Novice Self-publishing, 4 – Layout

pilcrow symbol

For this, you will need to click on that pilcrow symbol (pictured above) to show where you have entered spaces, line returns and section breaks (see my previous post).

The title page of your book will be centred vertically while the copyright declaration on its reverse is traditionally aligned at the bottom of the page (this is where Amazon’s templates put it, anyway). Your contents and main text will be aligned to start at the top of the page.

Any Page Layout change will require you to insert a Section Break in your manuscript.

Amazon’s formatted templates have these in place for the preliminary pages of your book, but it is easy to delete them by mistake. It’s also useful to know how they work in case you want to group stories or chapters into sections with mini title pages of their own.

Section Breaks

Section Breaks stop the formatting from one page carrying over to the next.

You will find Section Breaks in the PAGE LAYOUT tab under Breaks.

Do Not Use Page Break. For our purposes, always use a Section Break. The one you will use most is Next Page.

Vertical Layout

If you are breaking your stories or chapters into groups you can add a separator page to announce a new group.

These are normally centred vertically and horizontally, as above, and are blank on the reverse, as below.

To change the vertical layout of a page, go to…

  • PAGE LAYOUT tab,
  • Page Setup (click the little arrow bottom right of that tab),
  • Layout (third tab)
  • find Vertical Alignment and select the one you want from the drop-down menu.

At the end of your centred page (such as the Title Page or group separators) insert a New Page Section Break to change to top-aligned pages (such as your story text).

Similarly, at the end of your final chapter in a group, insert a New Page Section Break before you centre-align your following group separator page.

If your final story/chapter in a group ends on a right-hand (odd-numbered) page, you may need to insert a blank page before your separator page – as below.

Let me know if you find anything particularly confusing and I’ll try to illustrate it better.

Tell me if I’ve missed out information I should have included.

My next Novice Self-publishing post will deal with Tables of Contents (TOC)

6 thoughts on “Novice Self-publishing, 4 – Layout

  1. I love how you’ve broken this down into such manageable stages & highlighted how to get things like alignments & section breaks in your document, you’ve made it far more simple & straightforward. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you think so. In retrospect, my previous posts in the series seemed to go on a bit (at least, they did while I was compiling them). I may go back and split them up one day. It’s all a learning curve…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this! Good to know if I venture into self publishing. That’s the B plan if the scripts don’t sell. But A plan is to sell a script and do that again. And again. Life will tell!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck with your scripts; may they find their audience before too long.
      Wrinklies like me, who start writing late in life, don’t have the years that even best-selling writers seem to have taken to be recognised. Our writing group never expected to sell our anthology more widely than among ourselves for our families at Christmas, but we’ve had some success locally, thanks to the local library and the U3A.


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