How to Format Your Book With Atticus

Hi there and welcome to another tutorial to help you master Atticus. In this article, I’m going to walk you through the features inside Atticus that will help you format a book entirely within the app itself.

If you would prefer to format your Word document more fully so that you have less work to do once inside Atticus, you may want to check out our other tutorials at atticus.io/tutorials

To start, I’ve imported an unformatted manuscript, and I’m going to walk you through the various ways we can turn this into a well laid out, fully functional book.

Format your Front Matter

Normally, when importing a book into Atticus, we always recommend deleting any front or back matter from your manuscript before you bring it into the app .

Atticus does not have the ability to understand the  difference between Front Matter, such as titles pages, copyright pages, or Also By pages, and the body content of your book. When you import a manuscript, it will upload everything into the main body of the book.

In our tutorial video, the book was imported with front matter and I have to either delete it and replace it, or move it where it belongs.

You can see the first chapter is obviously designed to be a title page. However, Atticus automatically created a Title Page, Copyright Page, and Table of Contents into the Front Matter section.

The Title Page contains all the information I have set for my book, and if I’d like to add more, I can adjust by clicking Edit book details. Since this automatically generated page has all the information I need for a functional title page, I can go ahead and delete the section that was imported from my Word document. To delete a page, you simply need to click the X to the right of the Chapter number you want to remove. 

Atticus also automatically generates a template for a copyright page. If you have your own, you can simply delete the copy that is included and paste your preferred details. Alternatively, you can update the template provided by entering in the year your book was first published and your Author or Pen Name. 

Finally, Atticus automatically generates a Table of Contents. If you haven’t formatted your book yet, your TOC might look quite dull and blank, but as you update the rest of your book, the details will auto-populate into this section. 

The table of contents is the one page you cannot currently delete. It is necessary and specially formatted to meet eBook publishing criteria. At the moment, Atticus does not import internal links, so you always want to be sure you don’t import your own TOC from the word document and instead rely on the one created within Atticus itself. 

If you’ve imported any other Front Matter, you can delete or convert as necessary.

In my example, I’ve also imported what is supposed to be a Dedication page. Since I don’t want that in the body content of my book, I can drag the “chapter” into the front matter section, and convert it to a specially formatted Dedication page. To do this, I click the three dots beside the title and choose Convert To > Dedication. 

The page will be properly formatted to meet industry standards for this style of page.

If you’d like to include any other Front Matter pages, you can click the three dots in the Add a Chapter button. Any front matter pages you add this way will automatically be added to the Front Matter section of your book and formatted accordingly. 

Format the Body of Text

Let’s move onto formatting the body content. 

Since this is a brief tutorial, before importing I did insert page breaks between the majority of chapters. However, that is not necessary and even if your entire manuscript imports into a single chapter within Atticus, you’ll easily be able to Split each chapter without too much effort. 

 You can also decide to combine chapters. To showcase both of these features, I’m going to click the three dots beside Chapter 1 and choose to Merge with next chapter. 

This will bring in the following chapter so that it becomes part of the current chapter I am adjusting. 

If you need to do the opposite and want to split one section of a chapter into its own new chapter, you can place your cursor where you would like the split to occur and click the Split Chapter button in the right side of your formatting toolbar. 

You will notice that (SPLIT) is added to the chapter title to alert you to the new addition so you can adjust the title as necessary.

If you’ve imported a completely unformatted manuscript, you may also need to adjust how the Chapter Title is displayed, by copy and pasting the text versions of your title and subtitle into their appropriate locations inside Atticus. 

If you have Drop Caps or Lead in Small Caps applied in the Theme section of your Formatting tab, you want to be very certain that there is no extra spaces in between your heading labels and the body content of your book. A quick look at the preview will tell you if anything is slightly out of place and in need of adjustment.

If you have imported any images within your chapters, you may want to adjust how they are displayed. Click the gear icon to add or alter a caption, and choose your preferred image alignment and size. Click Update Image to save your settings.

You can now move through the rest of your book, splitting chapters and setting your titles as necessary. As you do this, you’ll see the navigation menu to the left automatically update. Your table of contents will also automatically update.

Back Matter

Once you have your Chapters laid out and designed as you’d like them, you can also add Back Matter. Just as you added front matter, you can click the three dots on the Add a Chapter button at the bottom of your left panel and choose the type of back matter you’d like to develop.

Additional Tips

Include In

There may be some situations in which a certain page is perfect for the eBook version of your book, but you don’t want it included in the PDF copy going to Print. The reverse may also sometimes be true.  

If you click on the three dots beside any page title in either your front or back matter, you can choose to Include In > All, eBook Only, Print Only, or None.

There may be some situations in which a certain page is perfect for the eBook version of your book, but you don’t want it included in the PDF copy going to Print. The reverse may also sometimes be true.  

If you click on the three dots beside any page title in either your front or back matter, you can choose to Include In > All, eBook Only, Print Only, or None.

Begin On

For Print versions of your book, you may want each Chapter to begin on a certain side of your book. To set this, you can click the three dots beside each chapter title and choose Begin On > Either Side, Right-Side, or Left-Side. You can repeat this for each chapter in your book.

Numbers & sections

If your book has multiple parts or sections, you can choose to remove the numbering from specific chapters by clicking the three dots beside a specific chapter and unclick Numbered. This will interrupt the numbering sequence but ensure that the rest of your chapters remain in proper order. 

If you decide you want it numbered after all, clicking Numbered again will reset the numbering automatically. 

Formatting toolbar

The content of your book can also be formatted in a very similar way to average word processing programs. The toolbar at the top of your bar has common options such as bold, italics, underlined and strikethrough text. You can even turn certain words into superscript or subscript. 

Moving on through the toolbar, you can also apply sub-headings to further organize your content, add bulleted unordered lists or numbered ordered lists. You can also add links that will be live in the ePub digital versions of your book. 

The Astrisk symbol will insert an ornamental scene break into your Chapter, the style of which can be adjusted in the Theme section of the formatting tab, which we’ll discuss further in a future tutorial. 

You can also add an image anywhere in your book.

Next in the toolbar are your alignment options, including the ability to format a section of text as either a Block Quote or a Verse. 

Next, you can also add an endnote if you’d like to provide further information or a source for a specific piece of content in your chapter. Each endnote will appear at the end of each corresponding chapter.

We’ve already discussed the Split Chapter button and finally we have our Undo and Redo Buttons at the end of your toolbar.

Blank Pages & Images

You can also choose to create blank pages or full pages images. These will both insert at the end of your body content, but you can drag and drop each of these pages anywhere in your book that you’d like to place the page, including into the front or back matter sections.

Exporting

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll consider this a fully formatted book, completed entirely within Atticus itself. Your work will automatically save as you write, so whenever you’re done for a session, you can simply click Home and go back to your home page.  

If your book is finished and you’d like to export it, you can choose to export PDF for ePub either by clicking the buttons underneath the previewer in the Formatting tab,

Or by navigating back to the Writing tab, clicking on your book details, scrolling to the bottom and clicking the appropriate export buttons there.

I hope you’ve found this lesson in formatting a manuscript inside Atticus useful. Of course, there are a lot of features we haven’t yet discussed, such as how to add design elements to your manuscript, which is content for another tutorial, so stay tuned!

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