More Formatting and Front Matter

After choosing my fonts last week, you would think the hardest part was behind me. Well, I thought it would be. At least until I had to design the cover anyway.

But, far from it, really.

Fonts in hand, I sat down to stare at the screen for what seemed hours on end as I made my Word document look and feel like an actual novel rather than the manuscript it appeared as.

Not only did this include changing my title page from:

Sanity’s Flaw

A novel by

Warren Pawlowski

To something a bit more aesthetically pleasing and professional (the actual font and design can't be displayed here for some reason, so I opted not to include it), it also included adjusting the size, spacing, etc. of the font. While I strayed away from the more complicated jargon involved in the book design process (i.e., leading and things of the sort) in order to keep it simple, I increased the size of each section and chapter title from 12 to 24 and 18, respectively (the title page is 96/18/36 for your info, again, respectively).

I also formatted the first page of each chapter to appear differently than others: the chapter head appears approximately a third down the page while the chapter’s contents begin slightly less than halfway down. This ensures the first page stands out and clearly represents a new beginning instead of only a continuation of the last chapter.

This last part was interesting because, after having found Word’s built-in vertical centering, I assumed there was a simple formatting process to attain this effect. Sadly, after quite some time surfing search results and attempting to discern the correct wordage to find a page capable of answering my question, I came to the conclusion there was no direct command. For future reference, and to save you the trouble of looking for the same information, to make this effect, simply adjust the “before” and “after” spacing in the Format Paragraph menu. In the end, chapters with headers were given 198 points before/60 points after and those without 282 points before. I’ve no idea how this will look in e-book format, but it looks ravishing in Word.

With formatting behind me, it was time to turn to the more important front (and back, which I’ll cover next week) matter. This consists of the aforementioned title page, the dedication page (which you’ve already seen) and, most importantly, the copyright page (I’m not including a Table of Contents for this book).

Like many other aspects of the design process, using Google to find exactly what should be included in the copyright page proved useless. Most sites I perused offered vastly different opinions on what should be included and where, ranging from a simple copyright notice and a name to a full address, list of related works and library catalog placement (yes, for an e-book). Needless to say, I was rather stumped and, on the verge of sighing in defeat, felt quite out of my element.

So what did I do? I turned to Stephen King.

Using an Amazon “Look Inside” preview of the Kindle version of Under the Dome, I used its copyright page as a template for my own, omitting and adding to it as I saw fit. In the end, I had this (though the link does not appear blue or underlined in the final version):

Warren Pawlowski

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2012 by Warren Pawlowski

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever. For more information or to book an event, please contact

First Kindle edition April 2012

Cover and design by Warren Pawlowski

One note: there may be additional content, as I reached out to a certain film studio for express permission to use dialogue from one of their movies. I don’t believe this was required, as the film goes unnamed in the book and only minor characters are mentioned, but I reached out to them as courtesy.

While looking over Under the Dome, I also noted one more design choice that I had unintentionally omitted: justified text. While left aligned paragraphs are useful throughout the writing process, they aren’t as pleasing to the eye as when they appear justified (left aligned is like the track suit to a suit and tie). So there was that.

Now, although I had originally intended on covering the back matter in this post as well, I’m a bit tired and not feeling the best, so I’m going to call it a night here. Next week (I guess it’s THIS week, technically), I’ll talk about the back matter process and maybe offer some thoughts on the cover, as well.

Until then….