Self-Publishing | Should I use Microsoft Word to Format my Book?


Here at Long Overdue Books, we never want authors to feel stuck at any part of the writing or publishing process.


So, to help answer publishing questions, we're going to bring in experts in the proofreading, editing, cover design, and book formatting space. Today, Toni Serofin, the Owner and Lead Artist at Sanserofin, is offering guidance on whether or not to use Microsoft Word when formatting your book for Amazon or other publishing site.

Toni's Answer


It’s entirely possible to use Microsoft Word to format your self-published book interior. A word of warning: Don’t open Word and start to type. Start with a template.


Choose one of the book templates that comes with MS Word. There’s lots of information online to help you through the process. Just google “format book interior with MS Word.”


The important thing is to give your manuscript a solid foundation right from the beginning. Editing your document after the fact to “make it into a book” will only create stress, especially if you’re not familiar with the complexities of Word.


If you don’t like the book templates offered by Word and you’re going to publish your book through Amazon KDP, check out Amazon’s book templates designed specifically for the platform.


On the other hand, if you’re planning to get your book printed at a book printing company, they will not accept a Word document. You must provide your book in PDF format with the fonts embedded. You may also need to set up your pages in a particular way so it’s best to consult with the printer before you do anything.


MS Word is primarily an office productivity application used to create reports, contracts, letters, and résumés. It does not have the capability and flexibility of InDesign (the tool I use) or dedicated book formatting software like Vellum.


Word can’t handle the finer adjustments book designers need to make when designing and formatting a book. If your book contains graphs or tables, MS Word doesn’t do a great job of making them look attractive. That is why books formatted in Word look amateurish.


My advice? There are far better tools than MS Word if you absolutely want or need to do your own book formatting.


Read more here in this helpful article.


For more helpful tips and tricks, or if you're looking for help on your own project, you can follow Toni Serofin on LinkedIn or reach out via her website. You can also browse more editors, proofreaders, and artists right here on Long Overdue Books under the "Building Your Book" tab.

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