Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by
Book publishing process banner

Book Formatting For Self-PublishingBook manuscript format text only

Manuscript preparation can be a challenging task for the self published author.  Although not difficult, book formatting can be a time consuming task. InstantPublisher can help with book formatting for an extra cost; however, most authors are completely capable of formatting their book. For prices on book formatting, layout and typesetting services for the self published author, please visit our layout/typesetting page.

Book formatting can be done by the self published author in basic programs like Microsoft Word or even OpenOffice. InstantPublisher recommends first doing a little research and finding a design you like for book formatting. The best way to publish a book is go to a bookstore and look at as many page designs as possible and choose one that appeals to you, the self-publisher, and follow the format. Be sure to size your document to the size of book you want to publish before you start typing as this will save you from having to reformat after typing. If your manuscript is already entered into your computer, you can still re-size; but you will need to go back through and make sure everything falls on the correct page and looks correct. The easiest way to tell what page falls where is to look at the physical page number. The easiest way to set your book formatting size is to enter the size of the book as the paper size on your page setup screen and enter .75" for left and right margins and .7" for top and bottom margins or you can download a book design template from our manuscript templates page.

Most book formatting starts with a title page, followed by the copyright page. The title page typically includes the title, subtitle, name of publisher and author. To publish books, the copyright page must contain Copyright © followed by the year and name of who the copyright is filed under. Example: title page and copyright page. One frequently quoted source is Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" at

Title Pages

Book manuscript format title page 1Book manuscript format title page 2Book manuscript format title page 3Book manuscript format title page 4Book manuscript format title page 5
(These are title page examples.)

Listing the self-publisher (your name) and printer on the copyright page is standard in the book publishing industry. The book would be printed in the United States of America by

All books are priced by the number of pages. Many books will have special pages such as a Table of Contents, Foreword or Introduction, Glossary or Index. There again, you are the publisher and have full control of how the pages will look and in what order they appear in your book. Do not use too many fonts, especially on the same page and  avoid using all caps throughout the manuscript.

Be sure to publish a book that is attractive to you as the author and easy to read. Many times, self-publishers will get carried away with design elements that actually take away from the readability of the book. When thinking about self publishing book formatting, a smooth flowing book with easy to read fonts is much more appealing to the reader, compared to a book with too many different fonts used and fonts that are just plain hard to read.

[Note: Use our Manuscript Templates page for templates or cover templates.]