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What is the Standard Publication Format for A Book?

Updated: Aug 29, 2021

It is important to present your manuscript to your editor according to the standard publication format. Read this blog post to discover the standard publication format for books and e-books.

Standard publication format for a book
An open book

We understand that creative writers don’t spend much time on the formatting and layout of their manuscripts. When they write in a flow, it can be a challenge for them to keep track of the word count, paragraphing and even chapter breaks of their novels.

Even if you choose to leave the formatting of your book until the very last full stop has been placed, it is important that you format it according to the standard publication format.

There are few reasons for this:

The first reason is simple. It ensures that your manuscript is in the format of a book. You will have a rough idea on what your book will look like once it is printed as a physical copy or is published online as an e-book. This is the part where you are in control so you can add more chapters, remove a few chapters, merge them, insert images and go beyond your imagination to even create maps of fictional places and add them in your Ms. Word document.

Just remember one thing as you format your book…format it the way a reader would like to read it.

This takes us to our next reason for formatting your book according to the standard publication format.

Your editor will be your first and perhaps the most critical reader. But remember that you are paying your editor to edit or proofread your work, not to format it. So, don’t get on their bad side by giving them extra work because in most cases, they will just add additional charges to your publishing fee for formatting your work.

The standard publication format for books and e-books mostly remains the same unless your publisher states otherwise or if you, as an self-published author, want your book to look different. Another reason why to have a different format for you book could be that you like to ad some pages to your book. If you have written a book with 25.000 words, but still want to have a book with more than 100 pages, you need to pick a different format and/or font size. If you work with a formatter, he or she will be able to assist you with this.

What is the Standard Publication Format for Books?

1) Use black coloured, 12-point, Times New Roman as the font for your main text.

2) Use the U.S. standard page size of 8.5×11 inches and set your margins to 1 inch on all sides.

3) Set your text’s alignment to left side.

4) Use a single space after full stops.

5) Use double-spaced line spacing

6) In novels, indent all paragraphs by 0.5 inches, and don’t hit tab or space to indent

7) In non-fiction books, don’t indent your paragraphs, instead use enter for paragraph breaks.

8) Use page breaks for new chapters.

9) Number your pages.

10) Send your manuscript as one Word document (.doc /.docx)

Additional Notes on Standard Publication Format

· Always have a title page with the title of your book, your name, and the word count mentioned on it. Word counts are important because quite a few publication houses make their publication decision based on the word count of the book.

· Always insert a table of contents.

· Always have page numbers.

· Insert footnotes for references and explanations.

· Print your manuscript one-sided

Now that you have all the information you need about the standard publication format of a book you may proceed to format your book according to the best industry practice.

For more information on book publishing, please feel free to contact us here.

Looking for a self-publishing guide?

If you are an author and looking for more tips on how to publish and market your book, click here.

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