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Self-Publishing FAQ: How Many Spaces Should I Use After a Period?

Publishing, Marketing, & Writing Tips

Here's a bit of trivia for you about the one-space vs. two-space rules in writing!

Self-Publishing FAQ: How Many Spaces Should I Use After a Period?
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There’s no such thing as a silly question when it comes to being part of our AIA student community. All our publishing coaches are always on standby, ready to offer support and solutions to students of all ages and walks of life. 

Here’s a question we get from our students who still remember the typewriter days: One space or two after a full stop?

The answer is one space, but let’s talk about it! 

The Typewriter Era and the Two-Space Rule

Some of us were taught to use two spaces after a period in school, but that has changed over the past decade. 

In the era of typewriters, each character was given the same amount of space, AKA monospaced typing. We had to use two spaces, or some of the words would get too scrunched together, and a manuscript would be way too hard to read. Modern word processors started using proportional spacing instead, which automatically adjusts the spacing between characters, making the text more evenly spaced and readable. Hence, the reason that we only use one space these days!

The Modern Standard: One Space After a Period

Nowadays, the standard practice in professional publishing—both in print and digital formats—is to use just one space after a period. This is more convenient for a couple of reasons: 

  1. Consistency and Professionalism: Using one space aligns with industry standards and ensures your manuscript meets the expectations of publishers, editors, and readers.
  1. Simplicity in Formatting: Sticking to one space simplifies the formatting process, especially when converting text into different formats like eBooks, where extra spaces can cause irregularities in text alignment and spacing. This can be a massive headache to fix.

What Else Has Changed About the Publishing Industry?

The internet changed much more than just the number of spaces after a period. Here are just a few ways the publishing industry has transformed in recent years: 

  • Digital Publishing: The rise of eBooks and digital platforms has made it way easier to distribute and access books.
  • Print-on-Demand: This technology allows for single copies to be printed as needed, reducing the risks and costs associated with large print runs.
  • Self-Publishing Platforms: Platforms like Amazon KDP and Smashwords have democratized publishing, allowing anyone to publish and market their books.
  • Reader Analytics: Data analytics tools are now used to understand reader preferences and trends, influencing publishing decisions.
  • Audiobooks: The popularity of audiobooks has soared, creating a new dynamic market for authors and publishers.

Did you know? Amazon is projected to own 70% of the book industry by 2025. Read more Amazon KDP facts here!

Publishing and AI 

The introduction of using AI to publish books has been a hot-button topic for quite some time lately, so we wanted to clear up some confusion and address some myths. No, AI is NOT going to ruin the writing or publishing industries, as long as we all do our part to use it ethically. This is why we've never supported using 100% AI-generated content in any books.

We see it as more of a co-pilot, which can absolutely speed up the ideation process or get you out of those frustrating moments of writer's block, procrastination, etc. This means using AI as a starting block but always adding your own creative twist to it. AI just isn't capable of doing that yet. This is what Amazon calls AI-assisted content, and it is perfectly acceptable.

What are some ways you can use AI? 

  • Outlining your chapters
  • Generating better book titles
  • Crafting author bios
  • Optimizing book descriptions
  • Coming up with pen name ideas
  • Conducting customer research
  • Simplifying complex concepts

See the world's first ethical AI manuscript co-pilot in action: Visit publishing.ai

Discover How Amazon Is Changing the Self-Publishing Game

In the past, publishing was never a guarantee. You might spend years perfecting your manuscript only to have it rejected by agents and publishing houses left and right. Now, all you need is an Amazon account (and it’s free). 

Claim your publishing blueprint at our webinar (which is also free)!

We’ll show you why self-publishing is one of the most beginner-friendly ways to make money online and how it all works. We’ll even show you the numbers with real screenshots of bank accounts and royalty checks as proof this system really works. 

What are you waiting for?

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