Category: Publishing

Layout and Formatting – Step 6 or the Next Step

Published / by bill / Leave a Comment

This is a topic with varying opinions and I’m not going to cover them all. Instead I’ll just describe the tools I use to prepare my books for publication as print books or ebooks.

My favorite software for print books is Serif PagePlus. At present I’m using version X9 but I have used versions dating back to X4 with success and you can save a lot by purchasing one of the older versions from Amazon. When using PagePlus I create a file for all the front pages and then a separate file for each chapter. Then I create a book file for the entire book. Each chapter is then listed in the book file and a pdf can be completed from the book file.

I have used PagePlus since 2008 and it’s always delivered great pdf documents ready to upload to my printer which is Createspace. There are many other companies that work with self publishers but the service from Createspace has been consistently first rate. Createspace makes it easy to get your book published and distributed worldwide without any fees. You just pay for each book you order as proofs, for book signings, submission to the Library of Congress, etc. Once your book is published it automatically goes into Amazon and they create a fulfillment estore for you. It’s a good, solid system.

To format ebooks I used Microsoft Word because it’s what I have but I’m sure you can use other software programs. It’s easy to format a book even with photos or drawings and there are many instruction books and tutorials to help. I normally upload my ebooks to Kindle because it’s such a large market, however there are other options. One that I like a lot is Smashwords. You can upload your formatted book to them and they will distribute it to many other resellers including iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, etc.

For more information about publishing your own books check out http://booksfor.publishingsimplified.com/ or contact me at bill@positive-imaging.com or 512-217-4803

ISBN – International Standard Book Number

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ISBN is a critical part of publishing a book. The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric book identifier that is assigned to every book to be sold commercially. And, it’s assigned to every edition or variation of a book. For example, if you will be publishing an ebook and paperback version, each one would have a different ISBN.

ISBNs are normally 10 digits or 13 digits. The 10 and 13 digit ISBN are the same except for a 3 digit prefix normally 978 or 979. ISBNs are critical because no commercial reseller will handle a book without it. ISBNs are country specific and in the United States they are issues by R. R. Bowker.

ISBNs can be costly if purchased individually but much less costly if purchased in quantity. Purchasing a single ISBN from R. R. Bowker can cost $125. You can purchase 10 for $250. I purchased 100 for $575, only $5.75 each. They are even less expensive in larger quantities.

For more information about ISBN go to https://www.myidentifiers.com/. Contact me with any questions. Thanks.

Print or eBook?

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Another step in publishing a book is to determine if it will be an ebook or a print book. I believe the best decision is to do both. Today most self published authors publish ebooks because it seems simpler and much less costly. If you know the steps involved it’s not really simpler and the cost is only more after the book is published.

Some still believe that print books are dead, replaced by digital ebooks in various versions but that’s untrue. Print books are alive and well and experiencing somewhat of a resurgence. I always publish both ebooks and print versions of my books and those of other authors. Usually I create the manuscript for the ebook version because the Word document is perfect for either Kindle or Smashwords. Then I use the manuscript to copy and paste into my publishing software.

While there are many options for publishing software, and you can use Word for this purpose, I prefer to use Serif PagePlus. I started using version X4 and am now on X9 and it’s still my favorite.

For those interested in self publishing or as I call it, independent publishing, I’ve written two books and you can check them out at http://booksfor.publishingsimplified.com/. Contact me at bill@positive-imaging.com with any questions. Thanks.

Step Three – Designing the Book

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There are many ways to design a book and many opinions on what looks best and what’s right and wrong. I always try to keep things as simple as possible and work to make the interior of the book look good while still being easy to read.

When I published my first book I had little experience in design so I decided the best way to learn was to go to a local bookstore and study books on the shelf. I looked at many genres and learned that it was difficult to find two book alike. Design seemed to be a matter of choice and opinion. I advanced my research to finding the designs that I really liked and then I studied how I could improve them and make them mine.

One of the things I noticed and found troubling was that many books had quite narrow margins next to the spine of the book. This made the book difficult to read plus you almost had to damage the spine to read comfortably. The second thing I noticed was that some fonts were much too small. The only reason I see for the tiny font is reducing the number of pages. Within reason this may work but if the font gets too small to read comfortably it’s not a good idea.

I even saw several books where the design involved a very narrow margin at the spine but a large and generous margin at the outside edge. This may be considered an attractive design but I didn’t care for it and have never used it on any of my books.

My method is to allow adequate white space, a large enough font, and sufficient room at the spine to make the book comfortable to read.

As to fonts, there are plenty of design articles to provide information for a good choice. If in doubt I would format several pages with different fonts and then print them and select the one that seems best.

There is much more to learn about design and you might even consider hiring a book designer if you are unsure how to proceed.

Publishing – Step Two – The Title

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I like to determine the best possible title for the book as soon as possible. Often the author already has a title in mind. We need to spend time discussing the title to make certain that it peaks the interest of potential readers enough so they open the book or just look inside online.

The length of the title and font size are critical. Too long a title with a small font will be unreadable as an Amazon thumbnail. Even on the small size online the title should be clear and large enough to read and understand.

A good title can sell books so it’s important to take time to develop the best title for the book.

Publishing – Step One

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As an independent publisher my first step when publishing a book for any other author is to conduct a consultation to learn about the book and the author. I especially want to know the author’s expectations for the book. If you are going to publish your book, the same step applies. It won’t be in the form of a consultation but you definitely want to set your expectations. Most of the time the desire may be to have a best selling book, but not always. Sometimes an author just wishes to share memories, skills, or experiences with family and friends and perhaps anyone else who may be interested.

The more you know about your book and your expectations the more likely you are to succeed with your book.

If your goal is just to share, then numbers may not be as important but you still need to identify your readers. If your goal is to sell as many books as possible, you must know your readers if you are to reach them with a message about your book so they can become buyers. This is a critical and time consuming process that is essential to the financial success of any book. There are many good books on the subject of book promotion, marketing, and sales and many methods. Most of them have merit but there are no guarantees. You may have to explore many possibilities before finding one that works for your book.

Publishing or Printing – Part Two

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In the previous post I explained printing. In this post I will outline all the steps involved in publishing a print book and the future posts will explain each step in detail.

Step One – This involves consultation with the author to determine his or her goals for the book and the readiness of the manuscript.

Step Two – Determine the best possible title for the book if the author hasn’t already completed that step.

Step Three – Preparing the design of the book including the size, fonts, and many other things.

Step Four – Deciding if the book will be just a print book or also a digital version.

Step Five – Assigning an ISBN to the book.

Step Six – Format and layout the book in preparation for printing

Step Seven – Decide on the cover design, both front and back.

Step Eight – Create files to upload to the printer.

Step Nine – Upload all the completed files to the printer for review.

Step Ten – Review the online proof and then order a proof copy to check it out in print form.

Step Eleven – Make any corrections and resubmit for a second proof.

Step Twelve – Publish your book for worldwide distribution.

As you can see, printing is just one small part of the publishing process. And, this list doesn’t include one of the most important aspects of publishing a book for sale and that is promotion and marketing. This is a subject on to itself and is critical to the financial success of any book. These posts will only touch on this topic since not everyone publishes for profit.

Check back for more posts covering each step in complete detail.

Special Publishing Offer Open Until October 31, 2016!

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PositiveBooks, an imprint of Positive Imaging, LLC, now offers a special price for a complete basic publishing package for both print and digital formats. Until October 31, 2016 only, complete publishing with worldwide distribution including Amazon, Kindle, iTunes, Nook, Kobo, Sony, and Flipkart for only:

specialprice

Complete details at http://independent.publishingsimplified.com/. Got questions? Email Bill Benitez at bill@positive-imaging.com or call him at 512.217.4803.

Operating a Publishing Company

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My book Self Publishing: Writing a Book and Publishing Books and eBooks For Yourself and Others is a concise and easy to use guide to help anyone successfully publish their own book. One chapter also explains how to operate a publishing business that publish books and ebooks for other authors. Using that information I have published nine books for other authors so I know the information is accurate. However, I have also come to learn that sometimes publishing a book or ebook for someone else can be quite difficult and troublesome.

After completing the last two books for others I’ve decided that this is not the kind of work I wish to do. I have changed my business plan so I only provide self publishing one-on-one consultation, coaching, and even concise, specially created tutorials for all aspects of self publishing but I no longer take on the task of handling the publishing of anyone’s book or ebook.

I really enjoy writing and publishing my books and I prefer to not do work that I don’t really enjoy. Since I like to teach others, I will limit the activities of my business to writing, self publishing, and teaching others how to do the same. I know that I will cover this in detail when I publish the updated edition of my book next year.

New Woodworking Book To Be Published June 1

Published / by bill / 1 Comment on New Woodworking Book To Be Published June 1

Biscuit Joiner: A Woodworker’s How-To Guide To Biscuit Joinery, my new book for woodworkers is available now at: http://biscuitjoiner.woodworking-business.com/ .  It is also available at Amazon and at bookstores for $19.95 plus shipping.

Biscuit Joiner How-To BookThe book was published by Positive Imaging, LLC and includes complete instructions on using Biscuit Joiners to built quality cabinets and furniture easier, faster, and more profitable.

There are photos and descriptions of many projects built using a Biscuit Joiner, drawings of all the joints that can be made easily with the Biscuit Joiner and exactly how to make all of those joints.

Biscuit Joiner: A Woodworker’s How-To Guide To Biscuit Joinery also includes four complete project plans with photo, drawings, and instructions to help you practice using the Biscuit Joiner.

The projects plans are perfect to build for family and friends. The chair and table are the perfect size for kids. I built several of them for my grandchildren.  Get complete information now at: http://biscuitjoiner.woodworking-business.com/ .


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