For the indie author, correctly formatting the elements of your manuscript, such as a page break, is essential (unless of course you pay someone else to do it).
If you’re seeking traditional publication, all publishers have submission guidelines. Those guidelines often include such items as what font to use (e.g. Times New Roman), what font size (12 pt.), and to double space. Most people have no difficulty with creating those settings in Word.
But two consistent issues I see in the majority of manuscripts submitted to me, are using multiple returns to create a break between chapters and using a tab for the beginning paragraph indent.
While these aren’t make or break problems, they cast a degree of unprofessionalism on the author (in my opinion) and create extra work for the editor (or designer) in cleaning and prepping a manuscript for print.
If you are preparing your own manuscript for Createspace, incorrect formatting is going to cause a problem for you.
So today, let’s look at how to create those page breaks and indents and make a better impression on an editor at the same time.
The Manual Page Break
No matter where you are on the page when you end your chapter, you can manually insert a page break so that next chapter begins on the next page.
Go to the Page Layout tab. From there click on Breaks to see the options. You can select Page, but if you have header or footer information that changes (e.g. book title on the left page, chapter title on the right page), you’ll want to select the Next Page break found under the Section Break heading.
Personally, I always use the Next Page break, but if you’re not concerned about varied header and footer info, then the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Enter will get the job done as quickly as it takes you to press those keys.
These steps can vary a bit from one version of MS Word to another. If your version of Word is different than described here, do a Google search on “create section breaks in Word (insert your version)”.
First Line Indent
I discussed the first line indent in this post “How to Create the Smartest Indent for a Manuscript.” Please refer to that post to learn about indents.
Do you have a question about section or page breaks? Use the comment box below.