Posted by: nancycurteman | September 18, 2013

How to Ensure Your Book is Correctly Formatted

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th-1You’ve finished writing your novel and a publisher has accepted it for publication. Now is the time to set a few formatting standards and politely share them with your publisher. Here are some general guidelines that all authors should know in order to ensure a novel is correctly formatted.

Page size: For a paperback fiction book, 6 inches x 9 inches is the most popular and most affordable size to print.

Margins: Margins are typically set between .5 inch for smaller books and 1 inch for larger sizes.

Font size: The standard font size is 10 or 12 points.

Chapter Headings: Begin chapters only on odd-numbered pages and leave space between the chapter heading and the body text.

Page Numbers: Place page numbers as follows:
-Odd number pages-on bottom right
-Even numbered pages-on bottom left

Information Pages: Place the information on separate pages in the following sequences:

Front of book:
First: Title Page
Next: Right/copyright page
Next: Dedication Page

End of book:
First: About the Author
Next:  Acknowledgements

Correct formatting is critically important in ensuring the credibility of your novel. Poor formatting is very distracting to readers and may even cause them to close the book for good.

More Tips:

How to Review the Publisher’s Proof Copy of Your Novel
How to Prevent/Correct Format Disasters in E-Books


  1. Getting to the point of needing to format a novel must be exciting . . . even if the formatting process is dotting i’s and crossing t’s.


    • Nancy, you are right. Some of our novels never reach that stage. If they do, it’s worth the extra effort.


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