So, You Want to Write a Book: Part V -Formatting & Publishing Resources

When new to the writing process or with technology forever changing, it’s always hard to keep up with where to go to find the best info. Luckily, since I use Amazon as my main publishing stream, I go straight to the source. They have step by step guides and even videos to walk you through it all. Below is a breakdown of formatting for both ebooks and print on demand books and links to the best resources I’ve found from Amazon.

Ebook Page Formatting

  1. Set your margins BEFORE your start writing
    1. First line indent to 0.2
    2. Spacing – set before and after to 0 pt, and line spacing to single
  2. Add Page Breaks
    1. When you are done with one chapter and before you start the other, you’ll want to add in a page break so that the last page of your chapter ends on a different than your next one begins
  3. Choose Your Font
    1. Fonts should be legible and easy to read. They should be large enough where there is no need to squint. Steer clear of cursive.
    2. Standard fonts are Times New Roman, Arial or Courier. I like Georgia, but I’ve always been a bit of a rebel.
    3. Stick to the same font throughout the entire story
    4. Only change it for the chapter headings if you choose

Click here for full guide

Ebook Cover Formatting

If you choose someone very familiar with creating book covers, you may not need this resource, but I as I talked about last week, I sucked my brother into helping me create my book covers, so we had to make sure before he started designing, we had the right size photos in the right format and that everything was inside the lines so it wasn’t cut off.

Here are the details are creating your book cover

Print Book Formatting

Not everyone does print copies of there novel anymore, but I always love the idea of physically holding my work in my hands, so I do. CreateSpace and KDP have merged since I last published my book so I had to do a little digging.

Paper and Word Color

There are a few options for your printed book.

  • Black ink on cream paper
  • Black ink on white paper
  • Color ink on white paper

For Tear Stained Beaches I used a cream color paper because I thought it went better with the warm tones of my book cover. Holding on Georgia and Behind the Strings I used black ink on white paper.

Choose Your Book Size

All my novels are 6×9. I think it makes for great cover quality and great book length and layout. There are many options to choose from though. Once you do decide, you will need to download the template zip file and open the template with your book size. Copy and paste your formatted ebook manuscript in. Don’t be afraid, parts of it may look funny once you do that, but you’ll just need to go through and fix pieces here and there. For the most part it should copy over quite well.

Be sure to go through this slowly as sometimes you may need to format as there is a blank page or the last line of a chapter may be all by itself on a new page. You’ll be able to receive a proof copy in the mail before ever setting up your print publishing, so you’ll be able to make changes before you go live!

Templates and Formatting Guide

Amazon Can Help

There is a lot of reading and trial and error when it comes to formatting. I’ve always done it myself, but Amazon does offer services to assist all parts of the formatting and publishing process. So, if you are struggling, Amazon makes it pretty easy for you!


Publishing Your Book

Once the formatting is set, you are almost home free! Now it’s time to get through the final steps for the publishing. You’ll login to your KDP account, enter all of your book details like ISBN numbers (I purchase mine here), keywords, pricing etc. Then you’ll upload and be able to preview before you publish!

Steps for Publishing Your Book

I hope this series was inspiring and helps you start that book you’ve always wanted to write!! Any other topics you want me to cover on the blog, send over an email to authorcgiardina at gmail dot com!


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