Where I talk about the assumptions I’m going to make about your book.
Throughout this series of blog posts, I’m going to assume your novel is “finished”. Which is to say that it is probably filled with mistakes and will need a lot rewriting, but that you are blissfully unaware of this at the moment. However, there is no reason why you need to wait till your novel is “finished” to set up LibreOffice. You can do things the other way round i.e set up LibreOffice as I describe and then create your novel. This has the advantage that if, for example, you want to read through the first half of your book on, say, your kindle, you can easily do it with a couple of clicks of your mouse. It does, however, mean you need to be thinking about format whilst writing, but this might not bother you or might be outweighed by the advantage of being able to publish the second your novel is finished.
Seeing as I keep talking about novels, I should clarify, in respect to this guide, what I am considering a novel to be so you don’t read all this and find out it isn’t relevant to you or turn away when it would’ve helped. For the most part, you can consider ‘novel’ to refer to whatever type of book it is that you are preparing to publish, though some types throw up additional challenges that aren’t covered here. Specifically, these tend to be formats that rely heavily on graphics, such as comic books and children’s story books. Academic books that require lots of diagrams are also problematic. This guide also doesn’t cover referencing, bibliographies and other such things that are common in academic work (though these things are quite easily achievable and reading this guide should arm you with what you need to deal with them). Basically, if your book is mostly standard text, bar perhaps the odd logo and picture, be it fiction, non-fiction or whatever, you are good to go, but the more pictures/diagrams/oddly formated text your book has, the harder it is going to be to use this guide.
In the main text I’ll cover formatting prose and dialogue. How to deal with the trickier bits of formatting that you might need, such as if your novel contains poetry, footnotes or letters that need to be formatted as such, I’ll leave to the appendixes at the end.