Dear Indie | Formatting Paperbacks in LibreOffice 101

Greetings Fellow Indies!

I recently got reacquainted with the process of formatting the interior layout of a paperback—and let me tell you, it was a struggle. There were so many things I’d forgotten how to do, and I ended up starting from scratch three times before getting it right.

So, I decided it was beyond time that I posted a step-by-step guide. I’ve wanted to make one for years to help other writers who either can’t afford MS Word or are already using LibreOffice because they prefer it (I fall under both categories). And it turns out I might just need this for future reference, myself, lol.

Since each segment covers a lot of information, I’ve created separate pages for each and linked them all here. I’m a visual and hands-on learner, so I’ve included screenshots for every step to use as visual aids. Many of the steps are repetitive, but that just means you’ll be able to familiarize yourself with the process that much faster.

For those who are unfamiliar with LibreOffice: it’s a free downloadable word processing software that’s highly compatible with MS Word (for track and record changes). It also allows you to export your files directly as PDF and Epub. Those are great features when creating eBook and paperback files.

If you’d like to give LibreOffice a try, you can download the latest version from their website right here.

Paperback Formatting in LibreOffice 101

Step 1: Choosing Your Trim / Margin / Bleed Size

Step 2: Page Style Format

Step 3: Inserting Blank Pages

Step 4: Creating Format Styles

Step 5: Applying Format Styles

Step 6: Headers & Footers

Step 7: Inserting Graphics

Step 8: The PDF Check

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