Connecticut Authors and Publishers

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Using a Word Processing Program to Create a Page Layout

The layout of your book is very important. The average paperback book size is six inches wide and nine inches tall, which is much smaller than the average size of a sheet of an 8.5 x
11 inch sheet of paper. This means that if you are submitting a book for
printing, you will need to select the proper page setup.

Your page layout can be designed with any word processing software if your book is for a small audience of friends or family. Any serious work, however, should be prepared using a
page layout program, namely a desktop publishing, DTP program. Book buyers will
not buy a book if it does not have professional typeset. Often there are subtle
differences in the typography, point type and line spacing; even line breaks can
affect the appearance of a smooth and consistent paragraph. A page layout
program is designed to give the user maximum control over the appearance of the
page, including graphic placement and rotation, drawing capabilities, text shaping,
and the position of type on the page. DTP software programs will also include
tools for easy rotation, scaling and cropping of photographs and graphics.

In the absence of DTP software, your next best option would be to use any word processing program. After creating your page layout and formatting your document the final version
must then be converted to PDF format before submission.

A good, basic page layout is to leave a 3/4-inch margins on the outside edges and allow a 1-inch margin on the inside, "spine" edge. Think of how a book reads. Your
copyright page is always an even numbered page, followed by the title page,
which should be an odd numbered page. The first chapter always starts on the
odd numbered page.

If you are using Microsoft Word, go into the "Format" menu and choose "Document." Then click the "mirror margins" option. This will change the "left"
and "right" options to "inside" and "outside."
(Page Layout/Margins/-Mirrored – in the most recent version of Word). Set your
top, bottom and outside margins at "0.75" and your inside margin at

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