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  • Manuscript Formatting


    General Book Formatting 


    More Detailed Book Formatting Information 


    General Book Formatting


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

    LifeRich 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 our 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 consistency 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.

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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 these FAQs 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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    What are the About the Book guidelines, and why are they so important? 

    Retail websites, such as Apple’s iBooks Store, have the right to refuse to list your title on their website if your book description does not meet their requirements. You must follow the guidelines listed here in order to avoid any issues. 

    Book Description Guidelines:

    1. No more than 2,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation
    2. No mention of competing websites or bookstores
    3. No reference to pricing
    4. No reference to print version add-ons (e.g., CD-ROM inside the book, etc.)
    5. Should describe the book, NOT the author or irrelevant topics
    6. Should be written in the book’s primary language (e.g., if the book is written in Spanish, then the description must be in Spanish too)
    7. Should be well edited and free of typos, spelling mistakes and grammar errors

    Example of Incorrect Description:

    Arnold Author is a retired professor and television writer who lived through the turbulent political drama detailed in this work of nonfiction. This is his sixth novel. Look for more titles by Author on Amazon.com starting at $9.99.


    What’s Wrong in This Example 

    • Describes the author, not the book
    • Reference to pricing
    • Mention of competing website or bookstore

     

    Example of Correct Description:

    Award-winning writer Arnold Author recounts the turbulent political climate of 1960s Greentown in this gripping novel based on a true story. During this frightening period, two politically opposed individuals come together to stop an underground plot to overthrow the local government. There are two sides to every story; find out which side comes out on top in Love Liberated

    We work hard to make sure your book can be made available for purchase through as many channels as possible.  If you have already published your book and wish to edit your About the Book section, simply log in to your LifeRich Publishing account and click on the “Book Status” tab. Please contact your production team if you have any questions.

    * Updating your book description does not guarantee that your book will be listed on any retail partner’s website.

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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 LifeRich Publishing offers?

    LifeRich 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: 900 pages

    5.5" x 8.5" book

    • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 900 pages

    6" x 9" book

    • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 900 pages

    7.5" x 9.5" book

    • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 900 pages

    8.25" x 11" book

    • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 900 pages

    Hardcover Black-and-White Interior:

    5.5" x 8.5" book

    • minimum page requirement: 108 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 900 pages

    6" x 9" book

    • minimum page requirement: 108 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 900 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: 24 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 480 pages

    8" x 10"

    • minimum page requirement: 24 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 480 pages

    8.5" x 11" book

    • minimum page requirement: 24 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 480 pages

    Hardcover Color Interior:

    8" x 10" book

    • minimum page requirement: 24 pages
    • maximum page allowance: 480 pages

    Additionally, the total page count of all books must be divisible by four, and 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:

    Fiction, Nonfiction and Children's:
    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.

    • Black and white book binding requirements: Minimum of 48 pages for softcover. Minimum of 108 pages for hardcover (if applicable).
    • Color binding requirements: 24 to 480 pages

    Cookbooks: Regardless of whether your cookbook is printed in color (standard) or black and white (optional), these books are "perfect bound."

    Margins:

    All books must be formatted within the margins required for the book trim size of your choice. LifeRich 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.

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    What type of paper do you use to print your books?

    We source our book printing from a wide variety of book printers worldwide. We seek to print and ship as locally as possible to help minimize the timelines for receiving books while minimizing the shipping cost for your readers. Some of our paper specifications may vary based on the printing partner assigned to print your order. For Black and White books, our paper weight ranges from 50 to 55 lb. For Color books, our paper weight ranges from 60 to 70 lb. Cover stock used is typically 10 pt C1S.

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    What fonts can I use in the book?

    We have access to thousands of fonts and will find the font that works best for your book. 

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

    Yes, you can publish your book in Spanish or English. 

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