Atticus is designed to give you as much control over the format of your book as possible, while still adhering to industry standards and keeping the learning curve as simple as possible.
This means that you may not have the type of minute control over detail that a program like InDesign offers, but you will be able to create unique pages within your manuscript to suit as many common book formatting needs as possible.
In our tutorial, How to Format a Book with Atticus, you learn how to format your book as a whole, and how to adjust certain pages to have unique settings.
Atticus also offers authors quick presets that you can use to create special page types according to generally accepted industry standards. This post will explain the different presets in detail, so you can choose the ones that best suit your needs. To start, let’s learn how to add a preset layout page.
How To Add Preset Layout Page
Adding a Preset Layout page is simple:
- Click the three dots beside the Add Chapter button at the bottom of the left navigation panel
- Hover over the menu title Preset Layouts
- Choose your layout!
How To Convert Previous “Special Page Templates” to Updated Preset Layout Page
If you had books that were formatted using the Special Page types from an older version of Atticus, you may want to convert them to the current Preset Layouts to make the most of the updated features.
If you open a special page in your book and there is a small, grey page type title showing above the page title, and no gear icon below it, that is an older page type. Here is an example of an Epigraph page type from the previous version of Atticus:
To convert your content to a new preset:
- Add the preset page of your choice
- Drag/drop it next to the original
- Open the original (previous version) and highlight the entire page by pressing CTRL or CMD A
- Cut everything by pressing CTRL or CMD X
- Open the new Preset Layout page and paste everything into the page by pressing CTRL or CMD V
NOTE: We do not recommend pasting content from outside programs into Atticus, however pasting from one page or chapter to another within Atticus is perfectly safe!
If you click the gear icon below the title, and check the toolbar for highlighted elements, you’ll be able to understand the special page formatting applied to this page type. For example, here is the updated Epigraph Preset Layout:
Standard Chapter Formatting
Certain page types are are treated the same as chapters, but authors like to apply specific type-setting to the pages for internal references. You can manually adjust any page of your choice using the gear icon underneath the title of any page or chapter.
Atticus has built-in presets which are set to show or hide certain settings. The following page presets use the same formatting as a standard chapter, with all the options left on:
This section of your novel is considered outside the main plot story, but will always be closely related to it.
You might use a prologue to introduce a character or setting, or provide relevant background information for the main event to come.
Similar to an introduction, a prologue is typically placed in the main body content of a book, before the first chapter, and is therefore not technically front matter.
An epilogue is very similar to a prologue, but it occurs at the end of your story, though usually separate from the main plot. It might offer a glimpse of the future to share a sense of closure with your readers, or entice them to read the next in a series or collection.
Similar to the prologue, the epilogue should be placed in the main body content of your book and is therefore not technically back matter.
Simplified Chapter Formatting
Certain page types are best displayed with simplicity, but otherwise using standard page type formatting. The following page presets use a simple chapter title (title only, no other decorations), and remove the first sentence formatting from the body content:
A blurb is typically a 1-2 line endorsement provided by a celebrity or well-known authority. You can also use this specially formatted page to share an editorial review.
When publishing through KDP, the first few pages of your book can be seen using the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon, and blurbs are a great way to capture interest and show social proof for your book.
A foreword is a section of a book written by someone other than the author, often to provide context on the book itself or to share unique insight. It is much more common in non-fiction books, and frequently written by a subject matter authority.
Forewords are also common if the book is being published post-mortem or if it is an improved or expanded upon edition.
If your book includes both a foreword and a preface, the foreword should come first.
A preface is most commonly found in non-fiction books. It’s an opportunity for the author to share a personal story, build credibility as a subject matter expert, or otherwise begin the relationship with each reader.
A preface can also be used to explain why the book was written, or what the author’s connection to the subject matter might be.
An introduction is designed to prepare your readers for what to expect in the main body of the book.
Introductions are most commonly used in non-fiction and are a great space to explain who you are, why you are writing the book, and what readers should expect to gain from reading the book.
Introductions are often placed in the body of the book, before the first chapter, and are therefore not strictly considered front matter.
The afterword is an opportunity for the author to offer any final explanations about the book, and is most common in non-fiction. Some books include this as part of the body content whereas others will place it in the back matter.
The acknowledgements page is a place to say thank you to anyone or anything who has helped make the book possible. Being a part of the back matter, authors will often use acknowledgements to recognize a number of sources, or offer more detail about why the source is being recognized.
About the Author
This page is for authors to share their bio with their readers. How it is written will depend on the genre you write as well as your desired relationship with your audience.
The Author bio page is usually written in third person and shares information about the author such as where they are from, what their hobbies and sources of inspiration are, how and why they became an author, or why they write the type of content they write.
Not all books include dedications, but many authors choose to share a special thank you to someone(s) who have made an impact on the writing of the book. This may be on a personal or professional level and can range from heartfelt to comedic and anything in between.
In addition to the chapter level formatting achieved through the gear icon, the Dedication text is traditionally center aligned.
- No chapter title
- Text is center aligned
- Text begins at the very top of the page
Epigraphs are sometimes included at the beginning of books. They’re typically a quote, poem, or verse that acts as an intriguing segue or set up for the content to come and are typically formatted as a block quote.
In addition to the chapter level formatting achieved through the gear icon, the Epigraph is formatted to use Block Quote alignment.
- No chapter title
- Text is formatted as a block quote
- Text begins at the very top of the page
Some books include the Also By information on the same page as the author bio, but many have a separate page dedicated to sharing more works by the same author or publishing house that the reader might be interested. This page can be a very powerful marketing tool.
In addition to the chapter level formatting achieved through the gear icon, the text on this page is center aligned.
- Simple chapter title (title only, no other decorations)
- Text is centered on the page
Last Updated: 07/13/2023
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