Format Your Book like A Pro
Mostly, writers ignore the formatting part while writing a new manuscript. You might think writing the very first paragraph, taking care of the page layout, and inserting page numbers, margins, or section breaks would waste your time in the initial phase. Only at the end, when you are done with the writing part, you remind yourself about formatting. Well, that is the time when you need to ignore certain formatting standards that can polish your work and make it look more refined. When your manuscript is properly formatted, it will be easy to read, making an impression on the reader regarding the quality.
You might find book formatting boring until you know that it is a crucial indicator of whether your editor is skilled and efficient enough or not. Suppose your work has been incorporated with the standards of formatting guidelines. In that case, your reader will think of you as a thoughtful, careful, and professional author who takes their work seriously. At this point, it is necessary to mention that some editors or writers use their own formatting standards. So, you need to be sure about that.
While there’s no right or fixed time to format your manuscript, all you need to do to format your book like a pro is follow these guidelines for fiction and non-fiction content.
Use Times New Roman with a standard size of 12-point. However, other standard fonts used by editors or writers are Serif or Sans Serif, Arial, and Courier New with 12-point sizes. Remember, never use a cool font effect like Comic Sans, as it will make your work look tacky.
2. Page Size and Margins
The standard page size should always be 8.5x11inches. If you export a text to MS Word, just be careful and double-check the page size. Your page should always have a one-inch margin on all sides to ensure uniformity. Make these settings default in MS Word, so you don’t have to worry every time.
Always remember to’ Left’ align your text and not justified. However, the right side of your page will be left non-uniform or unjustified.
Use double spacing for your text to make all the lines appear clear and readable. Double spacing also makes the text more visible for markups. This will give your text more room to breathe on the page. Also, always use a space after each period.
Indenting your text is one of the most important tasks in formatting. But at the same time, this might also be every editor’s pet peeve. The first line of each paragraph should be half-inch indented. You can do it by hitting the Tab key every time you begin a new paragraph.
6. Page Breaks
When beginning a new chapter, do not just keep hitting the Enter key until you reach a new blank page. In fact, you can create a new page by using the Page Break option in the Insert tab in MS Word. Click it right when you are done with a chapter.
7. Page Numbers
It will be a good idea if you go for numbering the pages of your text as it will give your work a more professional look. Just hit the Insert tab in MS Word and click Page Number. The drop-down menu will show you a list of options from which you can select.
At the end of your manuscript, you can simply write “END,” aligning it in the center of the page.
If you think these steps didn’t help, sign up here to get more detailed tips and guidelines through our weekly subscription.