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A Guide to Book Formatting

In book formatting, you begin by deciding on the size of your book. For trade paperbacks, the most common size is 6×9 inches. A larger trim size is required for children’s books and books for seniors. When considering book size, you also need to consider the illustrations and photographs your will be using for it.

Margin is very important in a book format. When you have decided on a page size, then the margin simply follows it. If you book is a large one, then your margins should also be larger. The norm for books that are between 5×8 inches and 8×10 inches is margins between 5 inches and 1.25 inches. The margins for your header and footer can be set at default but they can also be measured as half of the margins.

If you are writing fiction, you just need to put page numbers since headers and footers are not required. Formatting is simplified if you put page numbers on the bottom of the page and not at the top.

Book block refers to the inside of your book. This is divided into three parts namely the front matter, the main body text, and the back matter.

The front matter are the page that come before the main body of text. With the use of lower case roman numerals, the front matter pages are numbered. There are no page numbers shown on blank pages. The half title pages is the first page of you book and is usually on a new right hand page. This only contains the book title. The subtitles, the name of the author and the publisher’s name are not included in this page. IT is nice to have this page in your book but it is really optional. In the full title page, the title of the book is there, the subtitle, the name of the author and the publisher.

The copyright page is located at the back of the title page. The copyright notice, the publishing date, the publisher, and the place it was published is included in the copyright page. With this copyright page, the author is protected from plagiarism.

On a new right hand page, the author can have a dedication page which is according to his full discretion. An introduction written by a recognized authority other than the author is a foreword which is located in a new right hand page. This page explains the book’s importance.

Then you have the table of contents on a new right hand page. This is an accurate listing of chapters and pages on which they begin.

In the main body or the book text, you will find parts, sections, or chapters. Parts begin on a new right hand page and are larger than chapters. Sections can either be larger or small than chapters. Chapters are the main divisions of most books and should be numbered sequentially.

The appendix, notes, bibliography, glossary, index, and colophon are items contained in the back matter. These are not required in novels but they are with technical books.

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