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7 Book Layout Errors You Will Want to Avoid

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Joel Friedlander wrote a great article “7 Formatting Errors That Make Your Book Look Unprofessional”, helping self-publishing authors to get to know the in- and outs of book layout. This is not the only useful post, a whole cornucopia of advice for authors who want to create print books can be found on www.TheBookDesigner.com, Joel’s website.  He asks: “Although our books may be self-published, we sure don’t want them to look sub-par, do we?”

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Books Should Look Like from Traditional Publishers

Writers certainly try to launch their books without the long delays or the uncertainty if they get a traditional publisher contract. The best way to have a great book layout is through a professional.  However, some authors don’t want to use a book lay-outer, or don’t want to fork out the costs involved.  Another way to solve a lot of these print book formatting problems while also getting a well-designed, industry-standard book, is to use a book template.  Joel Friedlander created this fantastic solution. Find out more and see the available designs at: BookDesignTemplates.com.

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More and more writers are taking advantage of the new tools of Print-on-Demand and create and publish their own books.  Authors becoming “do-it-yourself” book lay-outers need to avoid an amateurish look of their books.
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Joel Friedlanders List of Errors to Avoid
“Some of the errors I see when reviewing self-published books are very easy to correct, if you only know how:”

  1. Putting page numbers on blank pages.
    Blank pages have no text or images on them, and that means they should be truly blank.
  2. Using running heads on chapter opening pages or blank pages.
    Just like page numbers, running heads (the type at the top of a page that shows the book title, author name, or chapter title) have no place on a blank page, just leave them off so the pages are truly blank.
  3. Using “rag-right” typesetting.
    This means that the left and right margins of your page are straight and all lines except the last line in a paragraph are all the same length. This is what your readers expect to see in your book, so make sure you give it to them.
  4. Double spacing between sentences.
    Only one space between sentences.
  5. Using both indented AND block style spaces between paragraphs.
    If you add spaces between your paragraphs, make sure you don’t also indent the first line.
  6. Putting the odd numbered pages on the left.
    When you open a book, it just makes sense that the first page is page number 1, and that has to be a right-hand page. This rule is absolute, and you should never, ever number your pages with even numbers on right-hand pages.
  7. Making super small margins to save pages.
    CreateSpace and other print-on-demand services charge based on number of pages. But that’s no reason to shortchange your readers by making your page margins too small just to save money. Small margins will make your book hard to hold and difficult to read, never a good result.

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He adds: “Paying attention to these details of book formatting will help ensure that your books look and work the way they are supposed to. Your readers will thank you for that, and it’s your readers you should keep in mind throughout the publishing process.”

My advice:  Just visit a bookstore and browse through traditional book titles, or check out the first pages of Amazon print books and you will likely not find any of these seven errors listed by Joel Friedlander. Making it right from the beginning will save you an amazing amount of time and frustration, and your reputation as a self-publisher.
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Understanding Fonts & Typography
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/understanding-fonts-typography/

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/08/book-layouts-page-margins/

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If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are more than 1,100 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.
Thanks a lot for following:

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http://www.e-Book-PR.com/
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Secret of Great Book Cover Design and Layout

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Book-Design

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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.
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To familiarize yourself with this (often) completely new field, read Joel Friedlander’s beginner
articles

Understanding Fonts & Typography
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/understanding-fonts-typography/

Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2013/08/book-layouts-page-margins/
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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.”
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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“.
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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
http://www.amazon.com/Book-Design-Production-Pete-Masterson/dp/0966981901

Basics Design Layout, 2nd edition
http://www.amazon.com/Basics-Design-02-Layout-Second/dp/2940411492/

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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.

Please check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 900 of them : ) – if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and to StumpleUpon.

Thanks a lot for following:

@111publishing
http://on.fb.me/TvqDaK
http://bit.ly/VmtVAS 111Publishing @ Google+

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How Publishing works – Part 1

New self-publishers are often confused about how the editorial process works. They want to know what takes place at each stage of their book’s development. It seems that if you have a map, it’s easier to understand where you are on the road to getting your book into print. Let’s take a look at the stages through which your book moves.

Although you are anxious to see your book in print, you realize you will have to go through a process to make sure you’ve created the best product you can for your particular market and the goals you’ve set for your book.

Keep in mind that the entire editorial process may be long, extending from before the completion of the manuscript through proofreading of the final page proofs. Self-publishers need to understand the whole process so they can hire people with the specific expertise needed to complete their project. This schematic is intended to be a simple and helpful “map” to the journey of your book from manuscript to printed books.

Manuscript: Developmental Editing
Before you even finish your book, perhaps before it’s more than an outline, a sample and an idea, you may start the editorial process. The first kind of editing you will encounter is developmental editing. Developmental editing, as the name implies, helps develop the author’s concept, the scope of the book, the intended audience, even the way elements of the book are arranged. The relationship between author and developmental editor is intimate, and their work is something of a collaboration.

It can require a great deal of time, as the author responds to the editor’s suggestions, and may require a good deal of patience and tact, since the editor may be instrumental in helping to shape the final work. Developmental editing can be assigned to specific editors, or some of these functions may be done by either the author’s agent or an acquisitions editor at a publisher. Self-publishers who make use of this type of editing will hire freelance editors to help with the development of their project.

Manuscript: Copy Editing
When the author and developmental editor have finished organizing the manuscript, and the editor considers it complete and ready to take the next step, it will go to a Copyeditor. Copyediting is accomplished by editors who examine the manuscript line by line, word by word. It takes people who are meticulous, excellent at spotting errors, and who mostly don’t mind working without interference or accolades from the world outside.

Copyeditors have vast knowledge of English vocabulary and usage, command over style resources such as the Chicago Manual of Style or other style guides in use at the publishing house. In reviewing the manuscript, they will be paying attention to and correcting:

  • Punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and grammar
  • Errors in word usage
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Consistency in treatment of material
  • Adherence to establish standards of style and formatting
    Ambiguity, incorrect statements, lapses in logic, libelous comments, etc.
  • Accuracy and completeness of citations, references, notes, tables, figures and charts

When the copyeditor has finished her work, the manuscript goes back to the author for clarification of any remaining open questions, and then the changes are input into the manuscript.

Manuscript to Book Page Proofs: Production Editor
The manuscript is next routed to a Production Editor who will be responsible for the entire production process:

  • Scheduling the project and tracking its progress
  • Hiring and coordinating the work of the book designers, illustrators, indexers, proofreaders
  • Getting estimates from printers or print brokers for the physical production of the book
  • Making sure the books are properly printed and delivered on time.

Proofreading
The last stage in the editorial process is proofreading the book. This step can be easily overlooked in self-published books, to their detriment. The proofreader is the last guardian of the publisher’s reputation for accuracy and care, the protector of the author’s reputation for diligence, and sometimes the least noticed professional to handle the book in its journey. Proofreaders examine the book’s complete and final pages for more than typographical errors, although that’s a big part of the proofreading job. In addition they will be on the lookout for:

  • Inconsistent line, word, or page spacing
  • Mis-numbered list items and mislabeled captions
  • Improper word breaks
  • Page break problems like widows and orphans
  • Irregularities in the use of the books type fonts
  • Accurate and consistent page headers, footers and page numbers
  • Accuracy and completeness of tables, figures, charts, and graphs
  • Consistent use of abbreviations and acronyms

The End of the Line
When the proofreader is finished with their work, the book is corrected for the last time. Once the pages are set, the final page proofs can be sent to an indexer, if one is being used on the project, and the book will be ready to go to press.

Re-blogged in part from Joel Friedlanders article in http://www.thebookdesigner.com a great resource for writers and self-publishers. He is a fantastic teacher of everything book design, typography and book marketing, just to name a few.

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