To Format or Not to Format?



It has been a busy few months making last minute changes to a long overdue goal. After three years of sitting on a third manuscript, finally all the slow tiny steps have begun to add up. Getting this ready has been a saga in of itself, but for the moment I will concentrate on formatting. This area required research and there are more options out there. So when you reach this stage, take a peek at the advice and programmes before making a final decision.

Assess Your Abilities

This is about time, ability to learn and what you wish to take on. My background consists of using both drawing and word programmes. I have a genuine interest in learning new programmes. After doing a bit of research and assessing my long term goals. I made the big leap and purchased a copy of Adobe InDesign. I realise this is not for everyone, but since formatting is a goal it was an investment. Most people I know have opted to pay for someone else to do the formatting for hardcopy. There are currently a range of programmes that make it easy to create an eBook (epub or mobi file). I find more people I know are comfortable with using a programme to convert a manuscript to an eBook. Since there are quite a few programmes and services there is no ‘one size fits all’. So take the time to look around before making the final decision.

Getting Down to Work

Way back when I began writing a novel the first thing I did was go to my bookshelf and study how books are formatted. The number of lines to a page, words to a line and different page headers. Formatting the hardcopy (paperback) is about making a book look like a book. Don’t laugh, there is actually quite a bit to it from the genre to the standard requirements. For example, the back cover will have the genre in small print near the bottom to make it easier to identify. In addition a page header is there for the reader to know the chapter. Formatting is not for everyone, but it is worth doing a little research so you know what to look for.

3 comments on “To Format or Not to Format?”

  1. I format while I’m writing in the format requirements for how it will be self-published. Was formatting for kindle/kobo then found out kdp select is different so having to re-format those books. Thanks for the good post.

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