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How to Format Your Novel

Updated: Mar 25

I’m gonna get right into it.

Page Size

Trim Size

The first thing you want to do is set your page size, or trim size.

  1. Go to Layout

  2. Select More Paper Sizes at the bottom

  3. Under Paper Sizes, you will set the width and height to your desired size. In this example I used 6” x 9”, which is standard for hardcovers. Make sure the drop down menu under paper sizes says “Custom size”.

  4. Under Preview, where it says Apply to, make sure it’s set to Whole Document.

  5. Then click OK.


Setting your margins will never be perfect. This is where you need to play with it, but I have some basic guidelines for you to get started.

The first thing to think about is how many pages you have. It will determine your margins. Check out the link below to get an idea.

Here’s the link to KDPs recommendations.

  1. Select Margins.

  2. Got to Custom Margins at the bottom.

  3. Under Pages, change it to Mirror Margins.

  4. Go under Margins and change the Inside to 0.625” and the Outside to 0.3”.

  5. Keep the orientation as a portrait.

  6. Select OK.

Line Spacing

The image on the left has line spacing set at 12pts and the image on the right is set to 17pts.

Line spacing matters.

  1. Press CTRL + A to select all your text.

  2. Go to Layout.

  3. Open Paragraph.

  4. Under Spacing, set the Before and After to 0 pts.

  5. In the drop down menu under Line spacing, select Exactly.

  6. Set the At: around 15 pt to 17 pt. (You need to play around with spacing)

  7. Select OK.


Do not use the Tab button until you’ve set your indentation. A normal TAB gives you about 5 spaces of indentation. You want less than that. Here’s how to set it correctly:

  1. Press CTRL + A to select all your text.

  2. Open up Paragraph under Layout.

  3. Under Indentation click the drop down menu under Special.

  4. Choose First Line.

  5. By is set to 0.25 (KDP recommended) In the example I set it to 0.3 because I like it better. This is another thing to play around with.

Page Numbers

  1. Go to Insert.

  2. Under Header & Footer click on Page Number.

  3. Select Bottom of Page.

  4. Choose the second option.

  5. This is the one with the numbers in the middle, at the bottom of the page.

  6. Once you see the numbers at the bottom of the page, double click on the Footer to bring up the Header & Footer Position.

  7. Change the Header from Top to 0.2.

  8. Change the Footer from Bottom to 0.2.

Header: Title and Author Name

  1. Double click the top of the page to bring up the Header.

  2. Select Different ODD & Even Pages.

  3. On the Odd page write the author name.

  4. On the Even page, write the book title, or vice versa.

  5. If your even page numbers disappear, which they might, just go back and redo the footer. It’s an easy fix.

This is just a basic tutorial on how to format your book. The bare bones.

Font recommendations for publishing:


Times New Roman

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