HomeBookiWork Pages: writing a book, novel or non-fiction

Pages-120As an entrepreneur, startup, and Mac user I can attest that using Apple’s iWork word processing and page layout app Pages that you CAN write a book with it. Why?

Because I’ve done it. Twice! And so have some others.

First, take a look at my efforts in writing my first book, How to Start a Business: Mac Version and you’ll see how good Pages can perform producing a print ready file. If I can do it, so can you.

The ease of which you can get a book published compared with years ago makes the barrier much lower. Make the book look like you want it to, both the interior file and your book cover, create and then upload a PDF file to your POD (Print On Demand) publisher and you’re done.

And, here’s a FREE Pages template of how I create my book.

Tradeback 6×9 Book Template

When it comes to your book’s cover using Pages, you MUST use EXACT dimensions for your graphics and images when creating the file. When a publisher says it needs to be 6 inches, it needs to be 6 inches.

I highly recommend that you connect with Walton Mendelson at 12on14.com (named after the term leading, from the print industry, and describes line spacing. A 12 point font with 14 point spacing is “12 on 14,” while we are familiar with single spacing, also known as “12 on 12”). He is a wealth of knowledge about book design and I patterned my book from his information.


It means that you need to do a good job of producing a very good to great book, otherwise, your writing and publishing efforts will be worthless.

If you have questions, ask away. Be glad to answer your questions.

iWork Pages 4.3 (iWork 9.3) Apple download is available for free if you need to convert your current Pages 5.5.1 file into the older Pages file to have more detailed control over the final look of your book.

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iWork Pages: writing a book, novel or non-fiction — 10 Comments

    • Hi Alan,

      Yea, I found out that they moved to a new server/blog app and I have only recovered the first six posts. Once I get them all I’ll be putting them in a PDF for download. In order to do that I have to wait for Heinlein to post the others in order to get them all for you. I’m guessing by the first of the year I may have it done as I’m working on getting more my site up with downloadable items as well. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Let me know how else I can help.


      P.S. Check this link for what I have recovered so far http://www.macgetit.com/my-book/

      • Hi Kevin, I was ready to download Pages for my IPhone 4S but I cannot see a template from the gallery suitable for writing straight on to for creating a book (that I am currently preparing to write up).

        It says on Apple that you can export Pages files to “ePub” to convert written material in to ready to publish data i.e. that’s in a book format. Apologies, I’m new to this, does this mean ePub is in-built in to Pages or I have to upgrade or purchase a separate ePub app to export the file to in order to write a book? I just want a book template built in to Pages that I can write straight on to using my Iphone, then if necessary export in order to print! Thanks. Reviews weren’t hot or that helpful on App Store, so your feedback is appreciated.

        • Hi Elizabeth,

          iWork Pages does a straight export from it’s native file format to an ePub file and there is little else that you need to do. However, the more complicated or complex your book design is the more potential for various issues to crop up regarding the exported file. Whenever you export a file from it’s native format (Pages, MS Word, etc.) to another format it translates the file from one to the other, and someone had to program that translation, or properly known as a filter, to make it easy for you. But be aware that this translation can have problems, so double check your efforts and watch how Pages creates the new ePub file.

          When it comes to your book, start from the paragraph styles and once you have created them, move to create your Table of Contents section. Do you already have a format you want your book to look like, i.e. size, fonts, spacing, book cover, etc.? Who do you plan on using to print your final book?

          For me it was work, but now that I’ve learned it, it has been fun.

          • Hi Kevin,

            so to clarify, ePub is built in to Pages? It’s not a separate app I need to purchase to export to? Regarding exporting – if it’s built in, I don’t need it exporting to any other less common format, perhaps only Word additionally.

            Regards the book, it’s a manual and is fairly basic in design, it just needs to be professionally formatted, finished and accessible for download via a website – hence wishing to use Pages.

            Also, you refer to Pages as iWork Pages, but from what I understand iWork is an umbrella term for a range of products including Key Note and Numbers as well as Pages.. I presume “Pages” in App Store, is all I need to download to get the book

            You appear to have used more than just Paragraph and Table of Contents for your book, headers and footers perhaps? I take it you have to construct the ‘book’ in stages – there isn’t a template, then? That’s what I need. I can create paragraph and a table of contents using Documents To Go – do I need Pages at all, in that case?! Thanks.

          • Hey Elizabeth,,

            Yes, the ePub filter is under File > Export > ePub and it built in, no need to purchase anything else.

            I can help you with the formatting if you need it.

            Yes, iWork is the umbrella term for Apple’s office suite of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote (word processing/page layout, spreadsheet, and presentation). You can download them individually from the App Store.

            There are no templates per say, but I can design a template if you’d like for you.

            Here’s the issue surrounding the various other apps that you can use, while all of them can be used to write your book, to get it ready for print production might have issues. When I was doing my book with CreateSpace.com I saw numerous people having troubles with Windows creating PDFs and the various formatting issues that can hang up the printing process.

            I was able to do both the interior file and the book cover in Pages, so it can be done.

  1. I am writing a book with many quotes that I need to footnote – reference. I also want to have an index once I finish writing the content. What software, etc. do you recommend to help with these two objectives?

    • Pages does footnotes and endnotes, I’ve used footnotes in Pages myself with two books. Regarding indexing software, I used http://www.pdfindexgenerator.com to create the index and cut and pasted the results into a styled Index section. Indexing takes some time, but the software takes a mere 10-20 seconds to complete the index of about 100,000 words.

  2. Hi Keven. Thanks for interacting with us this way.

    I wrote a novel in OpenOffice which has since been successfully published on Createspace, but I need to change a couple of things which for some reason I can’t resolve in OO, mainly the placement and use of headers through the chapters and dividing chapters into styles. OO seems to block my efforts on every turn. Worse, how-to instructions online don’t match up with the most recent version of OO that I have. Mine can’t do what they say to do. If it could, all would be well.

    I’m looking at different editors now in hopes to re-format the whole novel with proper headers (divided per chapter), Scrivener, Pages, MS Word. I’ve worked with InDesign and loved it but am not willing to pay for it again for this project. My research now has boiled down to Scrivener and Pages.

    In your opinion, how well would Pages handle
    1. divisions of chapters with individualized headers
    2. writing main title and chapter title pages with no headers at all
    3. facing pages layout
    4. a 350 page document

    • Hi Alan,

      Sorry for the late response, but I don’t monitor this blog site as much as I have in the past. To answer your questions:

      1. The issues are between old Pages 4.3 and new Pages 6.0.5., it’s the “Section” part of the Inspector that will determine the quality of the separate headers/footers. Both versions are free, but if you want more control over the formatting of your book, I’d go with the 4.3 version of Pages, it has finer control over some of the formatting that 6.0.5 does, sad to say.

      2. You can select under Document > Section > Headers & Footers > Hide on first page of section what you want to show up on the first page.

      3. Again, the older 4.3 version of Pages does this SO much better, even displayed on your Mac.

      4. No issues here, unless you get more and more complex, i.e more than a novel approach to writing (think adding tons of graphics, tables, etc). This is with ANY program, not just Pages, it happens with Word, etc.

      HTH, and sorry for the delay.

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