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Book Formatting Services with 48 Hour Books

July 01, 2019 (Last Updated September 27, 2023)

48 Hour Books

Our optional novel and book formatting service makes it easy to have your inside book layout look like a bestseller. With our new reformatting styles, we'll give your book the professional feel you’ve been seeking. First, we want to start off by breaking down our book formatting options:

Reformat like the Bestsellers:

With our new reformatting book styles, we'll give your book the professional feel you’ve been seeking. From fiction powerhouses like Stephen King, Suzanne Collins, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez to successful nonfiction authors like Langston Hughes and Nelson Mandela, 48 Hour Books can reformat the inside of your book to look like the pros. Simply choose from the list of bestsellers on your online order form and we will format your book accordingly! 

Book Templates:

We provide inside and cover templates for our four most popular book sizes: 4.25x7 inches, 5.5x8.5 inches, 6x9 inches, and 8.5x11 inches. These templates will open in the book size you choose, with proper margins already set up. Once you're finished formatting your book in one of our templates, you simply need to convert the file to PDF. make sure you always save an original copy in Word in case you have to go back and make changes! 

Formatting Tools & Tips: 

If you’re unsure about how to format your self-published book, we’ve got the help you need. Just download our free Book Formatting Tips guide where we cover font sizes, setting up your table of contents, margins, spacing, and more! 


Understanding reformatting can be tricky, so whether you are formatting yourself or using our reformatting services, we asked one of our reformatting experts some common questions to help get you started:


What are some tips for reformatting a word document before converting to a PDF? 

  • Make sure your document is the correct page size. We offer free book templates that open in Word to get you started! They are available in four standard book sizes.
  • Margins should be 0.5" to 0.75" on all four sides.
  • Use page breaks or section breaks instead of the paragraph return key to force a page break or start a new chapter on a new page. If you use paragraph returns rather than page breaks or section breaks when the pdf is generated, the text may reflow from page to page incorrectly. The chapter title may begin on the same page a chapter ends. We cannot correct this formatting in a pdf, so it’s important this is set up correctly in your word document prior to sending your files to us.
  • Check the table of contents to make sure the chapter titles and page numbers match up.
  • Check your word document for font, font size, and spacing consistency throughout your book.
  • Always check your PDF once the word document has been converted to pdf. You may notice errors that you did not see in your word document or the pdf is not quite the same as the word document.


How do we apply the “bestseller” styles to your book?

We look at your files and reformat to the bestseller style of your choice. You will select this on your online order form. However, sometimes the bestseller style you choose does not apply to the type of book you are publishing. In this case, we may contact you and offer some suggestions on what we think may work best! Regardless of what style is ultimately chosen, we will clean up the word document and make everything consistent in your files before converting to pdf.


What is the best way to send corrections to us if we are reformatting your files?

The best way to send corrections is in writing in an order note through your account or via email. We do not take corrections over the phone. It is our company policy! The best way to send corrections is in a list format, indicating the page number, paragraph, line number in the paragraph, and desired correction: 

Example: page 60, paragraph 3, line 2 (not sentence number) and what the correction is. Sometimes it is easier for us to understand the correction if the word before the correction and word after the correction is written out. 

If there is an excessive amount of corrections, we may send our formatted word document to you so you can make the corrections, then have you send your corrected file back to us.

Please do not send a corrected word document back from your original word document, as this requires us to start reformatting from the beginning, incurring a new reformatting fee. If you have any questions about properly sending us corrections to avoid this, always contact us and we will tell you exactly what we need from you!


What are some general errors we encounter when reformatting files?

·      Wrong page size 

·      Wrong margins 

·      Not using page breaks or section breaks

·      Page numbers not being centered in the footer

·      Do not use a paragraph return after each line or sentence. Only use the paragraph return when you want to end a paragraph and begin a new paragraph, title, or subtitle.


What are some technical issues you have encountered when reformatting a file?

Pictures not being cropped properly, or not scanned at the correct dpi.

Getting Charts and pictures to fit in congruence with specific chapters when reformatting (Charts and forms can be very time consuming when changing a file from an 8.5 x 11 document to a smaller size such as 5.5 x 8.5).

**Pictures and charts add time to reformatting.


Any additional information on book reformatting that would be helpful for customers to know?

Show Hidden Characters / invisibles: This is a useful tool to help edit your word document and see mistakes, such as something not aligning, or the indent being too far in. This is like a light switch you can turn off and on and none of the invisibles will print. They are there to help edit your document more efficiently.

For instance, Word uses special characters to indicate the end of a line or the end of a paragraph. A blue dot will indicate a space between. If you notice a larger space between words and use the hidden invisibles, you may notice two blues dots which means you have too many spaces between the words. Just delete one of the blue dots and the spacing between the words will be corrected.


If you are interested in using our reformatting services, you can select this when you place an order. We normally require PDF files, but if we will be formatting your book, you will need to upload your original word document. Once you approve your formatted document, we will convert it to the final PDF!  Keep in mind that formatting orders take a bit longer, so if you’re in a time crunch, always let us know. Still have questions? Contact us today.

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Sign up for the 48 Hour Books newsletter to learn how to self-publish your book — and get it printed faster with us than anywhere else.


48 Hr Books February 11, 2020

Hi Mieke! Please call us at 800-231-0521 to speak with a prepress technician about the troubles you are having with Pages and photo insertion. We can number the pages for you, and if you select our reformatting option, we do set up the page size.

Mieke c Malin-Bleitz February 10, 2020

Newbie author here. I have finished manuscript in Apple PAGES. 49,100 words and will then have about 60 images inserted. I do not have a clue about formatting -and photo insertion, etc. Apple pages screwed up my page numbering, so I just eliminated the page numbers . Does your formatting fee include everything required to make my manuscript print worthy and do you also place and size photos to fit?

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