TIPSY Today™ Blog with Rogena & Colleen | A Footprint of RMJ Editing & Manuscript Service, Colleen Snibson Editing, and Two Red Pens Editing
TIPSY TODAY with Rogena
Formatting your PAPERBACK book.
A few things I've learned over
the past two years.
If you format your own
self-published PRINT books,
or if you hire someone to do
it for you, there are a few
things that should be done
to make it look professional.
Some of these things should
be 'required' or 'standard'
while others might be a
1) One thing that is (or should always be) a requirement for your print book is for all ODD-numbered pages to ALWAYS be on right-hand pages. EVEN-numbered pages should ALWAYS be on left-hand pages. (Think of a newspaper and the way they are numbered.)
2) Also, required and something that takes extra care (and a little extra work) are where the folios (page numbers) and running heads (headers) are concerned. There should be NO page numbers on the title page, copyright page, blank pages, Table of Content, part-opener/section pages. This also includes pages in the back such as 'About the Author' or advertising pages. Personally, I also choose not have page numbers on chapter pages, as well.
3) This applies to headers, too. The running head (header) is usually the author name on even-numbered (left-hand) pages and the book title on odd-numbered (right-hand) pages. Just remember, though... no headers on chapter pages, front and back-matter pages AND if it is supposed to be a blank page, it should truly be blank. (If you prefer not to have blank pages between chapters and to start chapters on the following page after the previous chapter has ended, this is acceptable.)
4) The other option, which I really like, but takes a little extra work, is to have all chapters start on a right-hand page. If you choose to do this, there will be blank pages between some of your chapters, but not all. Just remember, those blank pages should be just that—blank.
5) Then there is the issue of 'Rag Right' or also known as 'Left Justified' versus 'Justified' copy. There are times when 'Rag Right/Left Justified' is acceptable, but it is rare. Books are generally not a place for rag right—poetry would be one of the acceptions. Stick with Justified copy for your printed books. It looks nice and professional. So, in the opinion of professional formatters and publishers, this should be a requirement.
Pick up a book, fiction or
otherwise, and do your own
'study' on how mainstream
publishers format books.
Look at more than one.
Do your research.
You don't want your book to stand out because of poor formatting.
Make YOUR book stand out with professional formatting.
NOTE: These TIPS are for print book, not ebook.
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Rogena Mitchell-Jones Manuscript Service
TIPSY TODAY with Rogena © RMJ MS 10/27/14
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Rogena Mitchell-Jones | RMJ Manuscript Service LLC | www.rogenamitchell.com
Colleen Snibson | Colleen Snibson Editing | www.colleensnibsonediting.com
Two Red Pens Editing | www.tworedpens.com
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