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The layout of your book is very important. The average paperback book size is six inches wide and nine inches tall, which is much smaller than the average size of a sheet of an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. This means that if you are submitting a book for printing, you will need to select the proper page setup.

 

Your page layout can be designed with any word processing software if your book is for a small audience of friends or family. Any serious work, however, should be prepared using a page layout program, namely a desktop publishing, DTP program. Book buyers will not buy a book if it does not have professional typeset. Often there are subtle differences in the typography, point type and line spacing; even line breaks can affect the appearance of a smooth and consistent paragraph. A page layout program is designed to give the user maximum control over the appearance of the page, including graphic placement and rotation, drawing capabilities, text shaping, and the position of type on the page. DTP software programs will also include tools for easy rotation, scaling and cropping of photographs and graphics.

 

In the absence of DTP software, your next best option would be to use any word processing program. After creating your page layout and formatting your document, the final version must then be converted to PDF format before submission.

A good, basic page layout is to leave a 3/4-inch margins on the outside edges and allow a 1-inch margin on the inside, "spine" edge. Think of how a book reads. Your copyright page is always an even numbered page, followed by the title page, which should be an odd numbered page. The first chapter always starts on the odd numbered page.

 

If you are using Microsoft Word, go into the "Format" menu and choose "Document." Then click the "mirror margins" option. This will change the "left" and "right" options to "inside" and "outside." (Page Layout/Margins/-Mirrored – in the most recent version of Word). Set your top, bottom and outside margins at "0.75" and your inside margin at "1".

 

For more free information on self-publishing visit www.dlitepress.com

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Replies to This Discussion

When I first started writing, and it looked like it might turn into a real book. I looked at different ways I could use to help me get a fairly good guess at how long my book would be. I looked at the different page size but it was so small on my computer. Ultimately I enlarged my font and set my margins so that the content of the page was as close as I could get to that size book. Right at first, publishing was a far-away, gee-I-wish, dream, and only recently could I convert to pdf myself. I'll have to see what one of my books will look like following your description.

Let me know how it works for you. I can email you our free newsletter. To complete your setup, remember to also go to 'Page Layout' in Microsoft Word and set custom margins i.e. your book trim size (page height and width.)

DLite Press

Thank you for the tips on how to set up my page. I had my paper size set at 6x 9 but not my margins this should help a whole lot. I always wondered why i had a lot of revisions when i got my manuscript back from the publisher before it was published. This should help out a bunch,

I'm very glad that you 've taken the pain to submit such an impressive guidelines. Thank You!

I've got to ask...because it's driving me crazy...My first book was 116 pages with the font being calibri 14 point.  The current book I am writing is calibri 12 point, and is 170 pages so far, and i'm aiming at 250 pages.  I was at walmart the other day, and walked passed the book section, stopped and opened a couple bestsellers...and the print was HUGE.  I copied a full length line from several books, put them into my word program, at 6x9 which is the size of both my book, and the books i looked at...I then enlarged the print until they filled a whole line, and i was finding their font averaged 18-20 point, with some as large as 28 point.  Is this the new norm for font size?  Is my 12 point font way too small? I enlarged my font, to match, and my 170 page book becomes 292 pages....just curious...lol

For 6x9 I use size 16 Times New Roman with 1" margins all around. Always when the finished product is out the page count will differ. Now that my new book is out in the standard pocket book size I've adjusted my Word document for book 2 to match. I still use size 16 Times New Roman but my margins are 2" on the sides and 1.5" on the bottom and 1" on the top.

I discovered with CreateSpace that if you don't happen to like the way it looks, it's easy to back up and change things.

I find the distribution of CreateSpace to be rather amazing - it's world wide, you know. I also discovered loading a document to Barns & Noble to be just as easy as CreateSpace though less well known. Those two sites will get your book available to kindle and nook, though I don't believe B&N will offer a paperback. I don't know for sure though, no one has ordered one there yet.

Tanya Robinson said:

Yes.  I have recently discovered my book needs quite extensive revision and as you say, once this has been completed it will be easy for me to reload the revised manuscript.  Will have to think about it more if I want wider publication; I understand Smashwords would be the one to use for that.
 
Anna L. Walls said:

I discovered with CreateSpace that if you don't happen to like the way it looks, it's easy to back up and change things.

Welcome back.

The only thing that has baffled for so long is how to do the running heads on a page ensuring the header skips the chapter page. Suggestions anyone?

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