Preparing an Existing .doc Manuscript

This checklist accompanies our video “Book Formatting From a .doc File”, but before watching it, please watch our “Book Formatting From Scratch” video (even if you are not starting from scratch).

No preparation step is necessary when starting a novel from scratch—just start with our template, rename it to the name of your book, and start typing.

If you are not starting from scratch but have an existing manuscript or partial manuscript written in a word processor such as Microsoft Word or LibreOffice, you will need to prepare it for formatting.

Such a manuscript is typically in the form of a .doc or .odt file—this checklist will show you how to prepare it for formatting with Nepo Press.

Here are the exact steps to take if you are using LibreOffice. If you are using Microsoft Word or other word processor, the steps will be similar. For example, one of the steps will be to turn off page headers. To do that in a different word processor, you may need to do a web search for, e.g., “how to turn off headers in Microsoft Word”.

If you have any trouble with a different word processor, it might be a good idea to install LibreOffice, even if only for this initial preparation step. That way, you can follow the exact steps given below. Then, if you wish, you can return to your other word processor.

For Windows or Mac, go to to download and install LibreOffice. It is a very easy install and it is free.

The video uses version, so if you have a much older version, it’s probably a good idea to upgrade to the newest version available.

This preparation step needs to be done just once.

Then, the manuscript should be ready for a first formatting attempt. Follow the steps from the “Book Formatting From Scratch” video to make a Mobi file. This also makes an HTML file at the same time. Look at the HTML file for any problems, then go back to the manuscript to fix them.

Open a copy of the template file (nepo-press-template.doc) and copy and paste whatever is appropriate from it into your manuscript, such as the title page and copyright page and settings.

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