Pulling The Trigger: Formatting

For me, formatting was actually pretty easy. I’m still in the process, so I won’t know completely until it’s done, but so far nothing hasn’t been able to be fixed with a quick google search.

I looked around at a lost of places, and there are quite a few who sell book interiors, but I can’t speak on that. I’ve never tried any of them. The big ones I know are The Book Designer and 52 Novels, and I’ve heard great things about both.

What I did though, was just use Amazon’s template on Createspace. My logic followed that if it worked for print, it would work for ebook. I am still experimenting with that because while it looks great in print and on the kindle, it has some deviations on iOS.

What I did follows:

  1. Open template.
  2. Insert in chapter at a time because I wanted things to line up a certain way.
  3. Discovered there were spacing issues on probably two thirds of my indents. From what I understand this happens when you hit tab versus Word’s automatic indent. I spent two fucking hours getting rid of these!!!
  4. After recovering from the trauma of genociding that many spaces, I discovered for some arcane, lovecraftian reason that some of my headers were bigger than others. This was as simple as going to Page Layout>Page Setup>Layout and changing Vertical Alignment to Top.
  5. because I deleted a page somewhere along the way, the pages were flipped so that the edge on the right page was too long and the gutter on the left page was too deep. Deleted a blank page and corrected.
  6. Then I did some style choices, making the first phrase of each chapter Small Caps (under Font), lining up and phrasing chapter headings, little aesthetics like this.
  7. Then I ordered a proof, and along with doing an line edit, checked the formatting, looking for italics (these were removed when I inserted my text) as well as ragged edge issues, spacing issues, etc.

When I got my proof back, I loved the way everything looked except for three things. First, I had my dedication on the wrong side of the page, easily correctable. Second, the color was too white, so I will be going with cream for the final. Third, and this is the big one, it was too big. 6×9 was just too much, so I had to reformat to 5.25×8.

This proved rather easy, all I had to do was copy and past into the new template. I tried just reformatting, but that removed the special gutter margins they’d inserted. Once that was done, I just removed the extra text and I was good to go.

This is the poor man’s approach to formatting, but I like my results. I will keep this updated as I continue and discover new obstacles.

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About enathansisk

My name is Nathan Sisk, and I am a writer and aspiring author.
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