Pre-Formatting Checklist For Your Self-Published Book | 5 Things You MUST Do Before Formatting

Having a formatted version of your book to upload and self-publish is one of the last items that you need to do. Which means that you need to have these critical elements all done before your book is formatted. Here they are:

1. Have ALL the editing done, All of it! Think of this as a “til death do we part moment.” Don’t send off the document to be formatted without you knowing it is perfect. Yes, could there potentially still be a typo or two in there, fine. But you should have done your own self-edits, you should have had it proofread, you should have read it again. It should be done done done.
2. Read your book out loud or record the audiobook – This goes along with the last one. Reading the book out loud should be part of your self-editing process because you will find issues. I guarantee you’ll find more errors. And then you can fix them before you have the book formatted. Once it is formatted for print and ebook, now there are 2 final version of your book. So one little edit needs to be done twice. It’s miserable. In fact, I would say that if you plan to narrate your own audiobook, that you should do that before you submit for print and eBook formatting so that you can catch those items.
3. Have your ISBNs, LCCN, all those details set and on your copyright page. The copyright page needs to be in the manuscript so that means you need to have all the details for that page done. This page needs your ISBN, your all rights reserved disclaimer, your LCCN if you are planning to do that, etc. Get that done.
4. All your added pages should be in the book [link to added pages video]. In fact you’re going to need all of your additional pages in the manuscript. Any about the author, acknowledgements, dedication, your lead magnets, etc.
5. Have a plan for where you’ll be uploading the formatted book to. Some platforms have different requirements. If you are formatting yourself you’ll need to know that ahead of time. If you are working with a formatter, they’ll know the specs but they may ask you which platforms you plan to upload to. And in general you need a plan to know if you are going to buy your ISBNs (which I think you should) and how many you need. It is going to determine if you even need a LCCN. Do you need a print interior? What size? All these details you need to know first so that you can make it easier to get this done right the first time.

Okay that is it! So, is your book ready for formatting? Any lessons you’ve learned along the way that I didn’t include in this video? Drop a comment below and we can keep the conversation going.

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