On Book Formatting

As I’ve mentioned before, one general rule of self-publishing is:

more time spent = less money spent

more money spent = less time spent

Book formatting is one of those cases in which if you save with your wallet, you will certainly pay with your watch.

(And I realize this post is a bit out of sync with the others as far as the timeline of book production goes, but personally it’s where I am finishing up Re’and.)

Formatting is important because it is the difference between your work looking like a word processor file and looking like an actual, legit book. (See what I’m talking about below!)

An unformatted manuscript.



A formatted manuscript.


Click here to download the template I’m using for Re’and. And, after quite the search, I stumbled upon these additional interior book templates from CreateSpace you may find useful. Keep in mind that book size plays a role in formatting. (Re’and is 5×8, but more on that later.)

Ordering a proof of your book is vital so you can catch any niggly formatting errors, which is what I’m in the thick of at the moment. (Notice how the paragraph on the bottom right hand side of the image below is indented more than the rest of the text. Formatting error!)

formattingKeep in mind that you can totally pay a professional to format your book (and if that’s a financial possibility for you, I’d highly recommend it!) If you’re self-publishing on a bootstrap budget, though, be prepared to spend a good amount of time manipulating your manuscript into formatted submission.

Which is exactly what I’ll be doing in about 5 minutes.

Part of 31 Days to Self-Publishing A Book.



  1. Sarah M on October 15, 2014 at 12:14 am

    I actually found this pretty interesting…do you have to go page by page to format? Oy, that would be tedious. I wondered how you would transfer the ‘essay’ look of Re’and to a 5X8 paperback format.
    Looks great!
    Sarah M

    • Victoria on October 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Oooo, that’s a great question 🙂 I’ll be answering in an upcoming post!

  2. […] On Book Formatting […]

  3. […] from looking like a high school essay to a NY Times bestseller. To be completely transparent, I am using a pre-made template that I grabbed from the CreateSpace website. I have absolutely no idea how to create one of these […]

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