In a former blog: “Becoming Your Own Publisher” the book production process, you can find lots of tips and links for your book layout, cover and formatting process. Many new authors are complaining about the pre-print process at CreateSpace, other POD service companies or the printing company they use for larger quantities of paperbacks and books. They are suddenly confronted with fonts, typography, page and other book layout requirements. However, not only for printed books, but also for e-books it is essential to know a bit about the possibilities and rules.
To familiarize yourself with this (often) completely new field, read Joel Friedlander’s beginner
Understanding Fonts & Typography
Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
Joel Friedlander explains the basic building blocks that books are made of, and the typography:
type fonts and they way they are arranged on the page. He says: “There are so many tiny details
and decisions that go into formatting a book that you pretty much have to be someone who enjoys
working on that scale to appreciate book design. It may involve differences of a hundredth of an
inch one way or the other. That’s true for the decisions you make about margins, too.”
He cautions for example that “the “minimum” margin of .25″ that CreateSpace refers to is too small for most books. This margin measurement is meant to create a “safe area” so that nothing on your page is in danger of getting trimmed off.”
Michael N. Marcus explains why book margins are so important: “One of my basic rules of thumb
is that the a book’s outside margins must be large enough to comfortably fit human thumbs without
covering up any text. It’s really annoying to have to constantly re-position pages while reading
through a book.” His blog is another great reading for new author-publishers how book-layout works. He also wrote a great cautionary book “How to NOT Get Screwed by a Self-Publishing Company“.
Want to read and learn more about book design? If you are a writer working with a publisher (large or small) or if you are a small or first time publisher, these books will help you to understand the book production process and the principles of good cover and interior book design.
Book Design and Production
Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
If you would like to get help in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites: We offer all this and more for only $ 179 for 3 months. Learn more about this individual book marketing help: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars
Or visit http://www.e-Book-PR.com/book-promo to advertise your new book, specials or KDP Select Free Days.
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This Is NOT Your Book – Or Is It?
Misspelling, formatting errors, grammar flaws – are self-publisher AND publishing houses not editing anymore? Joel Friedlander wrote a great blog about the the editing process.
What readers / customers say on the Kindle Forum about these issues:
Carol Hannon says:
I, too, have discovered numerous misspelled words, punctuation, hyphenation, special character errors, and missing text in many Kindle books. And I’m not talking the little self-published books, either — I’m talking professionally published books from the major book houses. I have no idea why this is happening, but I’ve left feedback on some books’ pages about the errors. There’s no excuse for it in this electronic age. What I hope is that when these errors are fixed, if they ever are, will Amazon automatically download the revised version since our purchase is on record?
I’ve bought a couple of books that had particularly frequent and glaring errors, hinting at poor OCR* rather than human error. Things like “1” turning up in the middle of a word instead of “l” or “I”, which a human wouldn’t accidentally type. But yes, plenty of poorly proof-read copy in titles that aren’t by big-name authors. Though you do see that in physical books too, especially early editions. Misspellings, funky punctuation, even the old “there/their/they’re” issue…
*OCR = optical character recognition, in case anyone’s not sure what that meant. Basically a computer scanning the page of a physical book/manuscript, recognizing the letters as best it can, and digitizing it.
Santo de Vaca says:
@Carol Hannon: I bought a book with some really terrible formatting issues. In the physical book the first letter of each chapter was elaborately drawn and this didn’t transfer well to the electronic version. They fixed it a few weeks after publication and I had the option of downloading a fixed version of the book, which I did. I’m not sure if this is the norm or not for corrections.
Granny Daisy says:
As an avid reader, I often find errors in print and kindle books. Even in established authors you find misspelled or miss used words, or incomplete sentences. I am beginning to think publishers are saving money by not paying proof readers.
J. Robertson says:
I have found spelling and grammar errors in many paper books as well. So I think its all about the proof reading being done. I have downloaded several “free” books, unfortunately, they were not free of misspellings , missing words, and other errors. I just overlook them since they didn’t cost me anything. I haven’t had that problem with the books I’ve paid for. Guess the old saying is true, ” You get what you pay for”!
What do you think as an author? Should a book be free of grammar and spelling errors, professionally edited and formatted? Well I guess it is a non-brain-er for every author who wants to be seen as a professional and who has already invested months or years into the manuscript.
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Posted by ebooksinternational on February 27, 2012 in comment on posts, googling social, join the conversation, post to public, posting, Publishing
Tags: book editing, copy editing, e-book formatting, editing, formatting, layout, spelling and grammar errors