This will come down mostly to taste. There are several programs that can help you do this. They fall into three basic catigories.

  1. Word Pressors (Microsoft Word, Google Docs, ect)
  2. Layout Programs (Adobe InDesign, Most Book Formatting Advertised Programs, ect)
  3. Hybrids (Microsoft Publisher, Apple Pages, ect)

Now I like a word processor. So I know a lot about them. I like them because I can take what I already wrote and turn it right into the final product. It also makes it easier to turn it into a PDF. Most publishers will request you do a PDF as the final file to upload. That’s mostly because it’s the easiest and the standard they share.

Layout programs are a bit harder to turn into a PDF, but you can. They also treat the text more like images. So if that makes more sense to you, it can be helpful. It helps a lot. Most of all if you are good with images. If you’re good with programs like Photoshop and Paint you’ll like a Layout program

Hybrids work a mix of both. The best example (And best version I’ve used) is Microsoft Publisher. It’s designed to mix images and text together. I’ve used it to make bookmarks, brochures, and other marketing tools. So if you use a lot of images in your book, I would go with a hybrid like Publisher. Hybrids are also better at putting the final product to a PDF.

(Extra Tip: We’ll cover this more next week, but for eBook formatting, there is another program called Calibre that is helpful. It’s no good for the kind of formatting we’ve discussed so far, the harder hardcopy (paperback or hardcover) we’ve been discussing, but it’s another program to look at for eBooks. But more on that next week.)

All of these are good options. They have pros and cons, they have things the others can’t do. But with most of the formatting world, the best way to know is to try them all. Test it, be willing to stat over and over again, and you’ll find your perfect balance.