The ease of self-publishing has lured many writers into publishing their own books. Publishing an EBook is cheap and the formatting and conversion simple. The author’s book can be for sale within minutes of upload.
While it’s a thrill to see one’s book for sale online, nothing beats holding a print book in your hands. There are costs involved though. And many more details, including formatting for print, which is different than formatting for EBook. What are the options?
There are dozens of programs you can purchase or use, including:
Most of the programs will come with a learning curve. It takes some instruction reading and playing with the program to figure out how to use it properly.
It also depends on whether you have a PC or a Mac. A few are not available for the Mac.
And of course, you have to consider the ease of inserting tables, graphics, images, and other extras you want to include in your book. From those listed, PageFocus Pro and PageStream are more limited.
Top Ten Reviews offers an excellent comparison of the ten best print book formatting programs available. InDesign, the program most traditional publishers use, scores perfect in every category.
You’ll notice one program that many authors use that’s not listed here or there - Microsoft Word. While fine for formatting EBooks, it was never intended to format print books and the results are often amateurish. For a professional look, avoid using Word.
If formatting your own book seems like a monument us task, you can always hire someone to format it for you. We have many listed on the Self-Publishing page here and several of our IWSG members format print books. (Myself included.)
But if you’re ready to tackle formatting yourself, do your research and get the program that best suits your needs. Because hopefully, you’ll be using it for years to come.