As a self-published author, I know from experience that there’s a lot that comes with getting your book ready and out into the masses. Even before you start down the path of self-publishing there’s much research involved in whether to go the traditional route or maneuver the industry yourself.
When you do make the decision to self-publish, you may be overwhelmed by weeding through the many services and options available to make your book top-notch. From choosing the right cover design to finding a superb editor, getting the time, energy, and discipline to dedicate to your book is a journey just as important as getting the story onto paper in the first place.
Here are some tips you may otherwise overlook when sorting through all of your book publishing responsibilities.
1) Book Size: If you’re taking your book to print (which I highly recommend), consider book size and how that works hand-in-hand with the jpeg file size of your cover. Standard book sizes for fiction are 5.25″ x 8″ and 5.5″ x 8.5″. To help decide which size I wanted to choose, I researched popular fiction books in my genre and noted their dimensions.
2) Line Spacing & Justification: When having my book first printed, I didn’t consider line spacing or justification. I ordered a proof where my manuscript used double spacing and left justification. I was horrified when I opened it up! Stay away from formatting your book like a recent college grad and use 1.25 or 1.5 spacing (I prefer 1.25) with justified lines.
3) Font: Times New Roman is not your friend! Though this ubiquitous font may be a go-to option for standard documents, Times New Roman is a dead giveaway that your book was self-published. Consider fonts like Garamond or Caslon to really give your book a professional edge. Not a fan of the former two fonts, consider these options as well.
4) Page numbers: Lastly, make sure to have your page numbers formatted to go with the correct page. Sounds easy right? If you’re not a design maverick, you may easily let where to position odd and even numbers slip past the cracks. Remember to keep odd numbers on the left page and even on the right. In the instance of my book, the first page that starts on the right is marked with the “2” page number.