Formatting a Novel ~ Things to Consider

Here are some things to consider when formatting your self-published novel:


  1. Be completely done with your novel before starting the publication process. If you’re not, you’ll spend a lot of time and effort laboring on your formatting that you’ll only have to go back and redo again once your novel is completely finished/revised/edited. Don’t make it harder on yourself. Finish the entire writing process first.


  1. This was actually a bit more difficult than I originally imaged it would be. Mostly, you will need to decide you the size of your book. A 6×9 is actually rather large, whereas a 5×8 is smaller and more manageable. I’d suggest really knowing your product and the standard size of similar works.
  2. There are a lot of you-tube videos that help show you how to work the trim (ex: 5.25×8) on Word or other documents.
  3. You-tube is your friend: not every video is going to be beneficial, but the more you watch how-to videos and listen to others talk about their experience, the more you get an idea of the process and what to expect.
  4. The most difficult part is going back and forth between the right font, font sizes, symbols, and other tidbits. Things change, and when one thing changes, you might need to change something else. Embedding your font is really important, as it will not carry over on some programs.


  1. Pictures for both the inside and outside are recommended to be at least 300 dpi. Personally, I’ve found it very difficult to come up with creative artwork/illustrations for my covers; most of them are much, much lower in dpi. There are still good websites to find free images, and even really pretty images, but when it comes to really creative work, especially for children, the search becomes much more difficult.
  2. You can always hire a freelancer; there are websites out there that will allow you to look at various freelancers as well as their portfolios. You can also set a budget beforehand, which is helpful.
  3. Matte finishes are soft and a tad duller, but still really attractive. Glossy finishes are also pretty and attractive, but scratch and get finger smudges easily.

This post is not in depth. If you have a particular question, feel free to ask one in the comments. I will post updates again soon along with other details.

Published by E.L. Pierce

Author and daydreamer.

2 thoughts on “Formatting a Novel ~ Things to Consider

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