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 Headers

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.


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.


When Should I Do That?

Clients often come in to us with things a bit backwards, and we help them to get everything in order, before they start going to print. So that you can be prepared, and make the most out of your money, here are some common, “When should I do that?” topics. 

get your ducks in a rowEditing
Editing should be done immediately after you have completed your final draft of your manuscript. Before it ever falls into the hands of a formatter or designer, it should have the final edits from your editor. If you take your book to an editor after you have had your book design done, you are going to be paying large amounts of money for changes to your files.

If you are having illustrations done for your book, wait until after your editing is done. Something that is in the book now may not still be there, or you may have decided to change it. You want your book to be in its final form, so that you can be sure that your illustrations will be the final illustrations. This will save you a lot of money, time and headaches.

Design & Format
Design & format should be done at the same time; preferably by the same person, if possible. This should come after editing, and illustrations, but before quoting or proofing. While it is ok to get a price quote for printing before this is done, be prepared to guess at your page count, and to resubmit your specs for pricing, because they will likely be quite different once the files are completed.

Launch Parties & Book Signings
Booking a launch party or book signing before you have your books in hand is literally putting the cart before the horse. Suddenly, you will have a deadline that is urgent ahead of you, which can lead you to rushing your book along. That is a recipe for a book that won’t be as good as it could be. Relax. It took you a long while to write your book, and it is going to take you a long while to go through the motions to have a professional, finished book. Any number of things can arise along the way, so it is best to not put yourself in a position where you will have to call people to cancel your launch. Instead, wait until your books are literally done, and in hand. Then you can go ahead and book a launch for a few weeks or months down the road. You can do all of the preparations for it, and be ready to go, but don’t set the date until you know that you have your books in your possession. This allows for Murphy’s Law to take place, without it causing you any more grief than it has to.

If you are unsure that you are doing things in the right order, give your printer or editor a call, and see what they have to say. They will likely have some good input for you.

How Do I Know if My Book is Ready to Print?

Are-You-Ready-to-Print1We require print ready files to go to print with your book. What does that really mean though?

It would mean that your book is exactly how you would want it to be, if it were to be printed right at this moment. So what does that mean? Here’s a checklist.

 The book interior is formatted to the final print size. ie. If your book is 6 x 9, your interior files are currently set to a 6 x 9 size.

 Your margins are what they should be for print. Margins that are too large will look silly, but margins that are too small put your text body at risk of being chopped in the final manufacturing stage. I recommend 0.75” to 1” for top and bottom margins, 0.50” to 0.75” for left and right margins, and 0.25” for mirror margins.

 You have mirror margins set up. Mirror margins are additional space that is added to what would be the inside edge of your page. This helps to keep your margins looking balanced after binding, and prevents any of your text body from getting sucked into the bind gutter.

 Your font size is the size that you want it to be in printing. We usually recommend between a 10 and 11pt.

 The fonts chosen for all aspects of your book are the fonts that you are committed to. We recommend a serif font for the text body, as it is much easier to read once printed, but larger headings like chapter titles and section headings are completely acceptable in a sans serif font.

 All images that are in your book, and on your cover are 300 dpi at the size that they are printing, and any images that also have text on them are 600 dpi at the size that they are printing.

 All images that are meant to print color are set to CMYK, and, images that are meant to print black and white are set to grayscale.

 All page numbers are correct.

 You have checked the table of contents and index for accuracy since any final changes, and you are confident that the numbers listed are all correct.

 You have double checked to make sure that your pages will all fall on the side that you want them to. A general rule of thumb is that odd pages are right hand pages, and even pages are left hand pages. Don’t go by your page numbers showing on the page to determine whether a page is odd or even, go by the page number listed in the program you are working with.

 You are confident that your content is the final draft, and that there are absolutely no other changes to take place.

 You have a cover designed. Your front and back cover are the correct size, and have a 0.125” bleed around all outside edges. You have confirmed your spine size with your printer, and it is the correct size. You have crop marks in place to show the printer where to cut on your cover, and score marks in place for your spine. (If you need help with this, speak with your printer about getting their assistance, or talk to a graphic designer. This will be a cost added service, if you require assistance).

 You have saved your files as PDFs, you have embedded any fonts and links, or you have packaged all fonts and links up for your printer.

 You have seen a final, printed proof. While this isn’t required, I do always recommend it.

These are the general points that you want to be able to check off, to say, “That is it, I am ready to go.” There is a lot to cover, don’t be afraid to talk with your printer to be sure that you are ready to go when it comes time to print.