format the interior of a book

The Ultimate Guide on How to Format the Interior of a Book

Congratulations! On having finally completed your manuscript and edited it to the point of perfection. It’s good news that you have finally decided to self-publish your book. 

Many self-publishing companies like Notionpress, White Falcon Publishing Company, BookBaby provide you with additional services of editing your book, cover design, formatting the interior of the book besides publishing your book in both print and ebook versions. 

In this article, I will be providing you with detailed information on what formatting the interior of a book means and how to format the interior of a book. 

But before that,

Why the Interior Design of your Book is important.

You have spent months and probably years in weaving a book of stories or facts. And then you have spent additional months on correcting and editing your precious manuscript.

As you take the plunge and decide to self-publish, I am assuming that you have gone by the steps it takes to publish a book. 

Now, you wouldn’t want your book to look like a messy clutter of meaningful words in a too-fancy-to-read font. Readers hate it when they have to stretch the spine to read the words. Also, you wouldn’t want your readers to leave a review that says ‘the font was so small and tight that it took me a magnifying glass to read it.’

To avoid this, you get the interior of your book formatted. Interior Design of the book is important to make the content of the book: 

  1. Orderly laid out
  2. Easily readable, and 
  3. Comfortable for eyes

If all these elements are not met, your author brand will have an adverse impact; the reader may not return for your second book. 

How does the interior of a book look like? 

The good interior design of a book gives off a professional vibe to the reader. You may have written the next Wuthering Heights but if the font and typeset are not readable or too fancy, your book will be kept down. So, what are those components that make the interior of your book stand out?

Text: An appropriate interior design accommodates a text that’s large enough to read. Ideally, it should be around 11-12 points. But it can be larger if the print dimensions are larger than the average one. 

Typeface: It basically means the font. It is highly important to choose the correct, simple, and not-too-showy font. Most fiction books typically use Serif Font- Garamond or Times Neue Roman. 

format the interior of a book

Why? Because it’s easier on the eyes. And with a different style, you can easily make a distinction between the narration and the conversation in the book. 

Margins: There are two types of margins: Gutter Margins and Outside Margins

Gutter Margins are the ones that are closer to the binding. These margins depend upon the thickness of the book. The thicker your book is, the wider you would keep the margins. The obvious reason for it is, a reader should not need to stretch the binding too far, or it might tear away the book. 

Outside Margins are the ones that are on the opposite of the gutter margins and on the top and bottom of the page. These margins should be wide enough for the space for the reader’s thumb. Ideally, it goes about half an inch of width. 

format the interior of a book

Widows and Orphans: Widows are those ending lines of the paragraphs that are continued on the next page. The reader has to go back to the previous page to read that last line. And this should be totally avoided.

Orphan is the beginning line of a paragraph that appears at the bottom of the page all by itself. It just looks like a clutter of meaningless words at the bottom. That should be avoided. 

Resolution: 

If your book contains images, the resolution must be high so that when the reader zooms in on the image it doesn’t appear pixelated. If it’s for the print version of the book, it should be 300dpi resolution. In the case of an ebook, it should be 72dpi. 

Which Apps to use to Format the Interior of a Book. 

The technology has made it possible for the authors (first-time, and the self-publishing) to understand how they can format the interior of the book themselves. Companies like the following have made it possible for the writers to do format the interior of a book themselves:  

  1. Vellum
  2. MS Word
  3. Reedsy Editor 
  4. Google Docs
  5. CreateSpace 
  6. IngramSpark 

The most important thing to remember is determining whether you want a print version or an ebook version, or both.

Print Version of a Book 

Both versions have different dimensions of the books. For the printed version of the book, the following are the things you need to remember:

  1. Consistency: Be consistent with the typeface, the text size, and the margins. Because the style you have chosen has to match on each page. That said, the book must have the same chapter headers, footers, paragraph styles, page number style. 
  2. Hyphenation: Hyphenation ensures that no word breaks at the end of the page. It gives your book a professional look and eases the readability. Readers don’t feel confused.
  3. Book Size: Books come in all sizes and shapes. And that means there are a lot of standard sizes in terms of dimensions of the book. The ideal book size for a novel is 6”x 9”. 

Ebook Version of a Book 

An eBook is different from the print version of the book. It is distributed by online publishers. You can purchase those books online. Dimensions for ebooks are way different from typical print books. The components of an ebook are:

  1. Page numbers 
  2. Images 
  3. Margins 
  4. Footnotes 

Ebook has two types of layouts: Reflowable and Fixed. 

The fixed layout remains unchanged and does not adjust to different apps or devices. 

In this case, the authors have full control over the overall presentation of their book. The readers do not have the liberty to change the font or text size. It is most ideal for children’s books, non-fiction, or cookery books. Common fixed-layout formats of ebooks are EPUB3 and KF8.

format the interior of a book

The reflowable layout is, as the name suggests, can adjust to various apps and devices. The font and text size are changeable. The readers can also alter the margins in the reflowable layout of the ebook. The most common reflowable layout formats are MOBI and EPUB. This layout is best for novels and non-fiction books. 

Best apps to format the interior of your ebook are:

  1. IngramSpark
  2. Amazon Kindle Create
  3. Book Baby
  4. Nook Press 
  5. Kobo 
  6. Apple iBooks

Hire a Professional to Format the Interior of a Book

It’s obviously a costly way to get the formatting of the interior of a book right. And it’s always wise and worth it to get the professional help if you are not a tech-savvy author. These companies, besides professional editing of your manuscript, book cover design, provide you with proper formatting of the interior of your book. 

  1. NotionPress
  2. Book Baby
  3. White Falcon Publishers 
  4. Blue Rose Publishers 
  5. Barnes and Nobles 
  6. ProwessPub Publishing 

Before hiring a professional, look at their former work. Check out the books they have published, and observe:

  1. The front matter
  2. The interior design of the book
  3. The title page 

The professional interior designer of the books ensures the best reading experience from your book in either of the formats (ebook, paperback, hardcovers). With the knowledge of your book, the theme, the genre, a professional interior designer will know which style is most suitable for your book. 

To End It

This article covers almost everything there is to know about formatting the interior of your book. You are welcome to add anything that you know or things that you have learned about the interior design of the book. 

2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide on How to Format the Interior of a Book”

  1. Pingback: Amazon Self Publishing: 10 Steps to Publish A Book on KDP

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *