start typing whatever you need for your header and footer.
Every task involved in self-publishing is your responsibility but you can also outsource some tasks. Most excellent writers cannot see mistakes in their manuscripts and this is why they need proofreaders and editors.