Manuscript Formatting


General Book Formatting 


More Detailed Book Formatting Information 


General Book Formatting


While I'm formatting my manuscript, does Archway Publishing have any guidelines to help create a clean and professional layout?

Archway Publishing can offer you guidelines to help you create a clean and professional layout. Having a consistently formatted manuscript means less work for you in the editing stage, less time and effort for Archway's designers to format your book and a quicker turnaround time for getting your book published.

Consistency throughout the book is the most important thing you can remember in formatting. Consistency applies to things like the font you use, line spacing and justification, paragraph indents, spacing after punctuation, chapter headings, etc. Line spacing, font size and style should be consistent throughout the main body of the text, although bold or italics can vary. Additionally, as a general rule it is best not to overuse bold, italics, or underlines, which can be very distracting to the reader.

Paragraph indentation may seem like a simple thing, but many authors do not start paragraphs consistently, switching between using the tab key to start a paragraph and pressing the space bar instead; this causes inconsistent indentation. You may also prefer to have a space between each paragraph rather than an indentation, but consistentcy is key.

With punctuation and other formatting choices, decide what you like and be consistent. For example, some authors like to use one space after punctuation that ends a sentence and some like to use two spaces. Consistency also applies to other punctuation styles, such as dashes, smart quotes or straight quotes, ellipses, etc. You can use the "find/replace" function in Microsoft Word to assist you in locating and changing these details so they are consistent.

While formatting your book, it is extremely important to keep the readability of your book in mind. The main aspects that affect readability are font style, font size and line spacing. Use a standard, easy to read font for the main body of your book. Typically, a serif font works best for the book body. A serif font means there are little marks or “serifs” on the tops and bottoms of letters. Examples of serif fonts include: Garamond Pro or Garamond, Caslon Pro or Caslon, Adobe Jenson Pro, Minion Pro or Times New Roman. Fonts without the serif mark (called san-serif fonts) are not typically used for the main body of the book, but there is no hard and fast rule against it. If you prefer a san serif font, some possibilities are Century Gothic, Arial or Helvetica. You can use more decorative fonts for chapter titles and opening pages, but using them in the text can be distracting and confusing to readers. Consider using italics instead of a different font if you need something to stand out in your text.

Line spacing is as important as font when it comes to the readability of your book. Books are easiest to read with 1.5 spacing because the readers’ eye can easily jump from line to line. No matter what kind of spacing you prefer, just make sure it is consistent.

Additional formatting details include headers at the top of every page that list the author name and book title (name on one page, title on the other) and page numbers. Page numbers are typically not used on the title page, dedication page and any blank pages. You might find it handy to spend some time looking through books you have at home or browsing through a bookstore or library. Keep in mind the type and style of book and the various aspects of the page layouts you like and dislike.

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Should I include my cover in my manuscript?

No. The cover will be designed separately from the body of the manuscript during a different stage in the production process. Please see this FAQ about cover design.

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How should I set up my title page within the manuscript?

The title page can be located in two different places depending on your personal tastes. It can go on the first page when you open the cover of your book or on the third page of your book facing the second right-facing page. The title page includes your book’s title, subtitle (if applicable) and your name/pen name.

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What kinds of pages and information are typically included in a book?

There are several basics all books should have, plus optional pages you may want to include.

  • Every book should have a title page which lists the title of your book, subtitle (if applicable) and author name/pen name.
  • Every book must have a copyright page.
  • The first optional page is a dedication page, something many authors choose to include in their books. The dedication page is usually a simple sentence on an otherwise blank page that may say something like, “To my parents who always believed in me.” To be clear, the dedication page is different from the acknowledgements page, another page that usually thanks a longer list of people who helped make your book happen. You should decide if you want to include one, both or none of these pages.
  • The second optional page is a table of contents. A table of contents lists the chapter names and/or page numbers on which the chapter can be found. This page is more often found in non-fiction books than fiction books. Be careful if you do include a table of contents in a fiction book that you do not give away the plotline of the book with the chapter names.
  • The final optional page is an “about the author” page. This page is most typically included after the main body of the text in your manuscript on one of the last pages of the book. This is where you can include a photograph of yourself if you so choose.

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What is the proper order for the beginning of my book, or front matter?

The beginning of your book, or "front matter," consists of the pages of information typically found before the main body text begins. You ultimately have control over what you want in this section. According to the Chicago Manual of Style, here is the general order of front matter: 1) Half title page (just the title), 2) series title, list of contributors, frontispiece or blank page, 3) Title page, 4) Copyright page, 5) Dedication page or epigraph, 6) Table of Contents, 7) List of Illustrations, 8) List of Tables, 9) Foreword, 10) Preface, 11) Acknowledgements (if not part of the preface), 12) Introduction (if not part of the text), 13) List of abbreviations or chronology.

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What is the proper order for the end of my book, or back matter?

"Back matter" consists of the pages and materials that generally fall after the main body of the text. You can decide what to include or not include in this section of your book. Here is the general order of back matter according to the Chicago Manual of Style: 1) Appendix, 2) Notes, 3) Glossary, 4) Bibliography, 5) List of Contributors, 6) Index, 7) Author biography and/or photo.

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Do I need a table of contents?

A table of contents lists the chapters and/or sections with the page number of the beginning of that chapter. A table of contents is most useful and more commonly found in a non-fiction book, reference book or other very lengthy book because people tend to skip around more and look for needed information.

When reading a novel, readers are less likely to skip around and more likely to read the book straight from front to back. Be careful if you do decide to include a table of contents in a novel, and make sure that the chapter titles do not give away the plotline. You may want to consider just naming your chapters only as “Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.” instead of with chapter names.

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Where should credits and information regarding such items as permission, editor names, illustrators, etc. be located in the book?

The most common place to find credit information is on the lower section of the copyright page, below the publisher information. However, the placement of credit information may also depend on the copyright holders’ demands and your relationship with that person. However, many people wish to give more visible credit, especially if they have a close relationship with the copyright holder, such as a friend or relative, or if the individual is famous or well known.

Another factor to consider is how visible the work is throughout the book. For example, if the book contains an original photograph on almost every page the photographer credit should probably be more visible, perhaps on the cover or title page. On the other hand if there are only a few photographs throughout the book then perhaps a less visible credit on the copyright page is sufficient. For photographs and illustrations within the book, credit is also sometimes placed directly under the photograph or illustration in a small caption. Longer, more personal acknowledgements and/or credits can usually go in the front or back of the book. For more information, read the FAQ on front matter sequence and the FAQ on back matter sequence.

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More Detailed Book Formatting Information


What are the technical book specs for each book size Archway Publishing offers?

Archway Publishing titles are printed using high-quality paper and materials. We will help guide you through our publishing process to meet the technical requirements for publishing a book. Below are the general technical requirements for each trim size.

Page Count:

Softcover Black-and-White Interior:

5" x 8" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page allowance 740 pages

5.5" x 8.5" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 740 pages

6" x 9" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 740 pages

7.5" x 9.5" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 740 pages

8.25" x 11" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 828 pages

Hardcover Black-and-White Interior:

5.5" x 8.5" book

  • minimum page requirement 108 pages
  • maximum page allowance 740 pages

6" x 9" book

  • minimum page requirement: 108 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 740 pages

(NOTE: By upgrading to the hardcover option, the softcover version of your book must also be in one of the available hardcover format trim sizes and must meet the 108 page minimum.)

Softcover Color Interior:

8.5" x 8.5" book

  • minimum page requirement: 18 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 480 pages

8.5" x 11" book

  • minimum page requirement: 18 pages
  • maximum page allowance: 480 pages

Additionally, the last page of all books must be a blank, left-facing page. We will add blank pages to the end of the book if necessary to meet these requirements.

Binding:

Our black and white and color books are "perfect bound," which is the standard binding style for most books. The pages are cut evenly and bound into the spine, which has a flat surface upon which text may be placed if the width is sufficient - at least 80 pages or more.

Margins:

All books must be formatted within the margins required for the book trim size of your choice. Archway Publishing will lay out your manuscript to fit the margins during the production process. But if you happen to be formatting your own book, you can adjust the page layout on a standard Microsoft® Word 8.5" x 11" document page. The margin requirements in Microsoft® Word are as follows:

5" x 8" and 5.5" x 8.5" book

  • Page size: 5" x 8" or 5.5" x 8.5"
  • Top margin: .75"
  • Bottom margin: .75"
  • Outside left and right margin: .5"
  • Gutter: .125"
  • Header/Footer: .5"

6" x 9" and 7.5" x 9.25" book

  • Page size: 6" x 9" or 7.5" x 9.25"
  • Top margin: .75"
  • Bottom margin: .75"
  • Outside left and right margin: .5"
  • Gutter: .125"
  • Header/Footer: .5"

8.25" x 11" book

  • Page size: 8.25" x 11"
  • Top margin: .75"
  • Bottom margin: .75"
  • Outside left and right margin: .5"
  • Gutter: .125"
  • Header/Footer: .5

*For Color books, speak with your publishing consultant about margin sizes.

Paper Type:

Black-and-White Interior Books:
Interior pages will be printed in black and white (grayscale). The front cover of the book can be printed in full color (CMYK); however, our printer does not allow any text or images to be printed in the interior of the cover.

Your book can be printed on crème colored interior paper in the following sizes:

  • 5" x 8"
  • 5.5" x 8.5" 
  • 6" x 9" 

Crème paper has the following specifications:

  • Paper Weight: 55 lb.
  • Paper Width: 444 PPI*
  • Paper Type: offset, opaque, acid-free

Your book can be printed on bright white colored interior paper in the following sizes:

  • 5" x 8"
  • 5.5" x 8.5"
  • 6" x 9"
  • 7.5" x 9.5"
  • 8.25" x 11"

Bright white paper has the following specifications:

  • Paper Weight: 50 lb.
  • Paper Width: 512 PPI*
  • Paper Type: offset, opaque, acid-free paper

Black-and-White Soft Covers:
The specifications for the covers of all sizes of black-and-white interior, softcover books:

  • Weight: 100 lb.
  • Paper Type: offset, white enamel, laminated (glossy)

Black-and-White Hard Covers:
The specifications of the hard cover for the 6" x 9" black-and-white interior books:

  • Weight: 100 lb.
  • Hard cover: Patriot blue cover with a gold foil stamped spine

Dustjacket:

  • Weight: 100 lb.
  • Paper type: white enamel offset paper and laminated

Softcover Color Interior Books: 
Interior pages and cover are printed in full color (CMYK); however, our printer does not allow any text or images to be printed in the interior of the cover.

Your book can be printed on bright white paper printed with CMYK color in the following sizes:

  • 8.5" x 8.5" 
  • 8.5" x 11" 

Bright white paper printed with CMYK color has the following specifications:

  • Paper Weight: 50 lb.
  • Paper Width: 385 PPI*
  • Paper Type: uncoated white paper

Softcover Color Books Cover:

  • Weight: 80 lb.
  • Thickness: 238 PPI*
  • Paper Type: cover stock
  • Color: white laminated (glossy)

*PPI means "pages per inch." A page in this case means the actual piece of paper, or front and back of a sheet of paper, which technically would be counted as two pages of text in the book.

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What fonts can I use in the book?

We have access to a wide variety of fonts. Please view our allowable fonts list to make sure we can print your font. When reviewing the font list, please note that not all fonts are available in bold, italic and bold italic.

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Can I publish my book in a language other than English?

No. Currently, Archway Publishing does not support the publishing of non-English language books.

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What is the average font size for the main body of text?

The average font size for the main body of text is 11- or 12-point font. The particular font you choose, your preference and overall formatting determine if 11- or 12-point font would be more appropriate. Keep in mind that various fonts can look very different with the same point size depending on the style. We generally advise against using a 10-point font or smaller for the main body, but it could be acceptable for some books.

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