Completing a book can be a huge milestone for an author. While this moment deserves to be celebrated, authors can’t help but find themselves occupied with publishing and other hassles. Whether you choose to take the traditional publishing route or go for self-publishing, you already know things are complicated, especially with the latter.
When authors self-publish their books, they have to deal with every task themselves without any help. Sure, there are platforms like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing that simplify things. However, if you utilize Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, you still need to handle formatting and other tasks besides publishing.
If you’re currently struggling with formatting your book to self-publish it, you’re in luck. We have prepared a guide to streamline book formatting for you.
Why is Book Formatting Crucial?
Let’s suppose you head to the nearest bookstore or purchase a book online, but when you finally open it, all you see is huge chunks of text that aren’t structured properly; everything is all over the place. In such circumstances, you won’t be able to read the book, and nor will the rest of the audience.
That’s why before authors publish their book, they need to ensure it is in the right condition to be read; every element needs to be well-aligned and structured properly. This is why book formatting is a crucial step that can’t be skipped out on.
Now that you’ve understood how imperative book formatting is for publishing let’s jump to how you can format your book.
How to Format a Book?
Are you ready to format your book so you can move forward with self-publishing it? Well, then, here are a bunch of steps to follow to ensure your book is formatted effectively.
- Separate Each Chapter
Let’s be honest: a book is supposed to consist of several chapters, and each should effectively divide the story. Ideally, each chapter should explain a certain part of the plot and, when placed together, should all come together perfectly. If your book doesn’t have different chapters, it can seem like just a huge piece of text. The most essential part of formatting your book is making sure your book contains different chapters.
When you divide your book into multiple chapters, it improves the flow and overall readability. It also helps readers distinguish different parts of the story. The simplest way to do that is by adding a header to it, for instance, “Chapter One or Chapter 1.”Most authors also add a chapter name based on what it discusses, so you can also do that.
- Fix the Line Spacing
Spacing is a critical element that can truly impact the readability of your book. Formatting essentially adds the final touches to your book to ensure it’s flawless before it’s presented to the world. As a result, during this phase, you’ll have a lot of details to work on.
When penning books, authors may not be focusing on line or paragraph spacing, so in formatting, you’ll need to handle that. Ideally, this spacing needs to be consistent throughout the book. The rule of thumb is to indent the first paragraph and leave no space between paragraphs.
Paragraphs can also be separated by a space, which is customary in nonfiction writing. If you do, make sure the spacing is constant and omit the indent at the start. To maintain consistency, use the automatic space setting feature on Microsoft Word.
- Change the Font
It goes without saying that the entire book needs to have the same font style and font size. You can’t let some sections follow one style while the rest follow another; there has to be uniformity. So, if you haven’t done this already, it’s time to.
Generally, most books have to be in Times New Roman 12 pt. This is the standard font size and style because it is legible and accepted for almost every genre. So, adjust your book to this.
- Focus on the Margins
Margins are an important part of formatting and book layout. They are the white areas around the text and need to be equal. Usually, the margins on books for publication vary from between 13 to 18 mm.
However, it also depends on what genre the book belongs to, the type of the book, and the total number of pages. So, consider all these factors before you set it.
- Black and White
If your book has a white background, the text needs to be in black. This may seem apparent, but it has to be emphasized. This choice is the most readable, the simplest to print, and the accepted practice, so it is best to stick to it.
If the text in your book is any other color, quickly change it to black. Sometimes, during editing, we change the text color to differentiate a section from the rest, so it’s understandable if you’ve done the same. Just don’t forget to change it while formatting.
- Number the Book’s Pages
It’s no secret that your book’s pages need to be numbered to improve navigation for readers. Sometimes, readers highlight their favorite scenes or dialogues, and no page number can make it challenging to do that.
So, make sure every page of your book is numbered properly in the footer. You can easily do that by using the page number feature on Microsoft Word.
- Check the Page Size
When it comes to self-publishing a book, there isn’t a set “ideal” page size. It all comes down to the genre, your target audience, and your personal preference. However, a common page size for self-published books is 6×9 inches. This site is versatile and widely accepted by most print-on-demand platforms. But ultimately, the choice of page size is up to you and what you feel suits your book best.
Is book formatting too intricate for you to handle? Do you need expert help? Consider Ghostwriting Proficiency. These experts take pride in offering wide-ranging services to help authors publish their books.
Their services include book writing, book editing, book formatting, book proofreading, book illustrations, and so much more. From book writing to book publishing, Ghostwriting Proficiency can easily assist you with every step of this process.
Get in touch with them today.