Here are instructions on how to format your book using Microsoft Word on a Mac. Interior templates are also available on bookbaby.com/templates, where you can download a template for your book’s specific measurements.

US Trade

For a 6″x9″ book, start by changing the paper size and the margins to match the dimensions of a US Trade, 6″ x 9″ book (these instructions are applicable to whatever book trim size you choose).

Start by double-clicking on the ruler at the top of your document and bring up the document formatting window. Click on the “Margins” tab, then the “Page Setup” button. Click on “Paper Size,” then “Manage Custom Sizes.”

Make a new dimension by clicking on the “plus” button, and name it “US Trade.”

The paper size is actually going to be 6.25″ x 9.25″ to accommodate for the image bleed that Microsoft Word does not take into consideration. Image bleed allows images or colors to go to the edge of a page. When you print a book using commercial presses, it is essential to include this extra space beyond the trim line. (For more information, watch our “Image Bleed” tutorial.)

Once it’s set to 6.25″ x 9.25″, adjust the margins. For the top and bottom, set it to 0.44 inches and click “OK.” For the left and right, set it to one inch. You can increase gutter in middle if you’d like to have a larger space running down where your book is bound.

Make your header and footer 0.5″ or 0.44” to match the top and bottom print margins.

Check “mirror margins” to set your book up like a printed book spread.

Chapters

Next, click the “Layout” tab.

If you would like your chapters to all start on a right hand page, set each chapter as a new section break, and set those new sections to start on an odd page.

For headers and footers, select the “different odd and even” option if you want to have an author name on one side and the title of the book or chapter name on the other side. Select “different first page” if you don’t want to have your headers at the beginning of each chapter.

Now click “OK” to apply the changes to the whole document.

The page size is now set to U.S. Trade 6″ x 9″ as opposed to the 8.5″ by 11″ you probably started out with.

Basic formatting

Let’s continue with some basic formatting. Turn on “show all non-printing characters” to help you identify what type of breaks you are using.

Assuming you have the text of your book and your chapters defined, you will want to include a title page and a copyright page for the year of publication.

Do not hit the enter button several times to create a new page. Instead, go to “Insert > Break > PageBreak” to define a break in the page.

Now, you can design a title page. Type in your book title and increase the font size. Bring it down to about the middle of your first page.

This will print as our right-side title page when you first open your printed book. (For more information on how a printed book is laid out, please watch our “Book Pagination” tutorial.)

Now, add your copyright information to be on the backside of that title page. That will be on page two, so insert another page break.

Include the publication year and anything else you would like to list. Copyright information is typically down at the bottom of the page.

Next, insert a “Section break” (we recommend the “next odd page”), then highlight the chapter text. Click on the formatting style in the formatting palette or at the top of your document and select “Heading.” Now this will be defined as a “Chapter Heading.”

Go ahead and find where you designated chapter 2 and repeat the same instructions as before: insert a “section break odd page” and mark the chapter text as a “Heading.”

Table of Contents and more

After your Copyright page, insert a “section break.” Then, go to the “Insert” dropdown, select “Table of Contents,” pick a style, and insert it. Now you’ll see a “Table of Contents” list with page numbers.

Next, to set your footers, double-click in the area below your text. You’ll see they’re defined as odd and even page footers. Go to “Insert Page Numbers.” Choose to have them all align to the “Outside” or “Centered.” If you have them all aligned to the same side, half of them are will face the gutter and inside of your book. If you have them on the “Inside,” they are ALL going to be on your gutter side.

You can choose whether or not to “Show numbers on the first page” by clicking or unclicking the appropriate box.

Next, double-click above your text to insert a header. If you chose earlier to set it up as different odd and even headers, you can put the “Author Name” on one side and the title of the book on the other.

Go to your “Basic Paragraph” style. After you change your page size from “US Letter” down to US Trade, you might find that your text is too large. Instead of 12 point font, we recommend size 10 or 11. You also might want to decrease or increase the space between your lines. You can set it “single” if you want it to be tight or “double” if you like a lot of space in-between. We recommend 1.5 for a happy medium.

Next is your text alignment: left-align, center-align, right-align, and justified. A lot of books are designed with justified text, but select what fits best for your book.

Steven Spatz: Breaking down barriers

Steven Spatz, BookBaby President, is typically known for his calm and reasoned demeanor around the office. But that didn’t stop him from wielding a sledgehammer to literally and metaphorically break down barriers for independent authors. Literally, in that we’re expanding our BookBaby office to house our growing team and operation. Metaphorically… well, because BookBaby helps break down the barriers for writers to become self-published authors. But you already knew that.


See more how-to videos at the BookBaby YouTube channel.

If you have any other questions, be sure to send us an email at support@bookbaby.com and we’ll get back to you!

 

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About BookBaby

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BookBaby makes self-publishing easy: From book printing, eBooks, distribution, cover design, and now editing. Since 2011, we’ve helped thousands realize their publishing goals, backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. BookBaby creates and distributes your printed books and eBooks to the largest distribution network, including Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers worldwide.

5 thoughts on “How To Format Your Book Using Microsoft Word on a Mac

  1. Joan W. Short says:

    I have been published with Amazon and Kindle for over four years but I am getting ready to pull away. My question is, if I purchase a Mac can I down load my books that are already on memory sticks and has already been copy written with the Library of Congress. I just can’t see rewriting four books. Do you sell both eBooks and paper back on your site? Is there an extra charge for putting books on your site? I want to be honest, I will also be checking into Apple, but it sounds from what I have read, your both about the same in putting books on line but I am not sure about this. I have to read all about you yet but I have been hearing a lot of good about BookBaby. If you could answer these questions I would certainly appreciate it.

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