Wednesday 16 July 2014

Writing Book 2 - Part 7

Formatting & Proofreading

So I wrote a story. I completed the first draft, then a second and a third before I sent it away to be edited. Now it's time to make it look like an actual book.

Formatting my first book, A Beginner's Guide To Salad was quite difficult. I didn't have a clue what I was doing and relied quite a lot on Google so, having done it once, I found it much easier to get my head around second time around. I was no longer leaping into the unknown and knew a few tricks to prevent me from tripping up further down the line.

The greatest of these tricks was knowing not to use the tab button to indent. I didn't know that first time round. You're supposed to use the indent tool in word, but I didn't, which meant I had to go back through the document and remove the tabs and set my indents correctly. I've since discovered that you can remove the tabs all at once with a couple of easy steps. Again, I did not know this at the time *angry face*

I also knew how to set up a Table of Contents this time. It's actually pretty easy to do but I HATE setting them up. It's such a boring and repetitive process but it's something that has to be done and at least I can get through it a bit quicker now I don't have to keep referring to the step-by-step guide.

Last time around, I didn't know much about front matter (the stuff that becomes before the actual story in a book), but this time I had a template I could work from by referring back to A Beginner's Guide, which was helpful and definitely helped saved time and more Google research.

Once I'd formatted the book, I converted the file so I could read it on my Kindle (something else I'd had to learn from scratch last time) and it's at this stage it really looks like a real book. I was so excited about seeing it on my Kindle, I had to take a photo of it!

Now it was time for the proofreading stage. It always amazes me how much stuff gets missed the first, second, third, fourth time I go through my book. And I'm not just talking about the odd typo - characters can change name or swap bodies with somebody else. Or they can steal somebody else's food. I had one (male) character speaking to his (female) friend before tucking into her food instead of his. The cheek!


  1. Hi Jennifer. I'm currently considering the self pub route but feel totally overwhelmed! Thank you for sharing your experiences and reminding me that it can be done successfully. I'll be having a professional edit and cover but as to the rest I'm still totally clueless!

    1. I felt exactly the same this time last year. It was a big decision to go ahead and self-publish because I wasn't sure I'd be able to do it. It was scary, but I'm glad I did it now!


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