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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Writing Tip Wednesday--Formatting for E-books Part 2

Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday! Self-publishing offers writers another choice on the road to publication, whether they’re already traditionally published and/or e-press published, or unpublished. Although the author maintains control of the process, she also has a lot of hard work ahead of her. Education about self-publishing and the publishing industry is vital to a good product and creating a professional image.

The content is ready! The book is written, the polished manuscript has been to an editor, critique partners, and beta-readers, the tagline and blurbs are written, a contract for cover art has been signed, ISBNs are purchased, and front and back matter are complete.

Because not all writer brains work alike, Formatting for E-books Part 2 will cover a different approach to preparing the document for upload at retail platforms. Each section of the book has some unique formatting, so this approach lists the elements separately by section. Remember that font, typeface size, indent sizes, and line spacing can be adjusted to the author’s preference. Always preview the final product before clicking Publish.

Title Page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text approximately 2 inches from the top
-Centered text
-Bold
-Times New Roman or other legible font
-16-point typeface (can be larger or smaller, depending on appearance on the page)
-Double-space or more for aesthetic spacing
-First line: title
-Second, third, fourth, etc. lines: title continued, subtitle, “By,” or author’s name

Copyright Page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Left-margin justification
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Dedication Page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Center “Dedication” heading
-Left-margin justification for body of text
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Preface page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Center “Preface” heading
-Left-margin justification for body of text
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Table of Contents:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Center “Table of Contents” heading
-Left-margin justification for listing of chapter titles/numbers
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Chapter/Part/Section Pages for Nonfiction:
-1-inch margins
-Begin chapter/part/section title/name 2-3 inches from the top of the page
-Center chapter/part/section title/name
-Regular or italics text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-14-point typeface
-Double-spaced

Chapter Text for Nonfiction:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Left-margin justification
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Chapters for Fiction:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Chapter title/number centered or left-margin justification
-14-point typeface for chapter title/number
-Double-space between chapter title/number and beginning of chapter text
-Left-margin justification for body of text
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface for chapter text
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Chapter Breaks and Page Breaks:
-Check the retail platforms current guidelines
-KDP currently requires page breaks
-Nook Press, Kobo, etc. require section breaks

Acknowledgements Page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Center “Acknowledgements” heading
-14-point typeface for heading
-Left-margin justification for body of text
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface for text
-Single or 1.15 spacing

About the Author Page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Center “About the Author” heading
-14-point typeface for heading
-Left-margin justification for body of text
-Regular text
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface for text
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Other Books by the Author Page:
-1-inch margins
-Begin text at the top of the page
-Center “Other Books by the Author” heading
-14-point typeface for heading
-Left-margin justification for listing of books
-Separate series listings
-Regular text for heading
-Italics for book titles
-Times New Roman or other easy-to-read font
-12-point typeface for text
-Single or 1.15 spacing

Create, name, and save a separate file for each retail platform for easy updates. Be sure the hyperlinks for Other Books by the Author match the retail site where the file will be uploaded.

Formatting for print is next, so don’t check off #7 yet!

The To-Do List
1) Finish the book. 
2) Polish and edit the book. 
3) Write taglines and blurbs. 
4) Create or purchase cover art. 
5) Purchase ISBNs, if using a single ISBN for all retailers using the same book format (print or e-book). 
6) Create front and back matter. 
7) Format for e-book and/or print.
8) Update website, blog, and social media.
9) Create metadata list.
10) Plan a marketing and promotion strategy.
11) Publish the book.
12) File copyright paperwork, if registering.
13) Add buy links to websites, blogs, and social media.
14) Implement marketing and promotion strategies.
15) Write the next book!

Be sure to check out the writing craft series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Craft Handbook, in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace, and the writing career series, Writing Tip Wednesday: The Writing Career Handbook, in e-book at Amazon and B&N and in print at Amazon and CreateSpace.

Mellanie Szereto
Romance...With A Kick!

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