The trials and tribulations of book formatting

Formatting is one of the most laborious, frustrating parts of the publishing process. When I self-published a trilogy of books back in 2010, I had to format the whole thing myself, manually by hand, which took hours of labour and fast sucked away any love I had for the project.[1] While the end-product turned out ok, I’m grateful that this time round I don’t have to have anything to do with this arduous process!

Formatting previews

For a couple of weeks now, I’ve been liaising with my publishers on the cover design of my book, which I hope to share with you once the final cover design is agreed. Meanwhile, work is well underway to convert my MS Word document into a print-ready format, sorting out everything from the page layout and formatting to the fonts that appear throughout the book.

Just yesterday I received a preview of the formatting which I have to say I’m really pleased with. Not too much will change, so here’s a sample from my cover page and the first page of chapter one. The font on the title page matches the font on my front cover, and is something I’m particularly happy with.

Next steps

Now the formatting style has been agreed, the next stage is for the whole book to be formatted according to this style, before I receive a final proof to check over ready for publication. Once the final page count is calculated, the spine can then be designed, along with the back cover to create the files ready for publishing.

After that it will be time to work on the marketing materials for the book, including a microsite which I will build myself once the cover material is finished. I’m also looking to create some social media assets and a mini promo video for use on the web – but more on that later.

For now, all that remains to do on my side of things is wait for the design and formatting. I’ll post more updates as and when I have them!

Until next time,


1. Fixing paragraph indents across 250k words is not fun.

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