Book Formatting & Typesetting

Ever thought about writing your own book but weren't sure how to get it formatted for publishing? Book formatting is crucial to creating a professional end product, but it's a tedious process that can be tricky to figure out on your own. 

There’s so much to do once your manuscript is professionally edited and ready to send to agents, publishers, or directly to the printers. You’ve got to think about marketing, submission letters, signings and so much more. Book formatting is often times a dreaded hurdle for authors to be. 

All Written Things can help lighten the load by handling your book formatting and typesetting (plus any other editing services you need) so you can put your time into getting your story out into the world. Because while writing a book is hard work, having someone else handle the technical formatting details for you is a lifesaver. Let the formatting pros handle kerning, headers, page numbers, and all that jazz so you can get back to crafting words, building worlds, and sharing your story with readers. Sound good? Great. 

What Is Book Formatting & Typesetting - Why Is It Important?

Book formatting and typesetting refers to the layout and design of your book. It's what transforms your raw manuscript into a professional end product that's ready to print or upload as an ebook.

Why is book formatting important? Simply put, it makes your book readable and appealing to your audience. Well-formatted books have properly styled text, balanced margins, chapter headings, page numbers, and a clean, consistent design. They guide the reader through the story or information in an intuitive way.

On the other hand, poor formatting is distracting and off-putting. It screams "amateur" and turns readers off before they've even started reading. As an author, you've put in the work to write your book - don't diminish that effort with sloppy formatting!

If your book cover design is your first impression, then outsourcing book formatting ensures that your second impression is just as charming as the first. 

Types of Book Formatting: Print, eBook, Kindle, Etc.

When it comes to book formatting, you’ve got options. The three major types are:


If you want to see your book in physical form, print formatting is essential. This prepares your file for publication as a paperback or hardcover. A professional formatter will ensure proper margins, fonts, headings, and page numbers so your book looks polished and professional. 


To reach readers on e-readers, tablets, and mobile phones, eBook formatting is a must. eBooks come in EPUB and MOBI formats for most e-readers. A formatter will optimise your text for digital reading, including resizing images, embedding fonts and testing for compatibility and display.


The most popular e-reader is the Kindle, so Kindle formatting makes your book available to the widest audience. The formatter will convert your manuscript to a Kindle-friendly file format, making sure all elements like images, tables, and footnotes display properly on a Kindle. They can also help you optimise your book for sale in the Kindle Store.

Good versus bad typesetting

When it comes to book formatting, you want a service that will make your book look professional without breaking the bank. Some key things to consider are typesetting quality, turnaround time, and customer service.


Good typesetting, or page layout, is crucial. Look for a service that:

  • Uses a clean, readable font like Times New Roman or Garamond in an appropriate size (usually 12-14 point).
  • Has balanced margins and spacing that make the text easy to read.
  • Aligns headings, page numbers, and section breaks neatly.
  • Catches typos, spacing issues, and other errors.
  • Provides print layouts in addition to ebook formatting.

Poor typesetting, on the other hand, is distracting and unprofessional. Watch out for:

  • Crowded or oddly spaced text.
  • Misaligned margins or headings.
  • Overuse of fonts or sizes that make the book hard to read.
  • Obvious spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors.
  • Only offering eBook formats without print layout options.

Turnaround and Service

Look for a service that can format your book within 2 to 4 weeks as a rule of thumb. They should provide frequent updates and respond to questions within a business day or two. Excellent customer service means they will work with you to get the details right and make changes as needed. Poor service may mean missed deadlines, lack of communication, and an overall frustrating experience.

By choosing a book formatting service that delivers high-quality typesetting, reasonable turnarounds, and great customer care, you'll end up with a professional end result and peace of mind. Your readers will appreciate the extra attention to detail, allowing them to immerse themselves in your book without distractions. Focus on these key factors, and you'll find the ultimate guide to navigating book formatting services.

Hiring a Professional Formatting Service - The importance of not looking amateur

One of the biggest mistakes self-publishing authors make is attempting to format their own book. While it may seem like an easy task, book formatting requires an expertise in typography, layout, and design. Hiring a professional book formatter will ensure your book looks polished and ready for publication.

A professional formatter has the skills and experience to make your book shine. They know the ins and outs of eBook and print book layouts, allowing them to create a clean, elegant design that engages readers. They are also familiar with the formatting requirements of major ebook retailers and printers. This means there’s no chance of your book being rejected due to formatting issues.

Perhaps most importantly, a professional formatter will make your book look like a traditionally published title. Readers expect a certain level of quality, and if a book looks amateurish, they are less likely to take it seriously. A professional formatter helps you avoid this pitfall by crafting a book design that matches readers’ expectations.

While hiring a professional formatter does require an investment, it is well worth the cost. Their services will save you valuable time while providing you with a superior end product. Your book is your business, so make sure to put your best foot forward by working with skilled professionals. In the end, a polished, professional design will help establish you as an author in your readers’ eyes.