Format Your Book Manuscript in Word 2003

Step-by-step guide to professional quality book interior layout and design using MS Word 2003.
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  • Lectures 15
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2016 English

Course Description

This specific course is just one of many in the Zero Cost Self Publishing Program, a series of independent courses which collectively cover the A to Z of self publishing.

Want to create a professional level book manuscript ready for publishing?

This is the course for you.

Please Note: This course is specific to using MS Word 2003 to complete the interior layout and design. Other courses are available showing the same processes using MS Word 2013/2016 and the free GNU package Libre Office v5.

Learn the secrets to book interior layout, design and formatting. Produce a professional quality manuscript ready for publishing, and to do it all yourself, at absolutely no cost!

Please note that this course is part of a series on self publishing called the Zero Cost Self Publishing Program. Other courses in the program cover other areas of self publishing, from history to publishing, distribution to marketing.

Aimed specifically at teaching the processes, tools and techniques, this book provides a complete guide for the professional design and formatting of your manuscript ready for publication to paperback. Learn to create front matter: title, copyright, dedication, tables of content and disclaimer pages. Create professional looking chapter headings, page headers and footers. Create master styles, learn when to use multiple fonts and when not. Build a complete manuscript ready for publication.

This course provides pictorial and descriptive step-by-step guides that are easy understand and easy to follow. When you're finished, your book(s) will be ready for publication. No need to hire typesetters or design staff. No need to purchase and learn  high end publication tools or page layout software. Do it yourself at no cost and achieve professional results. Techniques can be readily applied to any type of book you've written.

This book provides you with everything you need to know to professionally format your book manuscript at no cost, all laid out in an easy to follow workflow.

Take it today, be ready to publish tomorrow!


What are the requirements?

  • Should have a book manuscript ready or near ready for formatting.
  • Should own the a word processor Word 2003, or any version of Word using the 'classic' menu system.
  • Should be familar with basic word processor functions.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Format your book manuscript to professional standards using the word processor MS Word 2003.
  • Understand and be able to apply professional level book interior design and layout methods and processes.
  • Produce a professional book interior with all required and optional pages (front and back matter), fonts, formats, headers, footers, section, chapters, table of contents, etc.
  • Have your fully formatted book interior as a PDF file, ready for upload to publishing sites such as Createspace.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is intended for anyone who has a book written, or is preparing to write a book with the intent of publishing it, and wishes to produce a professional quality book.
  • This course is intended for anyone interested in learning how to format a book manuscript to professional standards using a word processor, thus avoiding the cost and time required to purchase and learn a high end page layout software package.
  • This course is NOT intended for those who already own and know how to use a high end page layout software package.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome to Formatting with Word 2003

This is a general introduction to the course and explains the course requirements. This lecture should be read first.


There are two ways of formatting your manuscript. The first is to simply drag and drop text into a pre-formatted 'Template'. This particular lecture leads you through the process of adding your text to a template. 

Personally I prefer the 'do-it-yourself' approach, as it gives you total control and flexibility, while still producing a professional quality end result. It is the 'do-it-yourself' approach that is covered in the following series of lectures.

Note that templates can be downloaded from the Createspace publishing site ( They can be used and are an effective way of filling out your book interior design, but are more limited than the recommended 'do-it-yourself' method.


When creating your document from scratch, the first step is to decide what size book you wish to produce (called the trim size), and then to set the basic Page Settings of your Word document to those parameters. This walk-through covers the initial setup, page size, usable page size, margins, mirror margins, etc.

4 questions

Quiz outline


Once the page setup is defined you want to set you paragraph styles, line spacing, indents, and before and after spacing. This walk-through shows you how to do that.


Every book has some standard pages included in the text - the interior of the book. The most obvious one is a Title Page, another is the Copyright Page. This walk-through covers the standard pages, their layout and the recommended use of fonts and font sizes within those pages.


Books can have additional pages, depending on the type and genre of the book. These pages can include a table of contents, other books by the author, references, appendices etc. This walk-through covers creation and use of those 'extra' pages.


A reminder to back up your work regularly, with suggestions on how to manage and track the backup files.

Quiz two
6 questions

Most books use title headings, even if it's a simple as 'Chapter 1' etc. This walk-through covers how to format the Chapter Headings so that they can be used to automatically create a Table of Contents. 

When I write, I always create a table of contents during the book construction, regardless of what genre it may be. It is a very useful tool for tracking chapter and event sequencing. Non-fiction and 'how-to' books retain their table of contents into the finished document. Novels usually get their table of contents removed just prior to the final step of publishing, but some retain it.


Managing page headers and footers is crucial to producing a professional looking book interior, and to do that you have to use 'Sections'.  This walk-through shows you how to create and manage sections, and create and manage page headers and footers within those sections. 

This is Part 1 of 2.


Managing page headers and footers is crucial to producing a professional
looking book interior, and to do that you have to use 'Sections'.  This
walk-through shows you how to create and manage sections, and create
and manage page headers and footers within those sections. 

This is Part 2 of 2.

Quiz 3
3 questions

Within your document you tend to use a number of different text styles and fonts. Did you know that you can modify them before or after use? Did you know that you can create your own custom font styles? You can also make changes to the style at any time and have that change reflected automatically across the entire book. This walk-through shows you the power, and the dangers, of modifying styles.


Some books require images to be embedded into the book text. Embedding them incorrectly can cause havoc if you then make a global change to the text, such as changing the line spacing. This walk-through shows you how to embed pictures, photographs and images into your book text, and ensure they will stay where you put them. It also covers image quality and resolution requirements for book publishing.


Most 'professionals' insist that all books be edited by a professional editor, for both content and continuity. Trouble is, that requires hiring one or more editors and paying for multiple edits through the publishing process. This can get horrendously expensive. 

In this walk-through we cover alternatives, the ways and means to allow you to edit your own document while still adhering to professional level editing standards.


Your book manuscript is finished and now ready for publishing. Many publishing sites will accept a Word document as input, and then convert it to their own requirements. Trouble is, this means your text placement can change during that conversion. The changes are usually minor, but can introduce things you don't want. To ensure your final book looks exactly the way you want it, we export it to PDF format, and then pass the PDF file up to the publishing sites. This walk-through shows you how to produce the PDF to your own exact specifications.

Quiz 4
6 questions

Closing comments on the course and recommendations to take other courses in the Zero Cost Self Publishing Program.  Thank you for attending and I hope this course met your expectations.

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Instructor Biography

Stephen Norton, Author, Publisher, Artist

As CEO of Northwind Ink, a small publishing house, Stephen is a full time author, publisher and artist. He lives on the West Coast of Canada where he spends his time writing, publishing, carving soapstone sculptures and teaching.

He self published his first book in 2010, wrote Zero Cost Self Publishing in 2012 and has been teaching a two day self publishing course based on the book at the Royal Roads University Continuing Education department, located in Victoria, BC, Canada for several years.

He has written more than sixteen books, all of which are available in Paperback, and both Kindle and Epub eBook formats. These include novels, short stories, poetry, and 'how-to' books on self publishing, soapstone carving and stained glass art. His books can be purchased from CreateSpace, Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, Kobo and other international resellers.

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