Lots of formatting tips and resources:
I think that most independent authors now recognize the importance of professional cover design when it comes to self-publishing books. But many people still format the interior of their own print books for Createspace or other print on demand services, or pay a fair amount of money to have someone do it for them. The problem with DIY is that it can look unprofessional and while paying a pro is fantastic, if you have a lot of books, it can cost you a lot of money over time. So what’s an indie author to do?
In this interview, Joel Friedlander from TheBookDesigner.com gives us some tips on how to make your book interior professional and avoid the indications of self-publishing, plus he outlines his new Book Design Templates which offer a cost effective way to get a professional product.
Why print is still a great option for self-publishers. For straight text novels, ebooks sell well and don’t require much formatting, but there are a LOT of books that will do better as print. Plus, people still love to buy print so you are missing out on a market if you avoid it. Non-fiction authors who are also speakers need print to sell at the back of the room. Here’s why I have returned to print recently.
We talk about the demise of the big-box bookstores like Borders and possibly Barnes & Noble, and (hopefully) the resurrection of Independent Bookstores and how this will impact authors. Print will survive and hopefully thrive.
Tell-tale signs of amateur book production
People are used to the specific conventions of a book, so you need to pay attention to minutiae in order to format your book interior.
Running heads on chapter opening pages. Getting the styles right in MS Word is difficult and removing these is
Lack of hyphenation in order to make the book fit onto the page better. Big spaces on the lines look horrible and are obviously amateur
Missing pieces e.g. no copyright page or missing front matter like a title page before jumping straight into the content
Page numbering. The odd numbers need to be on the right hand side (I got this wrong in my first book)
Things to remember
The number of pages must be divisible by 2 for print on demand, for offset it should be divisible by 16 for the best quality book at the best price
Margins should be wide enough to look good and font size should be easy to read
The gutter, the middle space, needs to be wide enough so people can open the book and read easily
Fonts should be matched and used together in a visibly pleasing manner. Joel’s pet hate fonts: Comic Sans and Papyrus. Using old style fonts for the text and sans serif for heads and chapter titles. Matching them can be fun (if you aren’t type-challenged like I am!)