Page Layout and Presentation Update

Hi All,

Some months ago, when I’d just begun to get the hang of using Office Word to write my first novel, I wrote a post similar to this, so I figured, now that I’ve managed to finish and publish my first book Salby Damned, that I would share what I have learned in that time.

Here’s the writing format I use, based now in Office Word 2010 Edition. Firstly, I write for “print” books, not just ebook. The formatting is slightly different, however, I’ve recently attempted to amalgamate the two so I’ll tell you the formatting that I use, you may take this as you find it, use it, try it, modify it to suit your preference.

Font for writing.

You need to use a clear, concise font, able to be read on LCD Backlit screens. I use either Century Schoolbook or Ariel font size 11 for writing.


Headings need to be subtle, nothing dramatic as some formatting platforms, like smashwords and kindle, won’t recognise them. I use Cambria font size 14 (no higher)

Main Title.

Your main title you can play with, a little. Don’t go mad, keep your font size BELOW 18 and make sure your name comes UNDER THE TITLE.

Set up and use the Headings buttons, you can alter the font, size and orientation of each button, make sure you use them too, or you’ll have to go back and do it again.

Be sure you check and double check your line indents, first line only and by all means, don’t be afraid to make it as little less, for kindle I use 0.8cm mainly because people reading on a mobile phone kindle app don’t want lines that start in the middle of their phone screen.

Don’t forget to set your headings up to NO line indent, or they will indent too.

Page margins.

Set these to either 1.6cm or 1.8cm, some will recommend 2.2cm but I think this is a little wide and limits you words per line count, but as you prefer, for print books err on the side of more rather than less, to allow for the turning of paper pages. Incidentally, the average word count per line should be between 9 and 11 but bare in mind length of words etc. You can, as I do, set your page size to the size of the book you print, I use a DEMY book model which is 144mm by 222mm with small variation for createspace which I think is 139mm by 220mm.

Ebook publishing tip.

If you are changing a scene in ebook format, it is wise to insert a line of symbols rather than just a blank line, you’ll see that I use + + + in Salby Damned, all authors have their favourites. DON’T be tempted to put a line of them all the way across, it looks diabolical.

And Finally…..for now……bare in mind that the above are things that I have learnt, I am not an expert but will, should you need it, offer what I know in order to help you, and if I cannot give you a definitive answer, I am sure that any one of my author friends will offer their assistance.

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