How to Format Your Book for Self-Publishing (part one)

Ah, you’ve arrived to it at last. The thrilling portion of self-publishing known as formatting. The delight of all writers, the zenith of our craft (or our patience *cough*).

Okay, formatting is, like, the bane of self-publishing. Seriously. And it must be undertaken with a thorough knowledge of proper formatting.

I am not going to fill this post with the boring little details (I’ll get to that in part two), but did you know that a hypen and an em dash are SO not the same thing? 🤨

Brain: Of course they know that. You’re the only who didn’t know that until a couple years ago.

Shut up.


There are a few things you’ll need to survive formatting your book.

First: Epic music.

Okay, maybe not epic, but seriously, LISTEN to your book’s soundtrack while you’re working. It helps.

Second: Beverage of choice.

Not alcoholic, though, you don’t want to inadvertently replace all those hard-earned em dashes with hyphens. 😉

Third: Knowledge.

Knowledge is power. Know the ins and outs of proper English formatting before you publish something you cringe about later.

Fourth: Good software.

I am currently using Atticus for the first time, and so far, I HIGHLY recommend it. Don’t waste your time on a very technical software that you don’t really want to learn.

Fifth: Patience.

PLEASE, leave yourself enough time for this critical (if boring) stage. Your book is make-or-break at this point.

Keep in mind, if you don’t have the time or ability to format your book for self-publishing, you can locate someone on Fiverr who can. My mother did that for her book, so keep it as an option.

I’ll get to some of the very critical (specific) details of formatting in part two. Stay tuned!


Published by Hannah Gaudette

Hannah Gaudette is a home-school graduate living in the hills of New England. When she’s not writing or playing with the dogs, it’s a safe bet you can find her with some other animal, like goats. She is the founder of a sustainable agriculture movement called STEWARDSHIP in central Maine. She's a life-enthusiast and advocate for food allergy awareness, youth ministry, and service dogs.

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