Articles & Tips

Do-It-Yourself Book Layout
(With Microsoft Word)

The advent of the word processor has opened doors to the average author that could only be imagined not more than a decade ago. Self Publishing has become a reality for tens of thousands of authors who would not otherwise be published due mainly to the low cost in getting a manuscript from the authors mind to the printing press. The first step is for the author to type their manuscript in a word processing program. After the manuscript has been edited, the intermediate step between the author's manuscript and the printing press is text layout or "page composition" as it has been known for centuries. Programs like Microsoft Word make page composition look easy to the casual user, although true "page composition" is still very much a learned skill perfected by few graphic designers. Keep this in mind as you attempt the do-it-yourself method of page layout and design. Good luck.

Word of Caution: The Do-it-Yourself method is not recommended if you are thinking of printing more than a couple hundred books. It is not that expensive (in most cases $250) to have your text professionally formatted. "Homemade" is fine for small print runs. It will probably not, however, work in the mainstream publishing world. You are kidding yourself to think otherwise.

NOTE: Do-it-Yourself means just that... You will be doing it yourself. There is no technical support offered beyond the text and links offered here on this page. Remember, your main energy should be saved for selling your book. If, after getting into it, the Do-it-Yourself method becomes more trouble than it's worth... we can do it for you for a reasonable fee.

Before You Get Started

PDF Read Typesetting in Microsoft Word by Jack M. Lyon Click here to download.

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Templates in Microsoft Word

  • Click here to download - 5 x 8 template (OK for limited runs and inclusion in the Self Publishing, Inc. Thor Bookstore Distribution program)
  • Click here to download - 6 X 9 template (OK for limited runs plus inclusion in the Self Publishing, Inc. Thor Bookstore Distribution program)
  • Click here to download - 7 X 10 template (OK for limited runs plus inclusion in the Self Publishing, Inc. Thor Distribution program)

Getting Started

  1. Choose trim size and Download MS Word Template
  2. Choose trim size and Download MS Word Template
  3. From your Word toolbar select all (ctrl + a) and copy (ctrl + c) the entire text from your word document and Paste (ctrl + v) it into the template. Save as (ctrl + shift + s), your title.doc and you are ready to start formatting your manuscript.

You should then use that document as your working file from that point on.

Convert to PDF

The printers require a PDF file of your text to print your book.

Click here to convert your finished word document to a "press ready" PDF file

Save your final PDF file to a CD and send to Self Publishing, Inc. for printing.