DIY Book Creation: Basic Formatting vs. Interior Book Design

The product of basic formatting may not be the prettiest book you’ve ever seen, but it should be easy to read — without any misplaced hard returns or inconsistent line spacing (among other obvious formatting errors). You’ve no doubt run across ebooks that look as though the formatter basically uploaded a Word doc and didn’t bother to check how it looked on the Kindle Previewer.

We’re not doing that. Repeat after me: readers have a right to expect better (it’s easier to relate to this if you’re a reader, too). Besides, it’s really not hard to make your book look clean and orderly. It’s not. It takes a few steps, which I’ll show you in the free download.

Basic book

But what if you want it to be more than “clean”? What if you’re aiming for something higher than “not ugly/unreadable”?

And what on earth is the difference between basic book formatting and “interior book design”?

Put simply, interior book design makes your book look prettier and more professional. It makes it look like you hired someone to make your book look as good on the inside as a traditionally-published book.

Interior book


So, can a DIY book formatter easily learn the latter as well as the former?

Yes. Yes, we can.

Download this free guide to get started, and let me know if you run into any snags. I’m here to help. As someone who firmly supports the DIY approach to self-publishing (even if you’re not broke or deep in debt — or both), I’m all for finding and sharing resources to help fellow writers become published authors of books they can be proud of.

The Caveat

The DIY route takes longer, it’s true. To do it right, you have to learn how to self-edit your book, how to format it for ebook and print, and how to create a book cover that doesn’t scream “amateur.” It takes time and a willingness to learn what it takes to make your book shine. It’s not the easy route. And your unwillingness — or inability — to hire an expert to get your book ready for publication is nothing to be ashamed of. 

To put it another way, I’m fed up with authors who shame fellow authors who don’t spend hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars on editing, formatting, book cover design, etc. to “give their book its best chance.” One such author actually opened a rant with “Don’t be a cheap-a$$ mother-f***er!” to shame those who refused to pony up the cash for experts to make their books worthy of publication. Who are the self-appointed gatekeepers, now?

So, you’ll excuse me if I roll my eyes and get back to work. As I said before, some of us really do have more time than money to spare — even if not much more.

Some of us, to put it blunt, are flat f***ing broke for about 2/3 of each month. So, shaming us for not spending or charging that kind of money — or for daring to self-publish when we can’t afford to do that — is just as elitist, short-sighted, and shallow as shaming indie authors for not being traditionally published.

Rant over. Back to work.

(Yes, this is what I do for fun — and, sometimes, money.)




Do you need a writer / ghostwriter, a book designer, or a virtual assistant?

If you’re looking for a full-service virtual assistant to free up your time and energy for the things you’d rather do to help your business grow, I offer a variety of services to authors and bloggers to help them sell more books, get more blog traffic, and accomplish more with their writing.

If you need a writer to lighten your creative workload, what do you need written that will change things for you or your business?

  • white papers
  • business reports
  • a ghostwritten book
  • ghostwritten blog posts
  • social media graphics with compelling copy
  • web copy
  • book descriptions (with HTML formatting)

Let me know how I can help you earn more in less time – and connect with more of your target audience. I write well-researched books, articles, reports, and blog posts and will post samples on this site soon. Until then, if you need well-researched, persuasive copy as soon as possible, contact me and let me know what I can do for you.

I also design book covers and book interiors — going beyond basic book formatting to make your book look professional and pleasing to the eye inside and out.

Need more visual marketing for your book or blog? I also create social media graphics — for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Google+. I’ll work with you to boost your interaction on your favorite social media sites and get more traffic to your site or book’s sales page.

For more information, check out the page or pages that most closely address your current need.

Guest blogging example: “How is this normal? Diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age five”