How to Write and Publish an E-Book: Formatting
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How to Write and Publish an E-Book: Formatting

Using the proper page seize and page layout as well as selecting the proper font styles and sizes are just a few of the formatting differences between formatting an e-book and a regular print book.

In my Overview article, I stated that writing and publishing am e-book can be moderately challenging. The challenge does not come from the researching, the writing, and the rewriting of the text because all of that is old-hat for you if you have been writing for any time at all. What will be challenging is the mechanic of producing your book as an e-book You are familiar with standard manuscript formatting, but formatting for a marketable, readable e-book is a completely different ball game. It is that difference that we will be discussing today. For this article, I am going to assume that you will be using Microsoft Word to write your e-book.

Formatting the body text template

  • Begin setting up the style that you will be using by left clicking on the “Page Layout” tab. Left click on the page size drop down arrow and select a page size between 5 inches by 7 inches and 6 inches by 9 inches. I usually select the 6 inch by 8-inch size for my e-book page layout size.
  • Left click on the “Margins” drop down arrow, and select one-inch margins for the left, right, top, and bottom margins.
  • Left click on the “Paragraph” drop down arrow. In the “Paragraph” dialogue, in the “Indentation” section, under “Special," select “First-Line" from the drop-down list and set the “By” field to 0.5 inches so that the first line of each paragraph in your body text will be indented by 0.5 inches. In the “Line Spacing” section of the “Paragraph” dialogue box, set the line spacing to “Double."
  • Left click on the “Home” tab. From the “Font Style” and “Font Size” drop down lists, choose “Times New Roman” as the font style and choose “12pt” as the Font Size.
  • Left click on the “Insert” menu bar tab. Left click on the drop-down arrow for “Page Numbers” and select either the “Top” or “Bottom” menu items. Left click on either the “Top Center” or “Bottom Center” panes for your page number positions. With an e-book as with any other book, there are four acceptable positions for page numbers: the top or bottom outside corners of opposite pages, or centered at the top or bottom of each page.
  • Save this document as a template, naming your template “E-book Body Text."

Use the “Style Buttons”

Use the Style-buttons labeled Title, Subtitle, and Headings 1, 2 and 3 for creating titles, subtitle, and paragraph heading.

Next time

Next time we will talk about creating a cover for your book, and we will discuss how to create your table of contents.

Additional resources:

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Comments (6)

Great job on this.

You lost me on this one because I don't use Microsoft Word, but I think I can get Open Office to do the same thing. I'm bookmarking these for future reference,

Looking forward to generating the cover.

Jerry, thank you very much for this series. I am a published writer of close to 100 ebooks, so I always love to read on the art of producing and publishing ebooks. Thanks also for giving a link to your earlier article, else I might have missed it. May this series become a great blessing to all who come here! Also, I hope you will put it into an Ebook (along with illustrations) once this series in complete. I look forward to reading the article on Ebook covers.

Another masterpiece from the master.


I am looking for the conversion part. From MS Word document to ePub format using Calibre or other software. I wish you can discuss it on your next article. Thanks for this very helpful blog.