Many authors don’t even think about the interior design and formatting of their books. Yet it is critically important to your readers, AND to the sales of your books.
Formatting refers to the way you enter paragraph
and line breaks, indents, spaces, and punctuation marks.
It includes the typefaces you use as well as
how images are integrated and handled.
Design and formatting can transform the pages of your manuscript into a book that looks fabulous and is easy to read.
ALL books need to be designed and formatted for readability. Two types of books that serve as great examples in the difference design and formatting can make are cookbooks and children’s books
Both of these book niches can be amazing works of art … unfortunately they can also be incredibly boring and even worse, a scrambled dog’s breakfast.
The design and layout in both cookbooks and children’s books are what SELLS the books and what keeps the audience buying. I have several cookbooks that I apparently purchased just because they were so beautiful. A book on cheesecake comes to mind. I have never baked one recipe from the book, yet I take it out again and again to drool over the photos and the recipes and dream about the cheesecakes I “could” make.
Likewise, children can spend hours looking at the same books over and over again. My neighbor’s little boy has memorized about ten of his favorite books. When I babysit, he “reads” me the stories pointing at the words and explaining the illustrations to me. Which authors do you think his mom keeps buying more of?
How would you like THIS to be the first review you get for a newly published book?
Reviewer (I’m making this anonymous to protect the author who was likely devastated by the following review.)
Impossible to read!
Reviewed in the United States on April 26, 2020
“It took all of one page to realize that this book is not formatted into paragraphs. Instead, each chapter is one long paragraph, with conversations running into each other. I can’t tell if it was written this way (surely not! too confusing!) or was the result of some computer glitch. Either way, the author needs to correct her manuscript. I’d be happy to read her book once this is done.”
Reading SHOULD be an enjoyable experience.
Have I got our attention yet?
Book design and formatting is important.
They don’t happen accidentally.
I’m NOT going to write a book on the details of great design and formatting, simply because YOU don’t have to become an expert.
You have two choices:
- hire an interior design and formatting expert
- do it yourself using beautifully designed templates or formatting tools.
Hiring it done can range from Fiverrs that start at $7. Don’t hold your breath on getting amazing results. You can also pay thousands of dollars for a team of experts who will make your book look spectacular.
I’m advising against the $7 Fiverrs and am guessing you may not have thousands to spend, so …
Here are several DO IT YOURSELF options I am happy to recommend:
There are two versions of Designrr. The hugely inexpensive “life time” version does a great job with inside design and formatting and also with file conversions including PDF, epub and mobi. You can import your content from the Internet, Microsoft Word and Google Docs. The life-time version will probably be all most authors will ever need!
The more expensive PREMIUM VERSION (monthly subscription available) is actually something to consider IF you have or are planning on creating a self-publishing empire. This version has over two HUNDRED design templates to choose from. If you create children’s books, low-content books or have a cookbook empire this is the route to go. You are NOT locked into an ongoing monthly contract, so could subscribe for a month format your book or a pile of books and then stop and start again when your next book is ready to go.
Just an idea for recipe and children’s books with load of illustrations … I’ve written a whole recipe book on my blog and dumped all the recipes into Designrr … it couldn’t have been easier!
The formatting function is quite basic and appropriate for novels and simple non-fiction books. Though I have used Scrivener to organize recipe books, I wouldn’t do the final compilation with Scrivener. I wouldn’t even attempt to do children’s books in Scrivener, though I have no doubt some genius with a lot of time to spare has figured out how to do it!
Another great resource you can use to create BEAUTIFULLY formatted books is to use beautifully designed templates. All you have to do is “dump” in the content and you are good to go.
The formatting illustrations I used above are from …
These professionally designed templates to be fairly pricey for novels and many non-fiction books …. HOWEVER they are brilliant and WELL worth the price for both children’s picture books and cookbooks. Trust me, having set up a cookbook in Word was a nightmare and took weeks of frustration, one of these templates would have paid for itself in hours.
The inside design and formatting of a book is something that many self-publishing courses and gurus often neglect … yet it is important part of your final package. Most people don’t notice when it is done perfectly, but almost everyone notices when it is a mess.
The BEST time to think about your inside formatting is BEFORE you even start writing your next book. Making this decision NOW could save you a lot of time later. Will you use Scrivener? Will you write in Microsoft Word and then dump it into a professionally designed template? Or will you use Designrr for your interior book design and final ebook rendering?