Contrary to what many people may think (or wish!), there is no magic software that allows you to press a few buttons and turn your manuscript into a formatted book. In fact, quite the opposite is true. This quote by Richard Hendel, author of the definitive resource On Book Design, sums it up perfectly:
"As omnipresent as books are, few readers are aware of the 'invisible' craft of book designing. The task a book designer faces is different from that faced by other designers. The challenge isn’t to create something different or pretty or clever but to discover how to best serve the author’s words."
Professional, industry-standard interior book design that enforces your credibility and engages your reader employs a myriad of rules, which I am mindful of as a layout artist not only from cover to cover and chapter by chapter, but page by page, paragraph by paragraph, line by line, and sometimes even word by word to achieve your beautiful result. This is especially true of specialty books and nonfiction, where sections with subtitles, graphics, bullet points, photos, tables, and other design elements are the norm, and proper spacing and placement are vital.
Yes, there are templates out there. But they give you a "standard" look that may not best reflect your book, nor do they address the many elements involved: eliminating widows and runts, maintaining a level baseline, addressing excessive hyphenation, and the like.
"Design works not because people understand or even appreciate it but because it works subliminally. Just like background music in a store. Nobody would admit to being influenced by it, but it generates a mood, whether we listen consciously or not."
—Erik Spiekermann, world-class designer and typographer
In a similar fashion, your book's typography and layout set a background tone for your reader's experience. If those elements aren't in harmony with your book, the reading experience will be ruined. Hence, though you may have heard otherwise, Word is not the best choice for laying out a book—there's a lot more to it than picking out a standard font and setting margins and tabs. You need an appropriate program for book design, and the money you spend and the time you invest in learning it can be far more taxing than hiring a talented designer.
As an author, your time is much better spent on writing and marketing — let an experienced professional who is skilled in professional and creative layout artistry make your book interior shine. The top-notch presentation of your labor of love will be well worth the investment.
If you'd like to discuss your project with me, please fill out my questionnaire. If I believe I'm a good match for you, I'd love to discuss your book's interior needs and how together we can make it outstanding!