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Formatting your Interior Manuscript​

The more I look around at what is to offer it seems that people pay someone else to work on the different aspects of publishing their books. I don't know if I am just a cheap skate or I like a challenge, but I set out to do it all myself.

Here are some tips I learnt along the way on formatting your book.

Tip #1

Don't reinvent the wheel. Places like createspace give you places where you can download templates for all sorts of sizes of books and it is a pretty good place to start.

Tip #2

One size does not fit all. You will need to tweak those templates. If you have a pretty large book then you will need to increase the gutters. Actually expect to have to increase the gutters. Make sure you do this for the whole document.

Tip #3

Section break and Page break are your friends. I will tell you now trying to get your page numbers to go where they are supposed to will drive you up the wall. Here are some instructions on how to make it a hell of lot easier.

1. Go to the page layout tab.

2. Click on breaks.

3. Choose Section break to separate one section of your book from the others i.e. title page from the body of your work. This allows you to either link page numbers together or to have them only start in the next sections. (more on that later)

4. At the end of each chapter choose page break. That means when you upload your interior your chapters all start on a new page.

Tip #4

Have a sense of style. Life is so much better when you have set up your own styles. Modify styles to how you want them. I rename mine for a title and the body. Use fonts like Garamond and Serif. You can dictate if you want first line indents and no gaps between paragraphs. There are sites that will take you through this. Once you have done this part save your document as a template.

Tip #5

Page numbering seems simple, but is hell. Okay, so you think, fine I'll just insert a page number and wa'la it is done. WRONG! Okay, that is the first step, but make sure it isn't linked to the other sections otherwise the numbers will be out. If you are trying to get that elusive odd number on right pages then try formatting numbers. Have it start with 0 and then make the first page different from the rest and just delete the 0. Still not a guarantee that it will be right.

Tip #6

Simple is better. Especially when it comes to images. If you are going to insert an image into your document you can't change the size of the image in the document. Use something like photoshop or image converters to resize your image without losing resolution. But make sure it is a simple image like a jpeg. If you have tweaked it and changed it on photoshop and you deal with it as a tiff or some other large file, Word freaks out and shrinks the resolution in an effort to get all the information. So simple is better.

Tip #7

Importing fonts in windows 8.1 is simple but hidden. So, in the past you would download a font and go into word and use that to import the new font. Not in Windows 8. First of all there are plenty of fonts you can download. I would not recommend this but if you want something unique for your titles then you might want a font that doesn't come standard. In Windows 8 all you need to do is right click on the unpacked font and install. Don't bother looking on the microsoft sites they only tell you how to deal with windows 7.

I don't know if this was helpful for people and I'm sure there is some easier way to do it. These are the lessons I have learnt along the way and slogging through a lot of websites to get there. Thanks to all those helpful people who are there to help me figure out the mysteries of Word.

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