How To Write A Book In Google Docs [2020]


In this video, I’ll be sharing how to use Google Docs to format your manuscript These are the same formatting guidelines that have helped my clients to become published authors. Today you’re going to learn why aspiring writers are ditching expensive writing software and using this free alternative! And a bonus tip on how to find your word count! So make sure you stick around for that! So I’ve done a previous video on formatting a book in Microsoft Word. But I wanted to provide another option for those of you who may not have access to Microsoft Word and are looking for a good free alternative. In this video you will learn how to write a book in Google Docs. Once your manuscript is complete, you’ll share your formatted manuscript with your writing coach, beta readers, editors, and for those of you who plan to traditionally publish, you will share your manuscript first with your agent and then later with a publishing company. So here’s why I love Google Docs for new writers. First of all… It’s entirely online which means that you can be anywhere with internet access, and have the ability to update your manuscript. Which you guys… that is such a huge huge bonus! It also saves your manuscript automatically, so if you’ve ever lost your manuscript before and didn’t have a backup, then you’ll understand why this is so awesome! Okay, so let’s get into the super simple way to write your book in Google Docs. Let’s start with the page setup in the menu click File then Page Setup and just confirm its set for one-inch margins on the top, bottom, left, and right. The page orientation should be portrait and the letter size should be 8 and a half by 11. Next is the fonts. So the most common font for formatting a manuscript is Times New Roman. You can also use Arial and Courier New but for the sake of this video, we’re going to select Times New Roman. The font size should be set to 12. Again we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for the person reviewing the document. Now on to the title page on the very first line include your first and last name. Tab over to the right and type word count. This is an important step because your writing coach, editor, and formatter will provide you with a quote based off of this word count. An agent also needs to know your word count and my bonus tip – know your word count! Go to the Tools menu and select Word Count. This section where it says Words is where you will find your word count. Alright on the next line type your address and on the line after that type your city, state and zip code. Drop down a line and include your email address. Now make sure this is an email address that you check regularly! Alright, drop down to the middle of the page and type the title of your manuscript in all capital letters. Then drop down two more lines and type the words By and then your Author Name. This is your title page. I told you guys this is super simple! Now let’s format the manuscript itself. Next you’ll need to insert a page break. In the menu click Insert Break, then Page Break and now you’ve inserted a new page. Alright, let’s do your header. Click Insert, Header and Page Number choose Header and then enter your name and the title of your manuscript on the left and your page number on the right. Now to insert the page number go to Insert Header and Page Number, Page Number and then choose the second option on the top right. Ok, so click out of the header now we’re going to go to Format, Line Spacing and then choose Double. Ok so now we have the manuscript set up for the header and footer, we have the double spacing, we have the Times New Roman as well as the font size set up. And I want to show you guys up top It says “all changes saved in drive” and this is how you know that your manuscript is constantly being backed up. So it really gives you a peace of mind when it comes to writing and worrying about the saving of your manuscript. Alright, so a frequently asked question I get is how do I start a new chapter? You want to go to Insert Break, Page Break and this is going to start you off on a new chapter. You want to center your chapter title in the middle of the page and then once that’s done you want to drop down two lines and then left align and then you’re gonna begin typing your book. If you’re interested in my Book Outline Template It’s available for download inside my video course How To Write Your First Book. The link is in the description box. You

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27 thoughts on “How To Write A Book In Google Docs [2020]”

  1. thelifeofawriter says:

    Want my Google Docs Book Outline Template? Or what about my Format Template? Both are available for download inside my video course How To Write Your First Book

  2. Adrian Collins says:

    I feel as though you created this video just for me. I know you didn’t but it’s more fun to think you actually did; even though as I’ve already stated above, you didn’t. At least I don’t think you did, though it’s actually possible that you may have. It’s a bit mysterious, like how they get that shiny coating on rainbow sprinkles: but that answer is here:

  3. Cater2sk8r says:

    Thank you.. No REALLY.. Thank you!

  4. Win Caz says:

    Thank you.

  5. allen stevenson says:

    Today I found out Goggle Docs was more than saving something that's over 25mb in Gmail. Now this! I actually never used any of those Google things before. This was simple enough for me to follow. Thank You!

  6. Bianca K. says:

    Thank you soooooo much for this! I am writing my first book and this video really helped me. 🙂

  7. DreamingMomma 17 says:

    New subscriber here 🙂 I actually had been searching vids on how to create a book in Google docs, and was about to watch your one from last year lol. (will probably watch that one as well when I do the binge thing to catch up on your content, haha!) Anyway, at a stage in life where I feel like I should actually get moving on that book I've been meaning to write for…like…ever! And don't have lots of $ to spend on stuff atm, so thanks for your help and content.

  8. Doggs4Life says:

    i ddont have a editoooooooooooooor

  9. Happy_Girl says:

    This was so helpful thank you. I was wanting to buy Scrivener but because of certain features but all i need is on Google docs.

  10. Dakota Oakes - Rookie says:

    Question, do you have to press tab when beginning a new paragraph or no?
    Thanks for this video, btw. I didn't know there was a specific way to write your book or not, hah.

  11. Katherine Ritchie says:

    This is so helpful, thank you! I used GoogleDocs to write my thesis, and dropped a glass of water on my Mac during the writing – but alas – GoogleDocs automatically saves! Now I am writing a novel in GoogleDocs, and this is exactly what I needed. Question–> If I format the pages, and then C+P the content I have already written, with the formatting cover it all?

  12. Louisa Koistinen says:

    this is genius! Can't wait to transfer mine over from Word. Thank you!!!

  13. CDusk says:

    Oh, so you have to PAY for a template?

  14. Marvalous Metanoia says:

    Wow! Thank you for such a detailed video, so helpful.

  15. Doggs4Life says:

    when you do the page break theirs text at the top which i cant seem to get up there

  16. Charles Campbell says:

    I can't seem to drop down a line

  17. S Hunter says:

    Thank you

  18. Rhonda Ellis says:

    Thank you for this very clear, easy to understand video. It met me right where I am. I have lots of content to share, but the structure and organization of my material has me paralyzed. I needed this hand-holding to set up my format! This is super helpful. Thanks again.

  19. George Lazar says:

    I really appreciate this Stephanie, thanks!

  20. Papaya Bliss says:

    I started watching you for fun, now I'm a writer! Thank you so much.

  21. Elunabelle says:

    Do you have a video explaining how to format a Google Doc for KDP(paperback)?

  22. SheiPowell says:

    Soooooo, what if you are just self publishing? That format will not work. Right? It wouldn't be double spaced with a title page etc. The 6 x 9 templates for self pub'ing is not like this. So, I guess I am asking is that possible in docs?

  23. Lori Cardie says:

    This is the first time I have tried to use GoogleChrome for my novel. I just love the laptop and Google Docs, but have been lost as to how to make it work for my needs. Coming from Microsoft Word for way too many years to mention, I hesitated to try and connect it with Docs. I have been searching all types of writing programs–not to my liking though. I am ecstatic I hit upon your video here and cannot thank you enough!!! This is the second book in my series and now I can move on just with Google Docs alone, especially for my first draft. Thank you a million times, 'thelifeofawriter'. You sure made my day. Happy writing!

  24. Ekrem Erol says:

    I've completed 3 books with Google Docs but I'm still suffering about formats. Thank you so much for the video, it's really helpful!

  25. Lion King Matiouz says:

    Thanks a lot for this tutorial
    Typing on Word was going to be such a waste of time

  26. Mtesi Joseph says:

    wonderful lady

  27. Sakura Moore says:

    For example, When I might write a book, and I maybe an author,
    I am what I read and what I’ve been experiencing over the years, and when I read
    what I’ve written, I realize, in a way, that its my tribute to the great

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