How to Professionally Format Your Manuscript

Publish Your Book, Your Way
Publish Your Book, Your Way

This is an excerpt from Publish Your Book, Your Way: A Workbook and Guide to the Business of Independent Publishing by Sonja Hakala © 2013, all rights reserved. You can purchase a copy of this book from

All book production, whether it’s for an electronic book or a book-on-paper, begins with a properly formatted manuscript in either Microsoft Word or Apple’s Pages.

You can handle this part of the publishing process yourself and save money on the costs of having your book converted to an electronic format or professionally typeset for print.

In fact, many electronic conversion companies such as BookBaby, Smashwords, 52 Novels and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing require a properly formatted manuscript before they will work on your book.

In the world of print, a production company, book designer or typesetter will charge you by the hour (anywhere from $50 to $90 per hour is the norm) to format your manuscript if you do not do this work yourself.

The rudiments of a properly formatted manuscript are probably well-known to you:

  • Black type on a white background only.
  • Twelve-point type in a universal font such as Times or Helvetica. No fancy fonts.

But proper formatting requires more than black type and a universal font. Please read Six Rules for Writers to learn how to properly format your manuscript.

Write, Publish, and Market Your Book Your Way with Professional Guidance from Full Circle Press

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