Should you format your own book for print?

The eternal question! Should you format your own books for print and ebook?

That depends on a few things, including:

  • Your budget
  • How many books you’re publishing
  • How much time you have

The truth is, learning how to format books (and design them well, which is a totally different thing) can take a lot of time and hair-pulling. Even after learning how to do it – and better than just about everybody else, I might add – I still don’t format my own books, because it’s cheaper and faster for me to outsource them.

But if you’re publishing lots of books, especially a series, or cranking out short erotica, then you need to be in control of your formatting.

Working with a designer sucks, because you are going to find typos and more things to fix and change later, and you’ll need to ask them every time you want to change something. Createspace and bigger companies will charge for changes like this.

Ebook conversion is actually super simple if you know how to do it (you can learn how on this site, for free, BTW). But formatting for print, especially if you’re using MS Word, can be a steep challenge. In every single case, when an author tells me they’re going to format their books themselves, I ask them to send me what they’ve done so I can check it, and it is never done correctly or professionally. In the past I’ve taken over and redid their formatting for free, because that’s the kind of guy I am, but I don’t have time for that anymore, so instead I’m putting up a bunch of videos and templates you can use to format your own books.

YES you can totally do it yourself, as long as you learn how to do it well. DIY Book Formats is the #1 biggest site online devoted to teaching you how to format beautiful books – see what we’ve got and please share if you appreciate all the free stuff!

About The Author

Derek Murphy

I'm a location independent book designer (and book marketing genius) working on my PhD in Literature and shopping for a castle to use as a writer's paradise. I write non-fiction and YA.

2 Comments

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    Reply Reply August 4, 2013

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