getting a Properly Formatted .pdf file

Creating the Cover File

Creating the cover file is very simple, and straight-forward. Most of what follows is the default behavior in your word processor, you’ll just need to verify that some settings haven’t been changed. Then all you need to do is make a 4-page document with each of the pages in the order listed below. Simple!

The most important thing to understand is that this process is intended to be easy for those who know nothing about computers. If you don’t know what some of the technical bits are in what follows, don’t worry, the default settings in your word processor are highly likely to be just fine. These notes are to help those who have tinkered with things get back to where they need to be. The most important point is that font sizes need to be 16pt minimum.

If you have any questions at any time, please don’t hesitate to ask.


If you don’t know how to access these settings, then it’s highly likely you haven’t changed the defaults and you’ll be formatting things fine without even trying.

  • Margins should be set to Top: 1", Bottom: 1", Left: 1.25", Right: 1.25".
  • Page size should be set to 8.5" x 11" (not 11" x 8.5")
  • Page orientation should be set to Portrait (not Landscape)
  • Please be aware that we print in black and white, so colored fonts will render as gray if we print it. It’s best to avoid colored fonts altogether (though use of white for spacing will work).

Suggested (for best results):

  • Things will go smoothest if you stick with Times New Roman (serif font), Arial (sans serif font), and Courier New (fixed pitch font). Other fonts are possible, but any fonts used should be TrueType. (why?) To determine if the font you are using is a TrueType font, look for a TT to the left of its name in the font selection drop-down (Windows). In Word for Mac, try to stick with the Web Safe set of fonts or the Windows Compatible set of fonts.
  • Because of the shrink that will necessarily occur in making your portrait-orientation full-pages into landscape-oriented half-pages (need a visual?), fonts should all be 16pt minimum. Note, most word processors default to 12pt.
  • If you’re comfortable using your word processor’s Search and Replace features, consider doing these three operations. First, to change all single straight quote marks ( ' ) into single curly quote marks (  ). Second to change all double straight quote marks ( " ) and ( " ) into (  ) and (  ). Third, to change all dashes ( - - ) into emdashes ( — ). This will make your text look a tad nicer, but is completely optional and not worth getting frustrated over. (how?)

Once you are sure that the page is set-up correctly, you are ready to create your cover file. The file can include text and/or black and white images. (how to insert images)

Page 1 of the cover file will contain the text and/or image you would like on the front cover (this is where you would put the title and your name).

Page 2 of the cover file is usually blank.

Page 3 of the cover file is usually blank.

Page 4 of the cover file is anything you would like to appear on the back cover (this may be a black and white photo of you and/or blurbs, or it may also be blank). If accepted for publication, we will place our Naissance imprint information here (subtly, centered, on the bottom of the page, in the font you have chosen for use on your cover), and here only.

Please note: the best way to create a transition to the next page is not to hit Enter/Return many times until you end up on the next page. The best way to create a transition to the next page is to Insert a page break. (how?)

This is everything that should be in the cover file. Simply save this 4-page document with a name like chapbooktitle-cover.doc and put it where it will be easy to find and attach to an email (like on your Desktop, or in My Documents).

If this file is exactly 4 pages long (even if the last 3 are blank) and all fonts are at least 16pt, you are now ready for step 2.

  1. Create your cover file.
  2. Create your chapbook file.
  3. Send your payment.
  4. Send your files.