Formatting Your Own Book: About the Author, Footnotes, and acknowledgments

A book is a written medium for recording private information in the form of text or pictures, usually bound together and protected with a leather cover. The technical term for such a physical structure is codex. It can be a book itself or just an addition to a traditional book. Some books are bound in cloth, while others are produced from a combination of cloth and paper.


Readers that do not have a footstep of their own may need to consult a table that has been specially designed to support the weight of a book without damaging it. Readers can also use tables with built-in support to hold a few chosen books as an easel for practice. If you are working on more than one book at a time, you might need to adjust the spacing between your fingers. This is especially important when writing footnotes.

When reading, readers will generally flip through books, stopping when they see something worth reading, skimming the pages a bit, then flipping back to start again. To be able to stop when necessary, a reader needs a means of flipping quickly from one page to another. When books need to be flipped quickly, a simple index card placed on the edge of the main text area will do.

For the most convenient reading, some readers make use of a specially designed tool, known as a book mark, which keeps a constant line-of-page number and acts as a pointer to the beginning or end of a page. Other readers, however, use the index cards on the table or side of the books. These readers don’t need a special tool. However, they do need to be able to see at a glance the general page numbers or the index cards. Even though this is less cumbersome than having to flip through the pages of a bound book, these devices still allow the reader to follow the general flow of the book and skip parts that are not needed or interesting.

Some readers, including some college students, prefer to use footnotes. Footnotes are small written notes that outline the main text or any images that might be useful to point out specific details or to capture the full meaning of the author or the book. While footnotes can be distracting, those who use them should remember that they are intended to be an addition to the text and not a replacement for it. Footnotes, therefore, should not block the reader’s access to the main text or any images.

Book editors, writers, readers, and college and high school students all have different ways of working with their written copies. The formatting and arrangement of the material in a book are never consistent across published works, even if the style of the writing is consistent. Some authors and publishers allow the writer to provide additional footnotes or a note box at the end of each page. Other publishing services or editors allow the author to include only a line or two of a numbered list within the footnotes. Many college students and high school students prefer to include a separate “cknowledgements” section at the end of each book because they want to make sure that all information, links, and sources are mentioned and agreed upon by all parties involved in the creation, editing, and distribution of the work. The best way to create a list of acknowledgments in your book is to draft it yourself and then have an editor or someone else who understands book formatting put it in the book so that it is consistent with the formatting of all published works.