Posts Tagged ‘formatting’

When I format my books for ebooks, it’s SO easy. I can do it quickly with no problems. All Romance has several formats, but you have to convert them before uploading, so I do Mobi, Epub, PDF, RB, LIT, html, etc. I never have any problems. BUT, when it comes to formatting for print, there are so many things you have to do. I keep forgetting what order I like to do it all in, so I decided for next time I needed to make a checklist. I thought I would share it here since someone else might benefit from it.

This is all done in Microsoft Word. I’m assuming you already have the paragraph indents done. Some of these steps might not apply to you.

1. Change the pages to the size you want the book to be. I do mine 5.5 x 8.5

2. Change it to “justified”. This is where the right side lines up, which is the norm for print books. Some people do this for ebooks, too, but I don’t see a reason for it.

3. Add the “gutter” so that when the book is bound, there is room in the margin. You have to choose “mirror margins” and the gutter should be on the left side on the odd pages and the right side on the even pages.

4. Change the chapter font and add a graphic under the chapter if you want one. This is entirely optional, but I like my chapters to have a different font with a graphic.

5. Go through and make sure all chapters start on an odd numbered page. If they don’t, add a white page right before it. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it looks more professional, and most traditionally published books are like this.

6. Add your headings. Your name goes on the even pages and the title goes on the odd pages. You should choose “different odd and even” and “different first page”. I always leave off the headers on the blank white pages and the first page of each chapter.

7. Add your page numbers This is the bane of my existence. I hate adding the page numbers. Sometimes this goes smoothly, and sometimes I get so frustrated I have to come back later. This last time was one of the frustrating times, but then I suddenly got it. One of these days I’m going to write down DETAILED instructions as I go. Again, I don’t like page numbers on the blank pages and first pages of chapters. OR the title page and copyright page. The way you make this happen is you have section breaks, not page breaks between chapters and also between the title page, copyright page, and blank pages.

8. Tell your cover artist how many pages your book is so she can make the cover the right size! 🙂

These are NOT detailed instructions, it’s just a checklist. If I left anything out, please let me know. I had to do this from memory since I’ve already done the book. Also, if someone sees anything I need to reword, let me know.


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This new book finishing service started out because of a conversation between my friends, Kait Nolan and Susan Bischoff. They were talking about the need to earn a little extra money. Let’s be honest here…it’s a hard time for authors right now. Although, it’s great that everyone is able to publish a book now, it DOES lead to more and more books being available to readers. It takes awhile to build a big enough platform to get yourself well-known among readers. In the meantime, money gets tight.

There are three services offered at The Forge. Susan Bischoff is the best content editor I know. Also known as “The Pink Hammer”, she has a wonderful eye for what is missing, what needs to be added, when something doesn’t flow right, etc.

Kait Nolan is one of the most organized, computer savvy people I know, and she knows a LOT about formatting ebooks for publication. She’s one of those people who has to have everything just so wants things done right. 🙂

They still needed a proofreader, and that’s where I came in. I know most grammar rules, and when I’m in doubt, I look it up. I’m good at spelling, and I’m a comma Nazi. I am FAR from perfect, but I strive to do my very best to proof manuscripts to the best of my ability. When people put their trust in me, I want to deliver.

When I was asked to be a part of this, there was a slight hesitation on my part. The reason is, I have a couple of VERY good friends who are proofreaders, and my first thought was “Will they see me as competition?” But, as another friend pointed out, these days, there’s enough work for everyone. And we probably wouldn’t even be exposed to the same potential customers, especially when we all have so many other circles of friends and acquaintances. I’ve been told I always worry too much about these kinds of things, but that’s just me. I can’t help it. LOL.

Anyway, if you are looking for a content editor, proofreader, and/or formatter, check us out at The Forge. You might need one, two, or all three services. We are all independent contractors, so you would contact us separately for whatever service you need.

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I’m sitting here a little disappointed because the first 50 people who register for the RNConvention get to have a special VIP brunch with Jimmy Thomas and some other hunks. Anya and I were all set to start registering as soon as it opened at 3:00 PM on Saturday. But they changed it to tonight, at the same time church starts. Bleh. Anyway…onward.

Formatting for Print

After fighting so long with page numbers on the print version of Vampires’ Curse, I finally got it to work! So while it was still in my mind how to do it, I went ahead and formatted Soul of a Vampire. So I’ll be publishing both of them on CreateSpace pretty close together. Anya has to work on the print cover of SoaV first. She pretty much has VC done…she was just waiting on me to tell her how many pages it was going to be.


I finally started on the book I’m co-writing with my husband. Right off the bat, we disagreed on something. He wanted more description about the MC’s feelings before he has an accident. I think I started it right and that it doesn’t need anything else. So I stopped writing if for a little while. Then I picked it back up and didn’t change anything. I can always add more later if hubby still feels like it needs more. I ended up writing 560 words, but I would have liked it to be more.


I’ve been faithful to my workouts, going to the gym 3-4 days a week. But I need to add cardio. I’m going to order some Chaco running/walking shoes because since I’ve been wearing my Chaco sandals, no shoe feels good on my feet anymore, even my Tone-Ups. When I walk on the treadmill at home, I could wear my sandals, I guess. But at the gym, they expect you to wear appropriate shoes. Since I found an extra $112 I didn’t know I had, I can buy those shoes. 🙂

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I FINALLY got 3 out of my 7 titles on allromanceebooks.com. This was quite a learning curve, so I wanted to relate some of the problems I ran into. Maybe it will help someone along the line.

First, some of you may remember I was frustrated because my quotes and apostrophes were turning into weird stuff. Well, that was because in Calibre, I was converting from a pdf file. When I converted from an html file, everything looked okay except on pdb. I still had those weird black retangles, and all my formatting was shot. So I chose not to publish a pdb file until I could figure it out. Right now I have pdf, html, mobi, epub, lit, and rb.

Some other things. You have to add yourself as an author in their database before you can add books. Then when you do a search for your author name while adding books, you have to make sure you click “add” after it finds you. I messed up on that the first time. And your file names for html and pdf cannot have spaces in them (I have no idea why). I had to rename those two file types and reload them. And one big thing…when they say your cover has to be 200 x 300, they mean exactly! Some of mine turned out to be 201 x 300 when I re-sized them from the normal 600 x 900 size. It would not take the cover because of that little “1”. So save yourself some time and aggravation and make sure the cover is EXACTLY 200 x 300.

This was harder (or at least more time consuming) than either Amazon or Smashwords, but I think it was well worth it. Smashwords converts your book to all the formats, but you have to do it yourself before uploadng to All Romance. I’m going to put my other four books on soon, but I didn’t have any more time during my lunch hour. LOL. Plus a couple of the books need some formatting fixes. I love the way the All Romance website looks. It almost makes you WANT to buy something from them. That is, if you’re into romance. Anyway, this is my page in case you wanted to know what it looks like. I think many of you need to give it a shot. I’ll be glad to help in any way I can. :0) Lauralynn Elliott

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