What is typesetting?
Typesetting is to lay out the chapters, fonts, headings, and justifying the text so that it is readable and professional looking when printed as a book.
Microsoft Word can be frustrating. I know. That’s stating the obvious, but how much more true this is when formatting headers and footers. I decided to write this article because of how difficult it was to find relevant information. It seemed like there were sites that gave partial information or settings for business documents, but I wasn’t able to find an easy to follow method for formatting a manuscript for printing.
In this series of articles, I am going to take you step by step on how to format a professional looking manuscript for printing. This should be helpful for independent authors who want to use sources like Create Space or Lightning Source. We want our book’s layout to be indistinguishable from the rest of the industry. A cheap looking book will be treated as such.
There are professional typesetting software applications that make setup easy, but these are very costly and not practical for independent authors. Some articles I found stated that it is impossible to create a proper manuscript using Word, but this is not the case at all. My first book, I Called Him Dancer, was formatted in Word and people are amazed when they find out it was typeset with this ‘inferior’ Word program. There are some types of books that don’t format well in Word, but for the average book, you can customize a professional looking manuscript that is no different in appearance than a professionally typeset one.
By the end of this series of articles, I will have walked you through typesetting your work from beginning to end. It isn’t especially difficult. The problem is that Word isn’t intuitive. It’s hard to know where to go in order to do what you want. Once you find the right place to click, the setup is easy.
This series of articles will begin with customizing footers for your book.
Eddie Snipes © 2012
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Author of I Called Him Dancer
President of the Christian Authors Guild