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How to Format Your Book for Publishing

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.

The first thing you need to do is to get your book into an electronic format. You should type your text into a Microsoft Word document. It is important for printers that book manuscripts be sent as a PDF file. Using styles in Word can give you an unstable document if it is opened in a different version of the program. However, Word does a great job for typesetting, editing, and formatting.

You can save more, depending on the size of your book. The common size for a regular book is 5×8 inches tall. Since a hardcover overhangs the paper’s edge is a hardcover book, the finished size is 5.5×8 inches. Page size and setup, however, are the same for paperback or hardcover. 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. Set the top, bottom , and outside margins to 0.5 inches. Mirror margins should be set to 0.75 inches. Choose 11 or 12 points for your font size. If you want an easy to read font, use Verdana or Garamond. There should be 50 to 60 characters in each line, including spaces. There should be about 40 lines in each page. With this, you will get around 250 words per page.

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. 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. Then you can start typing whatever you need for your header and footer.

If you are self-publishing, then it means that you have to do everything yourself or outsource some tasks. Most excellent writers cannot see mistakes in their manuscripts and this is why they need proofreaders and editors.

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