How to Format Books for Self-Publishing

Formatting might actually be worse than writing and editing and cover design. I mean that with everything in me.

Pro-tip: Before we start, you’re going to definitely want to have all your images at 300 DPI. If you don’t know how to do that, check out this tutorial.

Right now I’m gonna tell you guys a secret. I literally am only releasing my book on Kindle or on Amazon because Amazon makes it a whole hell of a lot easier to format and publish books than anything else.

Before my friend Jay showed me “de way” I was trying to use scrivener which is probably one of the most confusing programs ever. Let’s be real here, it’s a nightmare.

I personally, couldn’t figure out how to

  1. Fix my chapter headings
  2. Fix my page numbers
  3. How to get my front matter to not show up as an actually chapter
  4. How to fix my table of contents

I promise you guys, if you’re new to formatting scrivener isn’t the way to go.

Some authors swear by Vellum, but since Vellum is only for Mac users and since I’m a die-hard PC user with a custom built machine, I probably won’t be using that.

So here’s what my good bro Jay told me.

Format everything in Google Docs, download it as a docx, upload it to KDP and Amazon takes care of the rest. Literally. Amazon will format that shit for you and I 1000% recommend using Google Docs for everything.

My print book was a little more difficult, however. Since in print books you’re required to have page numbers, Google Docs won’t work for that.

See, in book writing, your page numbers should not appear on any front matter pages (things like the table of contents, title page, dedication, and copyright page).Google Docs, in its infinite wisdom will not allow you to have custom page numbers. There used to be an add-on for it, but it was taken down.

So, for print, you’re going to have to use Microsoft Word to get those page numbers right.

Also, a real quick tutorial on print. It is so much different than formatting for Kindle.

With Kindle all you need are:

  1. A front cover
  2. Your manuscript
  3. Any graphics you want to put in your manuscript
  4. Your front matter

With print, you’re going to need:

  1. A front and back cover.
  2. Your pages need to be set to the book size you chose.
  3. You can do this in word by going to Page Layout and Selecting Size, Custom Size, and setting your page size.
image
  1. A whole hell of a lot of patience.

You will have to re-upload your book more than once to both KDP and Amazon Print. I promise you, there will be glaring formatting errors that you absolutely need to fix.

Pro-Tip: I’m going to save you guys a ton of time too, for Kindle DO NOT make your chapter fonts, or headings, or any of your font period larger that 18pt.

People can and will resize shit and it’ll make your formatting look like trash. So Keep it simple!

Don’t forget to buy Bloom RIGHT NOW on Amazon. It’s also available to read FOR FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

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