Before you begin: set up your document in Microsoft Word, OpenOffice or Mac Pages software. Do not use old or obscure word processing packages. You will need to deliver your book to a publisher in Word, Pages, OpenOffice or as a PDF.
- Top left: your name and contact information.
- Top right: accurate word count.
- Centered, half-way down page: insert title with “by [your name]” underneath.
If you write under a pseudonym, put that beneath the title but insert your real name top left of the first page with your contact information.
Header: insert your name, book title and page number right-justified. As a header this will appear on every page automatically. Under no circumstances make this part of the book text.
Begin your text…
General document format:
- Use a 12 point size, serif font e.g. Courier and Times – not Arial; this is a sans serif font.
- Use black letters on a white background.
- Set up as single, separate pages, i.e. do not set up as facing pages/booklets.
- Use double line spacing.
- Use a single space after punctuation, e.g. after full stops, commas, etc.
- Left-justify your paragraphs. Right margins should be “ragged”, i.e. not justified.
- Indent the first line of your paragraphs by about 1cm. Set this up as a single tab – do not do it by counting spaces, as these won’t come out even when typeset.
- Leave a minimum 2 cm margin all the way around your text. This allows for annotation on a printed copy.
- Don’t insert extra lines between your paragraphs. To indicate a blank line, insert a blank line, then a line with a hash tag (#) in the centre of it, followed by another blank line.
- You can insert a line break for a new section within a chapter.
- At the end of a chapter insert a page break.
- Do not use bold or italic fonts or unusual formatting; simply use the italic and bold options within your word processing software. This avoids problems with font versions.
- Number formatting: 1-10 to be given in numbers form; 10 plus to be given in words: e.g. eleven, twelve etc.
- Ellipsis: (…) leave no space between the dots and the word they relate to, e.g.: discover… Also, always use the keystroke ellipsis – not three full points. Three full points will vary in spacing depending on how the justification is set up by the typesetters.
- Use hyphens within words, e.g.: up-to-date.
- Use an en-dash for a ‘pause’ with a space either side and be consistent throughout the text.
- Centred on its own line, insert “End” after the last line of your text.
Last but by no means least:
Proofread before the book goes to typesetting, it will drastically reduce the number of amends the typesetter will have to take in, which will save you a lot of budget. Typesetters can charge corrections to text that is set at £100+VAT per hour
Edit before your file goes off to the typesetter for the same reason.
Letting us format and proofread your book will save you a lot of time and energy. If you have a project you would like to discuss, don’t hesitate to talk to us about your eBook formatting today.