Novel Formatting

Front Cover
Should include:
Image (centred on page (allow for binding if needed)).
Authors Name
Quote about the novel or tagline.
Back Cover
Should include:
Tagline (if relevant)
Blurb (centred – not justified or aligned left).
Quote about the novel
Link to website
Optional – author image/detail (this can be placed in the interior).
Should be in the order:
Optional – page of quotes about the novel
Title page (right facing)
Copyright page (left facing – on back of title page)
Dedication (can include acknowledgements) and or quote that has some meaning to the text.
(Right facing)
Body text (the story) Starting on a right facing page.
Last page of story should have the words The End or some indication that the story has finished (or will be continued in another book).
Acknowledgements (if separate from the dedication) – Should be a list of thank yous and details about who has helped you and how. If anything special happened during the writing of the book then this can also be mentioned here. Sometimes this section also includes a bit about how the author developed the story or why they wrote it.
About the author – A short biography of the author. Can include some quirky detail or point to add interest. These days it’s also good to link to a blog, website or social media here.
Other formatting notes
First chapter – should be on right facing page (yes this is a repeat, but it’s important).
Standard formatting is that the text/chapter should start between 2/5 to 1/2 way down from the top of the page.
Should have a chapter title (even if it is just Chapter One). Author choice whether to spell the number or give the numeral or just list 1,2,3 etc. Then a line’s gap before the text.
First line of a chapter or section should be left aligned.
First line of a paragraph/speech should be indented. ~0.6cm. (think 3 characters)
Text should be justified.
The last line of a paragraph should be left aligned – modern word processors do this automatically, but sometimes during editing the paragraph break gets lost and you wind up with three words (or so) being stretched across an entire line. This is an easy fix (hit enter after the last word.)
Margins, Headers, Page Numbers & Formatting
Margins should be the same top bottom and outer side. This is so the text forms a neat rectangular shape on the page.
The inner margin (or gutter) should be larger (~0.7cm) to allow for the binding of the book. In terms of formatting your document you should mirror margins or specify a gutter size.
Header- (optional) if included should have the title of the text & authors name (alternating these is also an option).
Page numbers
Bottom of page, centred or right aligned. My preference is for centred. Occasionally you may see the page number as part of the header. I am not a fan of this but it is acceptable.
Line spacing – you need to figure out what works for you. Single line spacing is great for reducing pages and hence cost of printing your book, however, I have found that having a line spacing of 1.1 or 1.15 lines makes the text more readable and reduces eye strain in the reader.
Font size – again this is dependent on your book, but the font should be ~12pt and around 60-70 characters per line. Aim for ~250 words a page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: