Setting up the interior of your novel. STEP 2 - Fonts, Size, Chapter Headings, Index, Numbering Pages

A few things to remember when setting up the interior of your novel ready for self-publishing.

1.     Choose a nice, neat font for your book. Personally, I like Garamond.

2.     Choose font size. I like 12 for adult and young adult novels, but prefer 14 for middle grade.

3.     Ensure font is consistent. Select your entire text, and set font and size.

4.     Set your page margins. You will need to use mirrored margins to cater for a larger margin on alternate pages to allow for book binding. Here are the Create Space suggestions for inside and outside margin sizes:

Page Count
Inside Margin
Outside Margins
24 to 150 pages
at least .25"
151 to 300 pages
at least .25"
301 to 500 pages
at least .25"
501 to 700 pages
at least .25"
701 to 828 pages
at least .25"

5.     Centre your chapter headings. You may wish to change their font size to be a little larger.

6.     Add page numbering. Pages before Prologue/Chapter One are numbered in roman numerals, pages containing your chapters are numbered 1, 2, 3... and pages after the final page in your book do not need to be numbered.

7.     Create your automatic index, marking your chapter headings so the table can automatically update if you make changes.

8.     Place your title pages, colophon, prologue, epilogue, etc in the order you want them and ensure pages are left blank as needed, for example you might need to leave a blank page to ensure Chapter One begins on the correct side of the page when the book is created. Chapter One should always begin on an oddly numbered page, however following chapters can begin on odd or even pages.

9.     Reduce your file on screen so you can see many pages at once. This way you can more easily see if the title page, contents, etc appear in the correct places. Here is an example of the beginning of a book I am working on reduced on screen to make it easier to see at a glance if all is placed correctly. You will notice I have left a blank page where I want the reverse side of a page to be blank.

It can take a while to upload your books cover file and interior file onto Create Space, but this is a fantastic way of seeing if you have placed everything correctly. Once you upload into Create Space you can view the book page by page (flip-book style) to see if you have everything correct. If everything is not right, you simply go back and make changes, upload again and preview the file again. And again. And again. Until you have it perfect.

Get Dan O'Sullivan's Trilogy on Amazon

Book 1 - The Fallen
Book 2 - The Guardians
Book 3 - Child of a Guardian and of the Free