Writing Books/Formatting.


I want to write a book. But how do I format it when I type it up? The margins, 1 inch? How should I include the page numbers? On one pages of a book, they include the page number and the authors name, and on the other page they include the page number and the name of the book. Should I do this?

    If I'm correct, you should indent five times when starting a new line or paragraph.

When starting a new chapter how many spaces should you put between the CHAPTER and when you start the paragraph?

Any advice?

Hello Aaron:

It is a bit early to be thinking about formatting. At this point, you can't know if this book will ever actually be written, much less if it will ever be published. While you are doing your drafts, format it however you like. Plenty of time to insert formatting once it's done.

There is a certain routine or method that has proven to be efficient in writing a book. Stage One is planning. Stage two is outlining (whether or not you need to outline depends on what kind of a book you are writing). Stage Three is the first draft, and any successive drafts as required. Stage Four is preparing the manuscript for submission, and Stage Five is submitting. If you will think about your book in these terms, you will save yourself considerable time and effort. Book-writing is difficult enough without wasting time worrying about Stage Four when you haven't even finished Stage One.

While progressing through these stages, you can of course study writing, practice with bits of the book, etc.

In case you still - in spite of my advice :) - want to know how to prepare a manuscript, just type "manuscript preparation" into your search engine. You should get plenty of hits, but the ones on the first page will be the most helpful.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high score over 1,000 questions.

And good luck with your writing!  

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at http://pygmypress.com, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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