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How To Format A Book For Publishing
Contents:
  1. Self-Publishing in South Africa: Which Platforms To Publish Your Books On
  2. Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know - CNET
  3. 20 comments

Note that Serif is easier to read, as the curves tend to let the readers eye flow easier. But headings do not need this. On the contrary, you want headings to stand out. So use a "San Serif type" for headings. A good example is Arial, although you can use Tahoma or Verdana too. These are all very common, and you won't run into any issues with it looking different in the actual printed book than it looks on your screen. Page Setup is an important part of setting MS Word to format the pages properly to fit the size you plan for your book. The most common size for books to be sold by retail stores is 6" by 9".

So I'll give you the specs for that. You want to have almost a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides. This white space allows for errors with cutting pages for binding as well as leaving enough room so that the text on your pages does not seem to become clustered.

You also want to allow a little more room towards the spine. This is called the gutter. Its purpose is to compensate for the spine when opening the book, especially in thick books. Otherwise, the text may be hard to see near the spine without flattening out the book, which can cause damage to the binding. So how do you specify all this? You'll see all the fields for these settings, as shown in the following screenshot image. You can also set the position of the header and footer. Since the top and bottom white-space is almost an inch according to my settings, I allow the header and footer text to fall right in the middle of that space by setting it to be 0.

Make sure you set the checkmark for "Mirror margins. Also, apply the settings to the "whole document," so your settings are uniform throughout your book. But if you want to have global distribution for sale in retail stores, you need to use a 6x9 book. So let's concentrate on that.

If you are making a book for your own enjoyment, then the page positioning does not really matter, and you can do what you want. But if you want to make your book available for distribution and possibly sell in bookstores, then you need to follow strict rules. There are specific requirements. The total number of pages in your book needs to be a multiple of 4. So add blank pages if you don't end up with this. The last page needs to be blank on both sides to allow for retail markings that are automatically printed on that page.

That can be considered the last two pages. The next page is the description page, which shows the title and more info about the book, such as author name, publisher name, a short description, etc. The reverse of the description page is the copyright page, and its proper layout is critical. I'll explain the details below. Then comes the table of contents as a right-hand page. This is optional and can continue on as many pages as required.

MS Word helps place the proper page numbers in here for you when you use its tool. Finally, on the next right-hand page, you can start the content of your book. I like to start all chapters on a right-hand page, although this is not a requirement. I also like to stick with a rule of placing the book's title on the top of every even-numbered page left-hand page , and the chapter name on the top of each odd-numbered page, except for the first page of the chapter where you probably have it anyway.

MS Word has a feature to propagate the even and odd page titles throughout the entire book for you. You need to specify that the headers and footers should be different on odd and even pages, as I've done in this sample screenshot:. Notice how I checked off "different first page. I prefer not to display the chapter name in the title field on the first page of each chapter because I already have the name in big letters anyway on that page. MS Word also can create an index for you. If you decide to include an index, you should place it at the end of your book. The use of MS Word is not the subject of this discussion.

And you may be using another word processor anyway. So I suggest you learn the features and use the power of the program you use to get the most advantage out of it. It'll be very much worth your time. If you are creating a manuscript to send to a publisher, they usually have strict rules about double-spacing. Editors require that extra spacing to write edit comments. However, when you are creating your own print image of the pages, you need to set the line spacing as it will appear in the printed book. Standard line spacing for a book is 1.

One can adjust the resulting number of pages by changing the line spacing. However, consider the fact that white space makes it easier on the eyes. If you have a thick book and you want to control the cost, tighten up a little on the line spacing without going to an extreme that makes it hard to read. Using my suggested format of margins that are almost one inch, 12pt fonts, and a 6x9 book, you should average about words per page. You would have a book with pages if you wrote 28, words. The number of words per page is highly variable.

My book had a few pages with as many as words.

You can get more words on a page by making the margins smaller, but there are reasons for using the values I recommended. People find it easier to read when their eyes can rest. The extra white space helps. If you fill a page from top to bottom and left to right with words, it becomes overwhelming to read.

That's why it's crucial to leave white space all around the text. If you have a large book, you may think that you want to use a smaller font to keep the cost of pages down. But keep in mind that the 12pt font is easy to read. So judge wisely if you plan to use text with smaller fonts. The copyright page contains specific copyright information.

It goes behind the description page as a left-handed page. See my example page below as you follow along. The title is on top. Below the title is your copyright notice. Below that, you can list some tags that indicate the subject matter of the book. Below that is an optional Library of Congress control number. I suggest you apply for that, as I did with my book. They explain the process of applying for a PCN on their site. Below that you should list your ISBN if you already have it.

When you purchase a distribution package from Lulu, they will give you one. You need to go back and edit your book to include it on your copyright page. Below is the copyright page that I used in my book. You can follow the same layout and replace everything with your own information.

If you don't feel you are very good with artwork design, Lulu has online tools that help you create a cover. You can select from a library of sample art for your cover background design and then position your title, subtitle and author name where you want them to appear. You can choose the color and font of the text as well.

You can also enter text to appear on the back cover and the spine. Lulu will put all this together to create the print image of the entire cover. KDP includes a useful online cover designer. You can use it to quickly make your own front and rear cover for your paperback book. The only thing I find that is awkward is the auto-formatting on the rear cover. You need to pay close attention to the final arrangement of text and make adjustments before going on to the next step.

If you are into designing your own artwork, you can create your cover with any good paint shop software and upload the front and back covers. Both Lulu and KDP help with completing the spine of your book.

Kindle eBook and Paperback Publishing Has Been Combined

Based on the thickness of the book number of pages , they automatically determine what font sizes you can use on the spine. They give you a choice of a few that will fit properly. If you do decide to upload your own artwork, you will need to create ready-to-use files for the front and rear covers in the proper format. You've got to do this right, or it won't fit. Here are the specifications you need to use for your cover image files:. Lulu has three options for the cover of your book, Paperback, Casewrap, and Dust Jacket. Spines on a hard-covered book can have text printed on them, such as the book's title and author name.

Lulu calculates the width of the spine automatically based on the number of pages in your book. Three different types of spines can be selected for a paperback book as listed below. Only the perfect bound books can have text printed on the spine. KDP does not have hard covered books. Their paperback books only have one type of spine, perfect bound. The title and subtitle are placed on the spine, and you can change the fonts if you don't like the default. The size of the spine is calculated automatically based on the number of pages.

If you have less than pages, the spine is too small for any text. If you publish with Lulu, you can purchase one of three packages, depending on the type of distribution you want to have.

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Self-Publishing in South Africa: Which Platforms To Publish Your Books On

If you publish with KDP , your book will automatically be available worldwide through Amazon because they own that platform. However, you can control the territory. If you only want distribution in certain countries, you can specify the territories in the setup process. This would be necessary if you have copyright regulations that only apply to certain countries. The cost of Lulu's various distribution packages kept changing over the years, so you need to check their site for the latest information.

The bar code for your ISBN will automatically be printed on the back cover of your book. So leave room for it if you create your own cover. The U. The only charges are for ordering actual printed copies. Lulu also has a fee for purchasing one of the distribution packages described above. When you buy your own books, you only pay printing charges, not your own royalty. Printing costs vary depending on the size of the book, number of pages, the type of binding, and the paper grade you choose.

Pricing is similar with KDP. You select the retail price when you decide to publish. You base this on the amount of royalty you want. The retail price is based on a total of three things:. You should get a printed copy so you can confirm that you did everything right. If you don't want to spend any money, you can just let other people buy your book. But I don't recommend that.

It's crucial to confirm that everything looks correct in the actual printed copy. I bought a draft copy of my book each time I continued to improve it. I kept making changes after reviewing it because I didn't like how one thing or another turned out. So I repeated the process until I was satisfied with the final draft copy. You only pay the printing costs when you buy your own copy. When other people order it, they pay the retail price that you set, and you get a commission from the difference. You can specify the commission. Just don't be greedy or else the retail price will be too high, and it won't sell.

Lulu and KDP fulfill all your sales, so you don't need to be involved with order taking and distribution. Do yourself a favor and proofread your manuscript before you waste money ordering your first copy. MS Word has a spelling checker, a grammar checker, and a thesaurus. So use them. Many times I discover that I don't catch my own errors. That seems to be a common problem for many writers.

Our brain "sees" the words as we meant them instead of what's typed on the page. So have a friend proofread for you. I bought for a few printed copies at first to hand out to good friends so they could proofread an actual paperback copy for me. I recommend you do the same. They even made notes in them that turned out to be useful feedback.

There is a big difference between publishing articles online and publishing a printed book. You can make changes, and even add new content when you publish online. But obviously, you can't do that with a book. So you've got to put effort into getting it right before you click the "publish" button. I suggest that you print a sample of your book for yourself.

Check it. Review everything. Not only proofread for spelling and typos but also pay attention to the general way it looks to the eye. You can make changes and upload a new file. Then order another sample and review it again. I've done that several times, over and over, uploading modifications each time. Trust me. It's worth it. Because once you finalize it and publish your book, you can't make changes anymore. So that's it.

Now you know everything to get your book completed and published. When you put effort into the process, it will pay off for all the work you've already done writing your book. I don't have MS Word. My manuscript is in Google docs, and I understand that when downloaded, it has a standard Word extension.

Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know - CNET

Would this be okay to upload for self-publishing? Also, does your article apply to e-books or just standard hard copies? As long as the file is a standard Word file with the. The formatting I described in this article applies to hard copy books and pocketbooks.

The format for e-books does not require page counts or spine margin parameters, so there is a difference. However, the other rules still apply, such as the format for the copyright page, titling, etc. You said in your article that the total number of pages in a print-on-demand book needs to be a multiple of four. Why is that important?

Printing is done as four pages in one press. Then they are cut into four separate pages. This is why your document needs to be a multiple of four. If you end up with something less than a multiple of four pages, you need to add the appropriate number of additional blank pages. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

However, it has the same exact features and options that I used to have on a PC with Word Since you only want the book for your own purchase and not place it on the market, I would recommend using Lulu. They let you do it just for yourself. You can skip the option of adding an ISBN number and leave the book in your account for your own purchase. Very informative article. I am trying to create a book from my late father-in-law's memoirs but for family only.

I do not wish to "publish", distribute or sell this at all, I don't even want an ISBN assigned to it. I plan on printing several copies for family members as a gift and that's it. What print-on-demand tool would you recommend? Amazon's Create Space has been renamed to Kindle Direct Publishing and now combines tools for publishing both Kindle and paperback books.

I updated this article to reflect on this change. Joe Keane - Since I'm in the U. I don't know what the shipping costs are to Ireland. It's possible that it's printed and shipped locally as POD books are handled. I see that this is a US website, so would shipping costs to Ireland where I reside be enormous, as I purchased my self published books in various quantities? This is a pity, because, thanks to your easy to read website, I was beginning understand the technical terms with a greater degree of clarity. But, never mind it is an interesting experience in any event!

Joe Keane - You can publish either as a paperback book or as an ebook for Kindle. When you create your account you will see what options you have available. The platform has a tool to create your cover. You will be able to superimpose the title as you has asked. I will be updating this article in the next few days to reflect the changes that Amazon has made to the platform. Check back in a week for that update.

Even as a cyber illiterate almost I found your article so easy to comprehend. Nevertheless, there are of of course questions that I need to ask. I have written 65, words approx. I was hoping to self publish soft cover books, mainly for family and close friends. I do not have a wide network of acquaintances. I am a pensioner and need to budget. Are ebooks a possibility also and how is it accessed?

I have engaged a proof reader. I can design front cover myself. A local scene which I will photograph, then copy using acrylics and finally photograph the painting. Finish work will be a photograph. I am sorry for going on so much, but I am largely in the dark. I am 77, so that explains it. Selling books is not something is important as I do not have the means of doing it.

Duane Howard - Photos can be imbedded anywhere in your book. If you want color images then you need to select publishing all the pages of your book in color, which is more expensive than just black and white printing. But they serve a purpose, especially when you want different subtitles in headers or footers in each chapter section.

As for controlling the display of the page numbers, I was able to shut off the display on a section by section bases, but not on specific pages. So if you want to do that, you need to include section breaks. Thanks Glenn. Yes, the "flipping" problem disappeared when I viewed in Side by Side mode. I think my margins are now ok. Problem now is pagination headers and footers.

CreateSpace Self-Publishing Step by Step Guide #1 Sign up for account

I'm using Roman numerals in the front matter, BUT only for a few pages. Then regular numbers starting at page one of first chapter, BUT not for my section title pages and blanks. So my issue is getting the numbers on both odd and even pages, and in sequential order, and turning them off on certain pages. Could it be related to my Section Breaks or Page Breaks? GreenPete - I remember having the same problem.

20 comments

As I recall, I ended up repeating the setting for each section chapter with one of my books. But you can override the default by specifying "Apply to Whole Document" and then you only need to do it once. You do want the odd and even pages to have the margins flip back and forth because you want the larger margin to always be near the spine, especially for a thick book. The diabetes handbook: 18 essential questions and valuable advice help you to create a life as you have never been diabetic.

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