Designing the interior format of your book

Click here to display the Table of Contents

Having changed the physical dimensions of your print-book-to-be, you should notice an increase in the total number of pages. You can now edit the format of those pages if you wish. The format includes a range of visual elements such as the fonts, spacing, alignment, indents and heading styles. 

The following is a quick discussion of the main design elements of a book.

Fonts – Joel Friedlander, an acknowledged expert in book formatting, prefers the following fonts for the interior of books – i.e. the body text:

  • Garamond
  • Caslon

  • Minion 

  • Janson Text

  • Palatino

You can learn more about formatting on Joel Friedlander’s website:

http://www.TheBookDesigner.com

Alignment – refers to the position of the text on the page – i.e. whether it is aligned to the centre, left, right, or justified. The text in print books is almost always justified with a straight edge on both sides.

First Line Indentation – refers to the way in which the first line of each paragraph begins a few spaces from the left hand margin. Non-fiction books generally do not have a first line indentation, but novels do.

Line Spacing – The default line spacing for Word documents is 1.08. The line spacing for novels is usually 1.0 [single spacing].

Chapter Headings – Whatever formatting you choose for your headings, the style must be consistent across all the chapters.

The easiest way to ensure that all the visual elements of your book are consistent is to set them using the Styles found on the Style Gallery of the Word Home tab.

Using Word Styles

Word Styles contain pre-set groups of commands that determine how headings and paragraphs appear. The most commonly used Word styles are found on the Home tab, in the Style gallery [as shown below]:

Every time you start a new, blank document in Word, the program automatically configures that document using the ‘Normal Style’.

The ‘Normal’ style settings in Word include the default font [Calibri], the font size [11], left alignment, and a host of other less immediately visible options.

If you do not like these settings, you can change them quite easily, and when you do, all the text that was written using the Normal Style will be updated automatically.

Modifying the ‘Normal’ style [optional]

Right click ‘Normal’ in the Style gallery. This will display a drop down list of options:

Click the Modify option from the drop down list [circled in orange].

You should now see the ‘Modify Style’ dialog box:

The first thing to note is that ‘Only in this document’ [shown in green] is pre-selected to ensure that any changes made to the ‘Normal’ style of this document do not become standard for all  Word documents.

How to edit the style name [optional]

To change the style name, click inside the Name text box and type a new name.

How to edit the font, size, colour and alignment

You can change the font and font size just as you would on the Home tab. Remember to also select the ‘Justify’ alignment option.

To change the colour of the font, click the small arrow next to the box that says ‘Automatic’ [as shown below]:

Click the colour of your choice or leave it as Automatic, i.e. black.

How to edit the paragraph options

All of the less common stylistic functions are hidden behind the ‘Format’ button:

Click Format and select ‘Paragraph’ from the popup list.

The Paragraph dialog box is now displayed. The important elements are circled in orange:

Alignment – this is already shown as ‘Justified’ because we set it in the main dialog box along with the font and font size.

Indentation – leave the Left and Right settings at zero.

Special’ – click the small blue arrow (shown in the previous screenshot), and select the ‘First Line Indentation’ option from the drop-down list. This will ensure that the first sentence of every paragraph is indented.

For By: type or select the width of the indent for the first line of the paragraph.

Check the preview pane to see how the first line indent appears.

Spacing – ensure that ‘Before’ and ‘After’ are both set to zero.

The ‘Before’ and ‘After’ numbers control the blank spaces automatically inserted before and after each paragraph. If using the ‘First Line Indentation’ there is no need for space between the paragraphs.

Note: this guide has spaces between paragraphs because it does not have first line indentations to mark the start of a paragraph.

Line Spacing – make sure this is set to ‘Single’.

When you are satisfied with the changes you have made, click the OK button to save and exit from the Paragraph dialog box.

Click OK again to save and exit from the Modify Styles dialog box.

If you are using Word 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 or 2016, all text using the ‘Normal’ style will be automatically updated to the new settings.

Using Heading 1 for chapter headings

Heading 1 is a style on the Style Gallery, and it comes pre-set with a range of formatting elements, all of which can be modified in exactly the same way as the Normal Style.

Heading 1 can be used to create consistent chapter headings throughout your manuscript.  It can also be used to generate an automatic Table of Contents for your book (see the chapter on Table of Contents).

To apply the default Heading 1 style, position the cursor anywhere on the line that contains the first chapter heading and click Heading 1 on the Style Gallery. All text on that line will now be formatted as Heading 1. Repeat for each chapter heading in your book.

Click here to display the Table of Contents

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

One response to “Designing the interior format of your book

Don't be shy!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: