I was reading an Article on The Book Designer called Your Five-Minute Guide to Pricing Your Self-Published Book and in it it said:

Nobody wants to pay for something that looks thrown together–make sure:

  • you have a professionally designed cover
  • the content adheres to industry standards in terms of style and formatting
  • the text is legible and pleasant to read

however as you can see on the original page while the word formatting is a hyperlink all it does is goes to the main page of Book Design Templates. the problem is that it as a number of different fiction templates and they all say they are Industry Standard but not what those standards are.

What I want to know what are the industry standards of style and formatting? preferably in general but if that's too broad then for Fictional Works

1 Answer 1


I'm not going to list all of the Industry Standards for style and formatting because it would be ridiculous.

If your intention is to publish digitally very few of these standards matter - the software will sort it out.

With traditional (dead tree) publishing the standards are a little more relevant. For example have you ever seen a novel with a page numbered "1*? From a certain point page numbers are counted but not displayed. From another point page numbers are counted and displayed.

Other templates specify page and margin sizes. Book are only printed in certain sizes. There needs to be pre-defined page and margin sizes. As you can imagine: if you reference a particular page number within your publication that number will change if the printers changes; page size, margin size, font size, etc . . .

With all formats other than 'budget paperback' all new chapters begin on a right-page. New chapter headings are rarely at the top of the page and are placed midway.

In recent years the 'Industry Standards' have been replaced by POD racketeers as "Maximum Profit Standards". Guidelines for font size, margin width, etc have all geared towards POD profit. Templates with larger fonts and larger font sizes have been introduced to increase the page-count - the method with which printing costs are calculated.

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