HOW TO FORMAT A BOOK IN WORD 📚 basic novel formatting using microsoft word

Hello, everybody and welcome back to my channel. My name is Natalia and I’m, an indie author and freelance editor, and today I am going to show you how to format your novel using Microsoft Word now. I did put up a poll on my little community center and I got about 450 votes and the majority of people wanted a formatting video.

So if you want to be able to vote on what my next video is going to be and participate in polls make sure you are subscribing to my channel, you can hit the button right down there to subscribe and then turn on the little Bell notification.

If you want to be notified every time a video goes live, so we are going to head on over to my screen capture and I will show you how to format your novel in Microsoft Word. It will be basic, but it’ll, be beautiful.

So if you’re ready, let’s, get started: [, Music, ], okay, friends. So this is the basic formatting that I’m, going to be covering today, I’m, going to show you how to set your page size, your margins basic line spacing because people mess up their line, spacing all the time in self-published Books, it’s, absolutely crazy, indentation, chapter styles and then page numbers and headers are slightly more advanced.

So I will show you a very basic tutorial on these, but in order to really learn how to do page numbers and headers, you’re gonna have to practice this because it is. It is a pain in the butt on Microsoft Word, but I will give you kind of a basic page number and header tutorial, so I’m gonna click on over here now.

This is some of you will have heard a fire tongue. Fire tongue is a novel. I wrote after highborn, but before way of Spears, so it was the third novel that I wrote. I never did anything with it, but I would still, in the future like to rewrite this book and publish it.

I’d, like to turn it into an entire series, so what I did was I actually took chapter 1 straight from Scrivener because that’s. The program I used to write this novel, so I took chapter 1. I just dropped it right in to Microsoft Word and it has no formatting.

The first thing we’re going to cover today is page size. Now you’re, not going to know what page size to set your manuscript on until you know what your trim size is gonna be so we’re gonna hop on over here.

This is KDP. They have some wonderful information. Regarding kind of how to set up your book, you know formatting and stuff like that, so I will say that you can set up so many different trim sizes, but there are three that I recommend.

So the first is the 5 by 8, which is going to be more of like a typical, smaller paperback. We have a 5 and a half by 8 and a half which is also a good size for a paperback, and then we have a 6 by 9, which I would say, is probably one of the most popular trim sizes.

I see a lot of books in 6 by 9, but personally I would only use 6 by 9 for a hardcover and then 5×8 for a paperback. So let’s just say that for now we’re, going to be formatting fire tongue like a paperback, so I need a trim size of 5 by 8.

So I’m gonna head on over. Here we are going to go up to layout and then I’m gonna go to size, and this is under page setup and you can see that it’s set at a letter which is 8.5 by 11. That’s like standard computer paper, and that is not what I want.

So I’m gonna go to more paper sizes, and I’m, actually gonna set it myself. I want it to be 5 inches wide and 8 inches tall. There you go and also one other thing I’m. Actually I just remembered I’m gonna come back over here.

We’re gonna add page facing is something we’re, going to chat about as well. Alright, so simple as that, you can see how different my novel looks already at being a 5 by 8. This was the 8.5 by 11. It was 7 pages and then I’m gonna hop on back now.

It is 18 pages at 5 by 8, so you can start getting a more realistic feel for the page count of your novel. Once you have it set to the correct page size now, the next thing we’re going to do is head up here to the margins and margins.

Oh, my gosh, you’re gonna, have to play with these a little bit because it’s. Never perfect and again I’m gonna head over here to KDP, where it will give you some tips for setting your own margins. So I always go off of this.

You know like what KDP kind of recommends, and I’m gonna show you how to do this, but I’m, also going to mention that setting your margins in accordance to kind of kbps guide is not always perfect. So often what you’ll have to do is set it according to their guidelines, order yourself a proof copy and then look at the margins and see.

If you’re happy with them. I tend to have a larger margin because you don’t, let your words running into the gutter and becoming difficult to read. So definitely a larger inside margin and then the outside margin is going to be smaller and it’s.

Going to be dependent on whether you’re, doing bleed or no bleed, but that is going to be a different tutorial. We’re, not really going to talk about that today. Generally, if you are not using images, you’re, just gonna go no bleed because bleed is for image settings.

So we’re, going to go with the smallest page count for now, so my inside margin should be 0.375 and my outside margin is going to be 0.25 and you can see that the outside margin is the same. No matter your page length that doesn’t matter now, the inside margin is going to change depending on how long your book is because the thicker that book is and the more pages have to kind of bind at the spine.

That’s, going to impact how much room you need to give your text in the gutter all right so 0.375 and 0.25 okay. So I’m going to head up here to margins and while we’re at it, we are going to change our pages.

So under margins we have pages multiple pages. We need to make sure that we have facing pages, which means that you know you open a book. You have a left page and a right page and those are going to have slightly different formatting.

So we’re, going to select mirror margins from this drop-down, and now you can see in the preview that the inside on the Left page is here on the right and then vice versa. On the right facing page, you have the inside margin on the left, whereas if you left it at normal, you would have the same on either side.

So we need to make sure that we have mirror margins and then up here you will see that this shifts to inside and outside instead of left and right, so make sure that you have mirror margins selected now for inside.

We want point 375 and for outside. We want point to five, and then I’m, going to apply this to the entire document and say: okay and immediately you can see how look it had 18 pages now it has 13 because I have fixed my margins now see how close these Were are to the outside, because this is gonna.

Look a little bit tricky this left-facing page. It looks like it’ll, be a left page, but it’s actually going to be a right facing page, because when you open up a book, the first page is on the right-hand side.

So you can see that there is a larger margin here on the left side, so this is your inside. This is your outside, so I already know that I feel like. I want a slightly larger outside margin. I’m gonna head back up here.

Custom margins. Now I’m gonna make this point two eight, maybe alright, so that gave me a little bit more space. I want a little bit more. I’m gonna go up to 0.3 all right, so that is looking a little bit better and again.

This is something that you can kind of play with on your own, depending on how you want your novel to look. We’re gonna head back over here, so I showed you the page size. I showed you margins and I also showed you page facing, and that was mirror margins in case you forgot, so we did that as well.

Now we are going to move on to line spacing and let me tell you what this is one of those things that people mess up all the time and if you mess up your line, spacing it’s, going to be incredibly obvious to your Reader that you don’t know what you’re doing, and you do not want them feeling that way.

You want your reader to pick up your book and see it perfectly formatted so that they have confidence in you as a creator and as a writer. So I’m, going to use control a and I’m gonna select this whole novel, and I’m gonna come up here to this little paragraph drop-down and you can see we have line spacing here.

So if you do single line spacing that’s, what it’s, gonna look like so that is at 14 pages, but personally, single line spacing, I think, is a little bit difficult to read. So, instead of that, I’m gonna show you one point five, but now – and this is what many in the author’s – will do – they will set it at 1.

5 because they want a little bit of space so that their Readers can read it easily, however. This is way too much space. Okay, your reader doesn’t need one and a half line spacing so single line spacing might not give people enough space and one point five is too much.

So I’m gonna come back up here. We’re gonna, say exactly. Maybe let’s do 15. Ah now that looks quite nice, so this is of course more than single, but it is less than 1.5 and you can see. I’m now, sitting comfortably at 15 pages instead of the 18 that the 1.

5 was giving me. So I’m pretty comfortable with this. Now you will notice that there are additional spaces here between paragraphs which doesn’t, look very nice. So, in order to fix that you’ll, see if I select this area between the two paragraphs and come up here, that there is 12 points before and after the that paragraph.

So I’m gonna make that zero and then boom it fixes that problem. So let’s select all of this, so we’re gonna select everything, and we’re gonna make both of these zero because we do not want additional line spacing between paragraphs of the same style, see this Don’t, add space between paragraphs of the same style, so we’re gonna have zero zero and that’s going to be selected, and now this dropped me down to 11 pages because look I removed all of That additional line spacing – and you also will see these random little spaces here and these are scene breaks.

So I’m gonna put three pound signs or hash tags that ever you want to call them on my scene breaks and if you, for any reason, decide not to format for yourself or even if you are formatting for yourself, when you are, Writing, if you do these three hash tags or pound signs – or you know, some people will do the three asterisks.

This will tell your formatter or you. They need to insert the correct scene, break character or image or whatever you’re using. So that’s, why? When I’m, seeing these extra spaces like this, I’m, adding these three pound signs, because I want to make sure that I’m, putting my correct scene brakes there all right.

We’re gonna go back up here, so I just showed you line spacing and now indentation is next, and this is a big one again I see people mess this up all the time. So let me tell you once and for all do not hit the tab, because now you have one single paragraph indented and none of the other ones are, and you’re gonna have to go through here and hit tab every single time and Something else I see people doing here we go, let’s, go back.

Something else I see. People doing is one two, three four five and trying to space it out with the spacebar, and you can see those five spaces that they added there. So do not use the tab, do not use the spacebar.

I want to select everything control a come up here to paragraph and we’re, going to go to indentation first-line only and if you do it by 0.5, here’s. What it looks like and that’s, not terrible, but I personally think that 0.

5 is way too much. So instead of 0.5, we’re, going to go to how about 0.3. Ah that looks so much better. So now we have this. Nice indentation, so people’s. Eyes can track these paragraphs nicely, but the indentation isn’t so far in that it looks amateur because again, if you are formatting your own novel, you do not want to look like an amateur who has no idea what they’re.

Doing so, that is how you do your indentation, and I will also mention that, after a chapter heading which we’re, going to do next or after a scene break your first paragraph does not need indentation.

So take that away the indentation in kind of typesetting like this is to help your readers track different paragraphs that’s. The entire purpose is to make it easier on their eyes to be able to track, but when you have a chapter heading or a scene break, they already know where the next paragraph begins, because that scene break or that chapter heading has kind of broken up.

The monotony of all the paragraphs and all the text so that’s, why you do not need one right after a chapter heading or a scene break, so just keep that in mind that’s. Why I removed it there! So now we’re gonna head back over here I showed you indentation next up chapter styles, so we are going to bump this down and I’m gonna, say chapter one.

Now, a really simple way to make sure that all of your chapter headings are exactly the same is to use this Styles function all right. So what I’m going to do before I come up here to Styles, is I’m? Actually going to select chapter one and then come up here to styles, and I’m selecting chapter one, because that is what I want to be stylized and I’m, going to come down to this button.

That says new style and I’m gonna name it chapter one or chapter 1, chapter style demo and let’s say I want it to be Times New Roman, maybe 22.5 underlined let’s Center it and let’s. Also click this button here to give it a little bit of space.

I want to space it out a little bit and you can see I can really space it out or I can make that a bit smaller. So I’m gonna space. It out, maybe like that and I’m gonna click. Ok and immediately. I have a nice chapter heading here and I’m gonna close down this style and then let’s say let’s.

Just pretend that this was another chapter. All I would do is select it and click chapter and it immediately changes it to the style that I have set. So instead of setting it to a chapter style, let’s, create a scene, break style come up here.

This is going to be scene break demo. I want it to be centered and I want it to be. Let’s, say Times New Roman 18-point font with a little bit of spacing boom. There is my style for my scene breaks. So then, every time I spot a scene break where’s, one there’s, one every time I spot a scene break, I just highlight it and click scene break, and this will make it incredibly simple to make sure that all of Your chapters have the exact same style.

All of your scene breaks have the exact same style, so my recommendation is always to come up here and kind of create, like a style for yourself, and then all you have to do is highlight the text and select the style you want and it’s that simple, so styling is incredibly easy.

I’m gonna go ahead and mark that off now these next two, I will say, can get very tricky. So we’re going. I’m, going to show you just a very basic page numbers and headers tutorial, but if you want to get really good at this, it’s.

Going to take some time. You’re, going to really have to play around with it, so this is going to be super basic, so let’s start with page numbers. Now the easiest thing to do would be to come up here.

I usually just type in page numbers to find it and we’re gonna say we want it. You know bottom of page in the center boom, and now we suddenly have a page number down here and I always make sure that this is turned down a little bit header from top and then footer from bottom, because you don’t want a Ton of space here I might even make it one: okay, so that’s, the simplest way to do it and if you don’t want to mess around with section breaks, which is something that I I don’t Know if I’m gonna do a whole tutorial on this, because it can be very confusing, but if you do not want to deal with section breaks, this is the easiest way to number your work.

You can see it’s already numbered it’s. Super simple, however, you might want. You know chapters to not have a number here, so it would be no number and then we would go to page two, three four and then maybe there’s.

Another chapter, so it’d, have no number now to me. That would be five, but he wouldn’t, see the number there and then it would go to six. So if this sounds confusing, believe me, I understand it took me a long time to learn this, so I am NOT going to go through all of the like backstory and the tutorial to show you how to do section breaks.

Instead, I’m. Just going to show you basically here’s, how you do your page numbers and now we’re, going to do a header, so you can come up here and you can type in header or you can double click up at the Top and let’s see this is fire tongue, but you don’t want it to say fire tongue on every single page.

So I’m gonna click, this button that says different, odd and even pages. So, on the odd pages we’re, going to have fire tongue and on the even pages we’re going to have Natalya Lee, but you ‘ Ll see that when I did that oops look suddenly, our page numbers are messed up, because I selected different, odd and even pages, so you can already see how this can be incredibly frustrating, because, right now your header and footer are connected to each other.

So we’re gonna go. I’m gonna select this. We want this to be centered. Go. We’re gonna Center this, so you can play around with the font up here. Like you. Can you know change this, just as you would anything else, but you have to remember.

If you have different odd and even pages, you have to change these all individually. Well, not all individually, okay. So now we have the left and the right all right. So you can see how that works. Fire tongue at all, you leave, but look our page numbers are messed up, so all I had to do to fix that was go to the bottom of that page.

Come back up here and click bottom of page and then Center it, so you can fix it and you can see it looks great. Now we have fire tongue, natal, yulie and then appropriate page numbers. So it’s. That simple, however, of course, if you want to have the nice like professional formatting of not having a header or a footer on your chapter pages, then that is a totally different tutorial.

I’d, be happy to make that tutorial in the future. You can also look up a few. I had to look up a bunch of tutorials. You know in order to learn this, but just wanted to let you know kind of show you the basics.

You can simply type in either. You know add a header or you can type in page numbers just like that or just double click, and that will access the header and footer it’s that simple. So there you have it.

My friends. There are your page numbers and your headers oopsey gonna X, those off all right. So now one other thing I’m gonna do just to help this book look. Nice is, I do not like this courier new font.

This is not an appropriate font face at all. My favorite is, I do like Times New Roman, but my favorite is Garamond, so you can see that this looks a lot more appropriate. Now. Do keep in mind that I selected this and I changed it to Garamond, but if I was to click the chapter style up here you’ll see it has corrected it to Times New Roman, because that is how I styled my chapter headings.

So now we have chapter 1 and then immediately it goes into the story, and this is very basic formatting, but it’s, beautiful formatting. This will get you so far like just having your basic headers. Your basic page numbers I’ll.

Also mention you can change the format of the page numbers down here. I do not like the basic format they come in so again I might set it to Garamond because that’s. My favorite and I might even shrink it down a little bit.

Let’s, make it okay. We’re gonna select that we’re gonna change it to Garamond. There we go – and I’m – also going to change up the sizing here, so you can make them join or miss you. Don’t want them ginormous, you can make them teeny tiny.

If you want, I’m gonna make it like a ten, probably and then also remember. You know we set our odd number. We have to do the same down here for the even so I’m gonna set this to Garamond slice ten, because you want to make sure they’re.

Even I did not select it. Let’s. Try that again we’re gonna set it to Garamond and size. Ten. There you go close header and footer. You have a beautifully formatted novel. Now and again you know. If we have let’s, say we put a scene break here, remove the indentation from that first paragraph get rid of that because you do not need it get rid of it.

Just like that. So you can see here no indentation. On the first paragraph, after a chapter heading and no indentation on the first paragraph after your scene break so there you have it my friends, that is a very basic setup on Microsoft Word, and this will get you so far.

This will really help you out. Okay, friends, thank you so much for watching. That was a super basic tutorial on how to format your novel. In Word, however, even though it’s basic, you can make your book look absolutely beautiful, so I hope you enjoyed this video.

Give me a thumbs up if you liked it or if you learned something new. Also, please keep in mind that enchanted ink publishing is now offering professional formatting services. You can check out the website at enchanted, ink publishing, calm or wait until the end of the video and click the link here to navigate there.

So if you watch this video and you’re kind of thinking, you know I don’t want to take the additional time to learn how to format my novel in Word. It’s, all good. You can contact us again, it’s, enchanted ain’t publishing calm, and we can give it your novel, looking absolutely beautiful and all ready for publication.

So, thank you guys so much for watching today make sure you hit the subscribe button down below and turn on that notification Val. I think I will be posting more polls so that you guys can. Let me know directly through a poll what videos you want to see, because I want to make sure I’m, putting out content that helps you and helps you get ahead in terms of your indie author business.

So, thank you so much for being here. I appreciate your time. I hope you are all staying healthy and staying well and I will see you in my next video bye, [, Music ]. You

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