Formatting is particularly important for indie authors. Although a 50K-word novel might be worth spending the money on professional formatting services, shorter books with tighter budgets can be self-formatted in-house. Same as a delicious cake, it needs the right ingredients in the correct amounts to be the best it can be.  Here are five of the most useful document formatting tips we have found across the Internet.

1. Use Microsoft Word. According to, there are cheaper and more elegant word processors, but nothing has the paragraph styles capability of Word nor the universal acceptance from the reviewers, testers, editors, designers, and resellers that you’ll use downstream.

2. Learn the Three Levels of Word Formatting.  As soon as you grasp the three levels of  Microsoft Word, you can perfectly format the manuscript for Kindle or other e-book types.  These levels are sections, paragraphs, and characters. You are always applying formatting to one of these three levels, says

3. Type it clean. Don’t justify your text, don’t hit “Enter” twice after a paragraph to insert extra space, never ever hit “Enter” over and over again to get your next chapter on a new page and don’t use tabs to begin paragraphs. According to, every customization you make is a chance for more junk code to sneak into your Kindle file.

4. Insert section breaks. Dividing a document into sections lets you customize formats for a section’s content and purpose. Using sections, you can apply different formatting as needed. More  power tricks from, here.

5. Apply document formatting to pasted text.  advises you to remove formatting carried over from the l source when using the copy and paste function.

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