Though sometimes confused with titles, headers are actually the type that is at the very top of the page, often justified to the left or right, depending on which side the page falls on. You can easily set headers in Microsoft word, and you can even have different odd and even ones, as well as a different first page. With that being said, you can not have your headers change throughout the book (ie. When a new chapter starts) and you can not have some of the pages not have headers. If you are wanting different headers for each chapter, or blank headers for your title page, table of contents, etc, I will suggest creating those sections separately, and then putting them all together once you have PDF’d the files. 1. Select the Page Layout tab 2. Click on Header 3. Go all of the way to the bottom of the list, and select Edit Header. You will now find yourself in your header. 4. Select different first page, and different odd and even pages, if you want them, at this point. We recommend that you select different odd and even pages. See step 6 for more information. If you choose different first page, be sure to create your odd page header on page 3, instead of page 1. 5. Adjust the spacing for your header. You may want to play around with this a bit, to find the right distance to allow for your current margin settings. You may also find that you need to readjust your margins at this point to allow room for headers. We do not suggest any spacing for your header smaller than 0.25” 6. Choose your orientation of where your header should fall on the page now. We suggest different odd and even headers so that you can have odd page headers fall on the right side of the page, and even page headers fall on the right. This will prevent your header from getting lost in the gutter. If you do choose to have them the same on every page, your best bet is to have them be centered on the page. To choose the orientation, click into your header, and then go to the home tab. 7. Select your text size, color and font now. I suggest doing it in a slightly smaller font, and perhaps changing the color to a darker grey. It makes it less predominant on the page. 8. Put in your text now. If you have different odd and even pages, you will have to repeat steps 6 & 7 on the next page. 9. Double click on the center of the page, and you will return to your normal text body.
This is definitely about more than purchasing a library card. We've discussed this topic before on this blog, but, previously, we really only scratched the surface. It is a great idea to get your books into libraries. It's a good way to get your book known, to get people talking about you, and to also do your part to help your local library. Of course, there are right ways to go about this, and there are wrong ways. I could try to explain it all, but I don't think that I could do as good of a job as long time librarian, Marlene Harris. Lindsay Buroker, of www.lindsayburoker.com, interviewed Marlene, and posted this amazing article to her site back in February of this year. Please check out the article below, and get some great advice from someone who is really in the know. Check out the blog here.
They 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.
Before you make your final decision on who will get to print your book, there are some very important questions that everyone should ask. Watch the video below to hear some words of wisdom from our President and CEO, Kevin Lanuke, and then click here to get the 11 Good Questions download. For more information on self publishing, visit our website. We will return to our Make Library and Archives Your Friend series next week, when we discuss copyright.
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
When it comes to paper types, it really will seem that the options are endless. The first decision that you need to make is whether or not you want white or natural. There are a lot of shades of white and natural out there, so be prepared. Your next decision will be whether having a recycled stock matters to you. Many stocks contain a percentage of post consumer waste, so don’t be afraid to ask about the papers that your printer has. I will warn you though, 100% recycled stocks tend to have visible fibers in them, and they also will run you a higher bill at the end of the day. Now, to enlarge the topic even further, there is also the option of using FSC certified stock in your book. FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. They work with companies that promote responsible forestry, and anyone who works with them must adhere to certain standards in order to maintain their certification as a partner of FSC. The FSC actually does yearly audits to ensure that their standards are actually being upheld as well. If you use all FSC stocks, you can have one of the FSC logos on your back cover, as well as on your copyright page, if you would like. Many people choose to do this in an effort to show that their book was created in an ecologically conscious manner. If you do want to go the FSC route, you will need to find a FSC Certified printer, and you will need to discuss this with your representative right away. It does limit your paper choices. So now you know, what color of paper do I want, and do I want an Eco stock. From there, you can move forward. Ask your rep for their opinion. Tell them what things matter to you, and what attributes you are looking for. If you want a really opaque stock, they can help you to find it. If, at the end of the day, all that you want is a white stock, and you don’t really care otherwise, ask them for a sample of their white floor stock. If you like it, this will likely be your most cost effective choice. If you have a very specific want or need for paper, find a sample of what it is that you are looking for, like in a book with that stock, and show it to your rep. It is best going to help them to find the best paper to meet your needs. With that being said, if you have a really unique stock that you are loving, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket with it. Unfortunately, really unique stocks either have to be ordered from the mills in huge quantities of paper, or they don’t bind well. If you are after something unique, try to be open minded, and have a few different options in mind. I personally really enjoy 50# or 60# interior stocks and a weight of about 10pt or 12pt for the cover. If they are going to be printing inside of their cover, I recommend a 100# Matte Cover stock to my clients. For more information on self publishing, please visit our website
The important factor in this question is, for me. You have to find the right fit for your needs and requirements, beyond who fits your print run needs. For instance, CreateSpace and Lightening Source essentially meet the same function, printing one or two books at a time. However, CreateSpace doesn’t have anyone that you can talk to. Literally. All that you can do is send an email, and wait for a response. There is no way to just pick up a phone, give a ring, and get someone to chat with if you have a question. Lightening Source, however, has great folks who will answer your call, or give you a ring back at least, and talk with you one on one. That being said, they don’t want to hear your story, they want to hear what they can help you with. They are used to dealing with distributors, and the likes, so they expect the professionalism level to be up there. With that being said, they will be more than happy to answer your questions and clear up any confusion or concern that you may be having. CreateSpace may be just what you are wanting though! Not having to talk with someone isn’t a bad thing for everyone! Chances are though, one of the two is going to be a better fit for your needs. When it comes to short run POD or offset, though, you will more than likely get human contact. Make an appointment if you can, sit down with them and see what they have to offer. Ask them all of your questions, ask to see the samples that you want to see. If you can’t make it there in person, ask them if you can make an appointment with them for a phone call. Ask the questions, and get to know who you are dealing with. I say make an appointment for this, because it allows us to set away time to talk to you, where nothing else is pressing in on that time. If you just call up, we may not be able to give you all of the time that you need at that moment, because we may be in the midst of dealing with something for another client. I know that for myself, personally, I always try to give my clients as much time and attention as they need, but that’s not always completely possible. An appointment for that initial call definitely allows me the time to really settle in and focus on your needs. With that being said, if you are having a code red scenario, or need an answer to a question right away, then call in! After these discussions, you will know who is the right fit for you. Gauge your comfort level, your confidence in them, and if they made you feel like your questions were answered. If not, it doesn’t mean that they are a bad company, it may just mean that they aren’t the right fit for you! In the end, get quotes, ask questions, and really educate yourself. You’ll be thankful for it when all is said and done. If you want to see samples, make an appointment and come in. If you can’t, then you can ask for samples to be sent to you. Don’t be surprised though, if they say that they can’t send samples of the books. Many of us out there retain no rights or ownership to your book (make sure that you find a printer with that policy!!) so we can’t really send you a sample, because we don’t have the right to. With that being said, if that is the case, ask the printer if you can send them in a page or two for them to print up a sample for you. There may or may not be a cost associated with this, depending on the printer your are working with, and the number of pages that you want in your sample. Ask, and ye shall receive! For more information on publishing your book, visit our website
Blitzprint of course! No, I am just kidding. We may be the right fit for you, we may not be. It all depends on what your needs are. If you want to be able to print one book at a time, then you need to go with that kind of POD (print on demand) printer. For these scenarios, I would suggest checking out Lightening Source or CreateSpace. With both of them, you register your book through them, send them VERY specific files, and then they list you online with their various sources. Really make sure that you research this to be sure that it is right for you. For instance, CreateSpace lists you on Amazon.com once you are working with them. That being said, you can achieve the same thing with Amazon Advantage. Figure out what is right for you. Also, as fair warning, with these kinds of book printers, there is no guarantee on the colors on and in your book. Every time that you print, you can almost guarantee a 5% variance on your colors. It is hardly noticeable at 5% and under, but it is there. At places where someone is printing larger runs of your books, they should be watching to ensure that your color doesn’t vary more than that 5%. There really isn’t someone there doing that for you in these scenarios. Basically, you have strict file restrictions when you submit to them, because the book essentially has to fit a certain criteria. The reason for this is that, when they get in 700 orders that day, all of these books need to fit together into categories, so that they can all be printed together, at once. This is what keeps their cost down, it now cost them per unit the cost to print 700 books, which is way lower than the cost per unit to print 1 book. With all of those books going through, there isn’t really a person holding up the last copy of your book and saying, hmmm, I don’t think that this color is going to be acceptable to the author. These books would also be printed digitally, just as an FYI. Also, these books would be being turned around in a day or two, typically. Last, but not least, your cost per unit with these types of companies doesn’t go up or down much with quantity changes. The price will usually be pretty close to the same the whole way through. If you are printing between, I would say 25 and 1,000 books, your best fit really is a company like Blitzprint. We are called short run POD printers. At this range, we are still printing books digitally. Don’t let that scare you. I can’t speak for other companies, but I can for ours, and we have some pretty amazing machines that produce some of the most beautiful colors and printing that I have ever seen. This is definitely the sweet spot for most self published authors, because they can get usable quantities at reasonable prices, and in a reasonable timeline. I know that for us, our standard timeline is 12-20 business days after proof approval, plus any shipping time. The sweet spot for printing with a short run POD printer is usually between 100 and 500 quantity. This is where you will notice your cost per unit going down the most when you add books. There are no price break points in this type of printing. Every time you add a book to the quantity of your order, your price per unit will go down. Depending on how many books you add to your order, the price could be a couple of cents (deciding you want 101 books, not 100) to a dollar or more (deciding that you want 500 books, not 100). Also, in this type of printing, we typically don’t need, or want, for that matter, your book to come to us in signatures. What that means is, in most perfect bound book scenarios, as long as you have an even number of pages, then we will be able to print it. At around 1,000 books, typically, sometimes less, sometimes more, we will suggest that you go to see an offset printer. Offset is traditional printing, with a press and inks. These books take a little longer to get, need to be set up in specific ways with signatures, and have to be done in large quantities. With that being said, if you are looking for large quantities, or have a specific color need, there really is no other way to go. With offset you can print specific colors called Pantones, you can do metallics, foiling, embossing, debossing, etc! Realistically, when it comes to offset the sky (and your wallet!) is the limit. However, if you aren’t up there in the quantities, it probably isn’t worth it. It may look pretty to have all of those fore mentioned things on your cover, but I promise you that no one is going to look at your book and say, “No metallic on the cover? I’m moving on!”. If you don’t want to print over 1000 books, but do have specific color needs that may need to be met via offset, talk to your short run POD printer, and see what your options are for getting a few thousand of your cover preprinted, so that they can just be bound to the freshly printed interiors every time that you have an order. If you are going to go this route, though, you had better LOVE your cover, because you are going to be stuck with it, as it is, for a while. If you are going the large run offset route, I strongly recommend checking out both Friesen’s and Houghton Boston here in Canada. Not only are they local companies, so you are supporting your country’s economy, but they are really great to work with. I can say that confidently, because my clients have told me so! Also, with these types of printers they work with things call price breaks. What this means, essentially, is that between X number of books, and Y number of books, you are going to be paying pretty much the same amount. Make sure to ask them about price breaks. For more information on self publishing, please visit our website.
For your first run of books, I wouldn’t recommend printing a large run. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, everyone has mistakes in their first editions. Even the people who got it professionally edited and were published. Go grab any first edition and give it a read, you’ll see what I mean! For some it is a simple scenario where they just ask for a couple of changes to be made on their file for the next run. For others it becomes a situation where they have to replace paragraphs, pages, chapters, illustrations, diagrams etc. You don’t want 10,000 dust collectors in your garage that you can go and look at when you feel like shedding a tear! The other large reason is that you need to figure out your market. You can make predictions, and do a ton of research, but until you are actually out there, in the selling game, it is really hard to determine how many books you are really going to sell. Also, like all things, when you start to sell, typically your momentum will start out a little slow, as you get into the groove of things, get your contacts set up, etc. If you have a large number of books, chances are, you are going to have to store them in your garage, basement etc. You don’t want to keep books for an extended amount of time in an area with large fluctuations in temperature, humidity, or barometric pressure. That is just a good way to ruin a good book. A large run would be anything over 1000, typically. I would recommend between 50 and 250 for a first run. For more information on self publishing, please visit our website.
The most common discussion that I see on a lot of forums is the one where people are battling back and forth on whether or not eBooks will be the death of the printed word. You tend to have the two sides, opposing each other with all of their might. In the blue corner, carrying an e-reader, weighing in at an average of about 10 ounces, and a height of around 5”, the Electroninator. In the red corner, carrying a dusty tome, with an average weight of 12 ounces and a height of around 8.5”, we have the Old Schooler. It’s a heated battle in the blogosphere. eBook fanatics argue that convenience, space saving and social awareness of the carbon footprint will make printed books obsolete. They argue that printed books have declined in popularity between 1.5% & 5% (depending on which source you read) this year, while eBooks have gained about a 14% to 20% (again, depending on your source) boost in popularity. To some, this clearly means that the death of the printed book is imminent. Printed book fans argue that tradition will win over technology, and that the eBook reader is just a fad that will fade out in the way of the dodo or Beta player. The look, smell and feel of a book will trump convenience every time for these folks. eBooks are here to stay. They are a great idea, and they really are convenient and compact. We are definitely moving into a more technical age, and this is an undoubted reality. However, there will always be a call for printed books as well. I can see the market becoming 50% or 60% eBooks, and 50% or 40% printed books in the next 5-10 years. This doesn’t mean the death of the printed word. It means that it is time to adapt and change our way of thinking. Sure, you can pay $2 a book if you get a few thousand printed, but does that really help the bottom line at the end of the day? Not if you have a couple thousand sitting around the house for several years. It’s time to be smart about how you promote and market your book. Get a good editor, have a quality manuscript, get it professionally formatted, produce a great eBook, and print yourself a couple hundred books at a time. Keep your overhead down, and cater to both markets in the smartest way possible. It’s not time to light the funeral pyre. It’s just time to take a different road on the path to success.