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The craving for chocolate cake hit me while I was formatting a client’s novel this weekend.

Surprise. Surprise.

Now, I’m the type that will do things the hard way the first, second and even third time before I’m willing to do it the easy way. But once I figure out the easy way, then you betcha I’ll do it.

Same with my cake baking craving that hit me last night.

On Friday, I mentioned that formatting for self-pub is as easy as baking a cake. And really, it is.

There’s one key that will ease the nervous tension you are feeling right now when it comes to having to format for yourself.

Are you ready for it?

You are not sending this to an agent and/or publisher!

Do you remember when you were first ready to query an agent? Do you remember the pain of making sure you’ve formatted your manuscript to the exact specifications they have on their website/blog? The margins, the header, where the chapter headings are to go and so on? Did you pour over all the blogs and google searches  trying to find the secret to formatting properly?

I’m still sometimes confused. (LOL)

It’s like baking a cake. Growing up, I was under the
illusion that the only
good cake was a homemade one. But … imagine my surprise when I realized that with the help of Betty Crocker or Duncan Heinz, not only can I save the time on preparation but I can create a moist, delicious, mouth watering cake by using a box recipe. Go figure!

Don’t get me wrong – homemade is still the best way. But I’m not sticking my nose up at a boxed one. No way no how.

When it comes to preparing your manuscript for publication – formatting for self published manuscript is tad bit different. It’s easier if you start off right at the beginning with the following formatting styles, but you can always ‘select all’ and then make the changes. The following are the things you’ll need for the basis of your formatting – meaning no matter what devise you are formatting for – Smashwords, Kindle, Nook ect – you will need to use the following formatting. Might as well do it once and have one main file that is already correct rather than create 4 different files that you’ll need to format later on. Remember – it’s not cheating to make a cake from a box rather than from scratch J

  1. Single space
  2. Chapter headings at the top left (or centered if you want – but left looks better IMO)
  3. Use page breaks after each chapter ending
  4. No more than 3-4 hard returns (hitting your return/enter key) at any given time.
  5. Have at least 6pt spacing after your paragraph (don’t put an extra space in between paragraphs)
  6. Use either ***** or double space to indicate scene or POV changes. No other symbols or characters.

Remember – the electronic book is going to look different than a print book.

When you format – you are going to need to format into different files. I like to give my clients 4 files.
1. Kindle
2. Smashwords
3. PDF
4. Epub (this will be used for the Nook)

We will talk about the specific formatting needed for each file in Part 2.

Any questions?

Remember, in the end, all things succumb to chocolate!
Steena

If you’re a lover of romance, check out my re-released inspy romance Chocolate Reality (originally published under title Once Upon A Dream by Word Alive)!
I hope you’ll pick up on of my books where I write under the name of Anya Winter. Be sure to fall in love with The MasterStampede Fever (Stampede Sizzlers) and The Blindfold!

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