What Else Goes Inside a Book?

Aside from the story itself, here are a few additional suggestions you will want to consider adding inside of your book.

Title Page – It’s always nice see a clean title page when you open a book.

Copyright Page – This is where you can include your ISBN information, CIP data,  publisher/contact information and a statement very similar to the following:

“All rights reserved–no part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, or by any information storage or retrieval system except for the inclusion of brief quotations in a review, without permission in writing from the publisher.”

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Choosing a Font

Fonts are an important to a books success. Not just for esthetics, but more importantly, also for readability. I have many clients ask me, “What font should I use?” Unfortunately, this is not a decision that I can make for you. I am always a fan of the easily readable Times New Roman in an 11pt, but that may not be your cup of tea. So now, how do you decide? Here are some things to consider:

What the heck is a serif, and why does it matter?

As defined by Dictionary.com
noun Printing

A smaller line used to finish off a main stroke of a letter, as at the top and bottom of M.

The little lines at the bottoms and tops of letters are serifs. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, right? Wrong. Serifs make smaller text much easier to read. Often, fonts that are sans serif will appear to print out more lightly, and will make your text body much more legible. The general rule of thumb is that serif fonts should be used for body text, and that it is ok to use sans serif fonts for titles.

What size of a font should I go with?

I really recommend a 10 or 11pt for most fonts, but a good idea is always to print out a page of text in that size, in the format that your final book will be, and ask yourself, is this legible? Some fonts are super tiny, so a 10 or 11pt is really more like a 7 or 8pt in any other font.

For headers, do the same thing. Create your page full of text, and then test out your header sizes at the top. This will probably be easier to do on screen, with your view set at 100%, than if you were to print it, because your perspective will be skewed if you print the page, and have all of the additional white space from the 8.5 x 11 paper surrounding it.

There are so many fonts out there. Where do I find one, and how?

Do you have an idea at least of what you want? For instance, do you want a classic looking text, or a clean one? A cursive? I always recommend checking out DaFont. It is my absolute go to for fonts, every time, hands down. With an incredible collection, all that you need to do is search for the type of font that you want (great ones for titles can be found under typewriter or passport!) and maybe a detail like serif, or sans serif, if necessary. Make sure, though, that you check out what the usage rights are. The creators of the font may have stipulations for using their font. If not, make an effort to at least make a donation to them. That keeps these guys going, and where would we be without them?

Some Basics of Microsoft Word 2010 for Book Typesetting – Saving as a PDF

Now, for the final step. Why do printers ask for PDF files? Not all computers have the same fonts and settings, it varies quite a bit. If you send me a word file, and I have different fonts or settings, I will open up your file, and your font will change, or your set up will shift, and I will be none the wiser. There is no warning or pop up like there would be in the Adobe Creative Suite programs, or Quark. Just silent change that would leave you scratching your head and wondering what the heck happened! A PDF is like a snapshot of your file, and what you see is what you get. With that being said, it is imperative that you keep you original word file as well. If you were ever to want to change anything, a PDF is not the place to be doing it.

You have the option to save as a PDF, or to print to a PDF. Save as a PDF, as printing to a PDF will result in an 8.5 x 11 document with your little book page floating in the middle. Saving as will maintain your page size, as well as your margins.

1. Click on the file tab.


2. Select Save As.


3. Select where you want to save.


4. Choose PDF on the drop down list.


5. Click save.



It really is that easy.

Some Basics of Microsoft Word 2010 for Book Typesetting – Inserting Photos

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. While it won’t actually add to your manuscript’s word count, it can add a lot of value, depending on the book, to have some photos or images. Here is how to do it.

1. Click on insert tab, and then select picture.


2. Select browse, and find your image file. Click the Insert button.



3. Resize the photo to the correct size on the page. Hold the shift key while doing this, so that the photo doesn’t distort. Only do this to make pictures smaller, not larger. Making them larger will result in pixilation.



4. Right click on photo and select Wrap Text.



5. Choose how you want your text to go around your photo. Ie. Square


6. Right click on the photo and select Insert Caption.


7. A box will now open up, click ok. Erase the text that it automatically puts in the box, and replace it with your caption. Now you can adjust your font, size, color, etc.


Some Basics of Microsoft Word 2010 for Book Typesetting – Setting Your Page Numbers

You can easily set page numbers in Microsoft word as well, and you can have a different first page & odd & even pages with page numbers as well. You can choose to have your numbers start at different points, if you have multiple files, and you can also choose to have Roman Numerals, if you so choose. If you are not wanting page numbers, or Roman Numerals for your title page, table of contents, etc, I will suggest creating a separate front section, and then putting them together once you have PDF’d the files.
1. Select the Insert tab


2. Click on Page Number


3. Select top or bottom of the page, whichever is your preference. From there, scroll down and select a style. If there is not a style that you like, select a top or bottom option that is in the right position, and then go to the header or footer and double click. I always prefer to do this, and then set the page numbers up to either fall on the outside corner of the page (different odd & even) or to be in a different font, etc. If you want your numbers to start at something other than 1, go to the list and select Format Page Numbers.



4. If you select a style, you are set and ready to go. However, if you chose Format Page Numbers, enter the number that you want your first page to start at. For instance, if you don’t want the first page to be page one, input 0.


5. If you chose to go your own way, you can now start by double clicking on the header or footer, wherever you chose to put your page numbers.


6. Now you can choose where your orientation, font size, font type, etc. You can also choose to have different odd and even pages. This comes in handy if you would like to do the page numbers on the outside corners of your page. Put the odd paged numbers in the right corner, and the even paged numbers in the left. However, remember that whatever you choose for your page numbers will affect all other headers and footers that you have.



7. Double click on the center of the page, and you will return to your normal text body.

Some Basics of Microsoft Word 2010 for Book Typesetting – Setting Your Margins

This week we will discuss setting your margins using Microsoft Word. We always suggest a minimum of 0.5” for margins, and using a mirror margin to set a gutter edge of 0.25”. A margin is the space on the top, bottom, left and right side of the page in which no print will go. If you want an image to go right to the edge of the page, at that point, you will need to set a bleed. This is not something that you can really do with Word alone. The gutter is an additional bit of space that is added in so that the small amount of space that is lost to the bind is not noticeable. Setting up mirror margins sets the gutter so that it always falls at the center of the page.

Normal Margins:

1. Click on the Page Layout tab.


2. Select Margins


3. Scroll down and select Custom Margins



4. Now, put in your top, bottom and side margins, select mirror margins, and add in the gutter.




Your margins are now set!

Some Basics of Microsoft Word 2010 for Book Typesetting – Choosing a Page Size

Many authors create their manuscripts in Microsoft Word, because it is a fairly versatile program. There are limitations to it though, and there are ways to work around those limitations.

Whether your intention is to hand your manuscript over to a professional for typesetting, or to take the task on yourself, you can save yourself time and money by getting started using Word correctly in the first place. If there is less work for your typesetter to do, or less work for you in the end, the savings will definitely trickle down to you.

For the next several weeks, I will cover some of the different functions of MS Word 2010, as well as some work arounds.

This week, we will start with setting a page size.

To change the page size:

1. Click on the Page Layout tab.



2. Select Size.


3. Scroll all of the way to the bottom of the sizes list and select More Paper Sizes.


4. Where it says width and height, select the type and put in your desired width and height. It will immediately turn it to custom size when you do that.


5. Make sure that it says Apply To: Whole Document at the bottom, and then select OK.


What’s in a Cover?

BookCoverGreenBrownThey always say, don’t judge a book by its cover, but really, don’t we all? Even just for that first, fleeting moment, as we find ourselves drawn towards that book on the shelf?

In the mid-19th century, with the advent of the mechanical age, a book cover changed. Previously, it was a way to protect a book, while decorating it with ornate finishing touches, to show how important the information inside really was. Books were so expensive that they couldn’t just belong to the average Tom, Dick or Harry. They were archives of information so precious that they weren’t meant for general consumption.

As mechanical book binding began to take form, the process and materials began to change. First, bound in incredible covers made of natural treasures such as ivory, then, on to natural products that still involved the delicacy of the hand binding, such as leather. Moving forward, it became cloth, such as linen, and then eventually, there was paper. At this same time, the popularization of the printing press was coming up quickly, and together, this created a phenomenon. Suddenly, books weren’t just for museums, parliament, or the extremely rich. Suddenly, book topics weren’t just limited to important, historical notations. Suddenly, books could tell a story, and be readily available on the mass market for a reasonable price.

Now, the cover was an advertising piece. Something necessary to convince the common consumer to part ways with their hard earned money so that they could read the pages hidden inside. The more expensive the book, the more daunting this task can become. The synopsis plays an important role in cementing the sale, but the imagery on the cover itself becomes so important in even drawing the consumer to pick it up in the first place. Whether it be dramatic in its simplicity, or vibrant and captivating in its detail, your book cover HAS to make the reader want to pick it up.

Your book cover is your initial point of contact and impression, so make sure that you make it a good one. Local designers can be found via writers groups, word of mouth, sites like Kijiji and CraigsList, via colleges of art and design and through various other sources. As always, be sure to ask for a good look at an established portfolio, and that you get a good feel for the designer. You want to be sure that you have made the right choice. Find out what your printer will need in regards to the files, and create.

Don’t believe me that it is that important? For a great perspective from a book reviewer on the importance of a book cover, visit this article.

On a final note, this is one of my favorite comments that I have read in a long time. On this blog, one commenter wrote, “I think the cover should be the first promise to a reader…..” I wholeheartedly agree.

What is formatting?

formating?Formatting is taking your manuscript and changing it so that it is in a print ready format. This is something that you can do yourself, using programs like Adobe inDesign (our recommended program) or MS Word (functional, but not what we recommend).

Programs like inDesign are pricey and can be challenging to use.  To do the formatting yourself you can find tutorials online. You may decide that you would like someone else to do it for you, you can speak with your printer as they will likely either have someone on staff, or some recommendations. You definitely want someone who is a professional designer and who is going to create it in inDesign for you, if you are going to pay for it.

For more information on self publishing, please visit our website