9 Free Book Templates for Authors [+ Outline Generator]

Hunter Freeman
January 03, 2024 | 14 mins

Do you need a book template to get started writing your book? If so, you’ll want to download one before you start typing up your manuscript. This will save you a ton of wasted effort and formatting issues later on!

Whether you’re writing a fiction book or a nonfiction book, you’ll want to start writing as quickly as possible to reach your goal of becoming an author.

A book template can help you do just that by saving you time from having to set up your own book file.

Once your book is written and it’s time for you to find a book editor, the template will come in handy since it’ll already be in a common format for you to start the book production and publishing process. 

Even better – the templates listed in this article are absolutely free. Since self-publishing costs come out of the author’s own pocket, it’s important to save money where you can, so that you can use that budget to hire professional editors and cover designers.

Please note that several of the sites listed in this article offer book production services. We will not be reviewing the quality of the services provided by these sites, and are not providing any endorsement for working with these companies. In this article, we will simply list the best free book template resources that self-published authors can utilize as they write.

Get Our 6″ x 9″ Pre-Formatted Book Template for Word or Mac

We will send you a Book Template for US Trade (standard paperback size).

Why and how to use a book template

There are many reasons why you should use a book template to write your book.

Using a book template is beneficial as it provides a structured framework and streamlines your writing process. Templates can guide you in organizing content, maintaining consistency, and ensuring a logical flow to your writing. They help establish a cohesive style, and save you SO much time and effort in formatting.

But even if you wanted to use a book template…how would you use one?

Every author has their preference on writing tools, and one that continues to top the chart is Microsoft Word. 

It’s your standard word processor, and while it seems basic, it’s super versatile and easy to use. 

If you don’t need fancy book-writing software, or are just getting started as an author on a low budget, Microsoft Word may be your best bet for implementing your book template. It’s readily available, user-friendly, and has all the nuts and bolts you need (including a powerful editor). 

Not everyone wants to fuss with setting up a book template in Word, and some want more variety in templates to choose from. If this is the case for you, consider downloading a pre-made book template for Word.

There are several sites that offer free downloadable templates, and they are already set up and formatted specifically for writing a book. You can download the template, open it in Word, and get straight to writing!

9 free book templates to try

Here are our favorite free book templates for you to consider during your writing process:

1. Free fiction & nonfiction templates from self-publishing school

If you’re writing a book and need a template to help you organize your chapters, content, and format, then we have just the template for you! In fact, we have a template for nonfiction books, and a template for fiction books, so you can choose which one suits your needs best.

2. KDP free paperback manuscript templates

For a basic manuscript template, use these free book layout templates from Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). 

If you plan to publish your eBook to KDP, these templates will work just fine. They are available in all of the standard book sizes. 

Download blank templates, or pre-filled templates with sample content, if you want to have an overall example of how a book will appear with the template. 

Kdp Book Template

If you need a book template for Word in a language other than English, these templates will be helpful as they are available in a variety of different languages. 

Once you download the files, a .zip folder will appear on your computer. Once you unzip the file, you will then see zipped folders for each language.

You can unzip the folder in the language you need, which will give you access to the various sized book templates.

3. BookBaby free book template

With several different sizes to choose from, BookBaby offers a variety of book layout templates depending on the type of book you are writing. 

From standard book sizes to niche-specific sizing options, you’ll want to be clear on which type of book template size you need for your story. 

The common standard sizing for most printed books is the US Trade 6” x 9” which is listed under the Interior Text Templates category. 

Bookbaby Book Template Sizes Chart

Once you find the correct size for your book, you can download the free template by clicking the orange “Download” button underneath the corresponding size. 

The .zip file will then download to your computer, and it contains the template file. Once you unzip the file, you can then open the Word book template (it will be the file that ends in “.doc”). 

If you need additional instructions, BookBaby offers some helpful information in the “Using Our Templates” section. You can check out their specifications, and even download their Book Printing Preparation Checklist PDF. 

Bookbaby Book Template Instructions

4. DiggyPOD free book template for Word

A book printing company, DiggyPOD offers free book templates for your book interior and exterior. While the sizes offered aren’t as extensive as some, you can find the most common sizes for book printing available. 

If you’re just getting started with writing your book, download the interior template. If you’ve already written your book, you can use the resources on the page to create your own template for your typed manuscript. 

Book Template For Word Sizes

5. DIYBookFormats free templates 

This site offers five free minimal book layout templates that you can use with a variety of programs, Word included.

These templates offer different designs, not just your standard text and format options. While you can access five templates for free, any additional access to other styles will have to be purchased.

Diybookformats Book Template

You’ll also have to do some extra clicking and typing to access these manuscript templates (unlike some of the other sites listed in this article).

The free templates are a gated offer, which means you will have to provide your email address. Then, the templates will be sent directly to your inbox. 

Once you download the .zip file, you’ll want to unzip it. Then, you can open the folder for each styled template, and select the file you need. If you are using Word, you’ll want to click on the .doc or .docx file, depending on which Word version you are using.

The site also provides some helpful tutorial videos on how to format your book in Microsoft Word if you want to skip the template and do it all yourself. 

6. 48HrBooks Word templates

This site offers four of the most common standard book sizing options available – no email required. Perfect for use if you haven’t started typing your story yet, these Microsoft Word book manuscript templates are straight and to the point. 

To begin your download, look under the “Free Book Templates” heading, and scroll down to the “Inside Pages” option. You can then click on the book icon for the corresponding size you need, and the file will begin downloading automatically.

48Hrbooks Book Template Inside Pages Chart

If you need further instructions, there is also a handy PDF that you can download with more info. 

7. BookPrintingUK template generator

Featuring an easy-to-use design, this responsive template generator is great if you know the specifics of your book’s layout, such as binding and size. 

You can start by selecting which program you are using to write your book, and Microsoft Word is the first option you can select. You’ll need to know the document type needed, the book option, template size, color (if applicable), and orientation to generate your template. 

Bookprintinguk Book Template Generator Instructions

One thing to note is that this site is for UK book printing, so it will be UK sizing. However, you can always look up the US equivalent with a quick Google search, if needed.

8. Used to Tech free Word book template

A simple, clean design, this free Word book template is specifically for the standard 6” x 9” book, which is the most common book size for printed paperbacks. 

To download, you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “Download” button. This will prompt the download of the .zip file to start automatically. 

Unzip the file, then select the file that ends in “.docx” or, if you need to, you can download the .pdf file. 

This template for Word features a minimal design, and is free – no email required! 

Used To Tech Book Template

9. Book template outline generator

If you need a done-for-you book outline to fill in your book’s contents into, consider using a pre-made outline for your nonfiction or fiction book.

This is not a print-ready format for your book, but an actual outline to organize your manuscript.

Use this Book Outline Generator to select your genre and immediately get access to a complete outline – all you need to do is add your content!

Outline Generator Book Template

Once you choose your book type and generate an outline, you’ll get access to a done-for-you template in Google Docs. You then follow the steps in the document to get started.

Can I write a book in Microsoft Word?

Yes, you can write a book in Microsoft Word, and it may even help you write your book faster and increase your writing focus, since you can save time formatting and setting up your book layout. You can write a book in Word by downloading a free book template, either by using the standard book template Word offers, or by setting up your own (which is more time-consuming).

Because Word is a flexible word-processing system, you can simply use a template within Word, and start typing your book directly onto the page.

Even if you don’t use a template, you can still write a book using Microsoft Word – just be aware that you may have to spend more time formatting your book when it’s time to publish it.

How to write a book in Microsoft Word

To write a book in Microsoft Word, simply download a free book template, open the file, and start typing your manuscript into the template. 

You’ll want to be sure that you download a template that is formatted specifically for Word, and all of the sites listed in this article offer Word templates. 

Once your template is downloaded, you can then open it on your computer, and make any modifications as needed. 

Then, you can start typing your manuscript directly into your Word template. That’s it! 

You don’t need a fancy template to start with; you can simply make do with the free templates that are available for download on these sites. However, if you want to purchase a template, there are some paid book templates that you can buy if you choose to. 

Here are the steps to write a book in Microsoft Word:

Step One: Download a Microsoft Word book template (more instructions on this below)

Step Two: Open Microsoft Word on your computer and click “File” then navigate to “Open.” Select your template file.

Step Three: Your file will open and appear on the screen. You can now start typing your text directly into Word.

Step Four: Click “Save” often throughout your writing process, and before you exit the Word application.

Does Word have a book template?

Yes, Microsoft Word offers several templates within the application, including book templates to choose from. Different sizes and formats are offered, depending on the type of book you are writing.

All of the available templates are customizable and editable, which means you can tailor them to fit any specific requirements you need for your book.

To access the standard book template in Word, follow these steps:

  • After opening Microsoft Word, click “File” and then “New.”
  • Double click “Books” folder icon in the “Available Templates” section.
  • Double click “Other Books” folder icon.
  • Browse through the available templates and select one that best fits your needs and book type.
  • Customize your book template settings as needed.
  • Start removing the placeholder text and typing your own book information directly in the document.
  • Click “Save” any time you make changes and before closing the Word application.

How do I make a book template in Word?

If you prefer to make a template in Word that is customized to fit your specific writing needs, then there’s an easy way to do this, too.

Microsoft Word is a versatile word-processing tool that’s relatively easy to learn and super customizable. You can make a variety of projects, including a template for books.

The key is to start simple with one of the pre-made templates in Word, then format and customize the book layout to fit your needs.

Please keep in mind that depending on the Microsoft Word version your computer or laptop has, the step-by-step instructions may vary, since older or newer versions may have different menu items, names, or placements.

Here are the steps to make a book template in Word:

  • Open the Microsoft Word program or application.
  • Click “File,” then “New.”
  • Go to Layout and click on “Page Setup”. Note: Depending on your Word version, you may have to click the launch icon to the left of Page Setup (it looks like a square with an arrow).
  • Click “Margins.”
  • Click “Custom Margins.”
  • Click “Mirror Margins.”
  • Enter the margin values you need. For standard book margin values, enter the following: Top & Bottom: .5, Inside: .8, Outside: .5, Gutter: 0.
  • Click “Portrait” under Orientation.
  • Click “Whole Document” under Apply To.
  • Click on the Paper tab.
  • Adjust the values to match the height and width of your book’s printed paper size. If you do not know these yet, you can adjust them later.
  • Click “Save.”

How many Microsoft Word pages equal a book page?

As you start writing in your template, you can easily track the word count. But, that doesn’t necessarily tell you how many actual “book pages” you have typed up.

Depending on how you like to track your progress, it might be helpful to know how many Microsoft Word pages equal a book page. While this will vary depending on your book’s genre and writing style (some authors are more wordy than others), there is a rough ballpark range you can use.

Determine what your book’s word count goal should be

First, we recommend determining how many words your book should be. You can use this Word & Page Count Calculator to calculate how many words you should aim for as you write your book. It calculates the word count depending on your book’s type, genre, and audience.

Use the Word Count Tool in Microsoft Word

As you write, it’s important to keep track of how many actual words you are writing. Word has an easy tool that makes it super simple to keep count, and it updates in real-time.

Again, depending on your version of Word, there may be a different way to access the Word Count tool, but you can play around with it a bit – it almost always will be in the “Tool” menu.

Here’s how to track your book’s word count in Word:

In your Word document, click “Tools” from the top menu toolbar.

Click “Word Count.”

A small window will appear with the total number of words.

Determine how many Word pages equals one book age

Once you have determined your writing word count goal, and know how to easily track how many words you’ve written using the Word Count tool, the next step is to figure out how many Word pages equal one book page.

To do this, you will first need to understand that there will not be a direct correlation. In other words, there isn’t an easy, super accurate answer. The reason for this is because it will depend on your finished book’s page size.

A standard US paperback novel is typically printed as a 6″ x 9″ book, but it can be printed in a variety of other sizes depending on your book size.

Your book page in Word will be the standard paper size of 8.5″ x 11″. Therefore, the variance in size between the Word book template and your finalized printed book means there isn’t an exact equivalence.

Generally, a paperback novel in the standard print size can contain about 250-300 words per page. In Microsoft Word, one page in the standard size and 12-point font will be about 500-550 words per page.

So, a rough estimate is that 2 paperback printed pages will equal 1 Microsoft Word page, more or less. Please note that this is a very rough estimate, with several variables involved.

The only way to find an exact correlation is to set your Word document up to be the same size as your finalized printed book.

So, you could set your Word document up to be 6″ x 9″. However, there will still be some variance due to margins, printed text size and typeface, paragraphs, etc.

The best thing is to just go by your desired Word count and worry about the printed pages later. Focus on getting your story out, and the rest will follow suit once you get there!

Start typing your manuscript into the book template

Once you find your perfect Microsoft Word book manuscript template, you’ll be ready to start typing up your book. 

Achieve your writing goals by committing to writing each and every day. Find a fellow author friend to make yourself accountable, or attend a writing conference to drive urgency for your writing career.

Once your manuscript is typed and self-edited, you can start the editing, formatting, and production process to get your book published and into the hands of readers. If you need any help along the way, the team at selfpublishing.com is here to help you from ideation to book launch.

Get Our 6″ x 9″ Pre-Formatted Book Template for Word or Mac

We will send you a Book Template for US Trade (standard paperback size).

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