Self Publishing - Formatting

Writing an awesome book is only the first step in the self publishing world. As I’ve mentioned before, there are lots of decisions you have to make prior to hitting that “Publish” button. One of the biggest hurdles is the formatting. I’m sure that everyone has a different idea of what you need to do to properly format your document to make it a proper looking eBook, but I thought I would share the steps that I take.

I always type in Word. Growing up, I always used WordPerfect, but colleges frowned upon that, so I was forced to switch to Word. After taking several courses in it, and learning how to properly Google directions on how to fix whatever issue I’m having, I feel quite comfortable using the program.

Prior to publishing my first eBook, my husband did some research on what I needed to do. Up until that point, I hadn’t even considered that formatting would be an issue. I kind of just thought that Amazon would do that work for you. Turns out they don’t.

After spending hours formatting my first SHORT STORY for Amazon, I decided to make a checklist prior to starting any story so that most of the work would be done for me in advance. I’m just going to go ahead and share that with you.

  • Set your paragraph indentation at “Special” “First Line” “.5”
  • Set your line spacing at 1.5
  • After each paragraph include 10 pt spacing
  • Justify. Justify. Justify.
  • After each chapter or section, insert a page break
  • Do not number your pages
  • Do not include headers or footers
  • Do not use any tabs
  • If you want an index of chapters and page numbers, use the Word Table of Contents Wizard so that it’s all generated automatically for you
  • The document should be saved as a Web Page, Filtered

I have never published any images within the text, so I’m not sure how that works. But I have a project in which I’m about to. So I’ll do another blog on that. I have a feeling that it’s a huge issue in and of itself.

It’s really not confusing, just tedious. But if you set all that up prior to starting your document, it makes the whole process smooth and easy.

If I’ve left something out, feel free to add it on in the comments. But these are the steps that I’ve always taken and I’ve been pretty happy with them so far. 

I hear you saying, "But Ann, you're not your usual witty and charming self this blog." You're correct. I'm not. It's been a long week and I'm tired. My son is beginning to throw tantrums and it's occupying a lot of my time and energy that I'd prefer to use for something more of the writing persuasion. But alas, we don't always get what we want. I apologize for the straight forward blog. 

photo credit: BarryAdams Images via photopin cc