Before writing even the first sentence, a writer should consider what the final version will look like. What size and kind of book do you plan to publish? Are you going to print an eBook, a printed book, an audio book or all three?
In graduate school, I took a class on evaluation in education where the professor lectured week after week and assigned reading and reading. The goal of the class was to keep a journal as we worked through answering one question: is there a single tool for evaluation or is there a toolbox full of different tools?
The correct answer was the toolbox apparently, since I earned an A for the course. The publishing possibilities are a toolbox. But the key to using the toolbox is to determine what solution is best for a given situation.
A novel does not necessarily need chapters. But chapters do make a book easier to read. For one thing, many readers will read to the end of the current chapter before taking a break. Chapters can also serve as a roadmap if segues are not obvious.
Many types of books are organized, using chapters and sections to define how the information will be presented. It is the logic behind the work. And, if the reader is keenly aware of information in a chapter, they can skip it and move on through the book.
When it comes to self-publishing, or publishing on demand, the type of book matters whether the book will be digital or print. There is a fairly large range of book sizes and types that every publishing service makes available.
There are also some that set services apart. Lulu is one, perhaps the only one, that offers books with dust jackets in a variety of sizes and shapes. On the other hand, Lulu currently recommends customers avoid including charts, text boxes, and scientific or mathematic formulas in smaller paperbacks. Lulu does offer a coil-bound 6” x 9” inch option that would be ideal for workbooks, which is rare in the publish on demand world.
Amazon has the largest market share. That means they have more potential customers. It also means you will have more competition for those readers’ eyes.
But, whatever service you choose, it is wise to choose a size and shape of your book before you start writing. If you choose to use chapters, they need to be formatted a special way. But, they also need a name. You can use something as basic as the chapter number but it is more helpful to the reader if you give each chapter a name that reflects what that chapter is about.
It’s perfectly fine to jump right in and start writing. But, eventually, your book will need to be formatted even if you publish it as an eBook. Keep that in mind while you write.