Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Indy publishing for dummies part 3- the mechanics of it all...

So, you have your polished manuscript, and you're confident you can find an audience. What do you do now? This is the part of self publishing that separates the men from the boys, after all. Readying a book for print is a daunting task, but our modern world has made it much easier than it once was. Most computers ship with the necessary tools to turn your manuscript into a nice looking book... It's just a matter of learning a thing or two about layout.

Now you could sign up for a learning annex, go to the bookstore and drop a few hundred dollars on 'how to' books, or if you're really desprate pay someone to do it. Or you could do what I did. I picked one of my favorite books off my shelf and did my best to make my manuscript look like it in Word. What I learned is how to make a title page, a copyright page, a dedication page, chapter pages, and everything else. I sat there with a ruler, measuring font sizes and white space until I was confident it looked good.

I know I'm making it sound easy, and that's because it is... If you can make a document in word, you can layout a manuscript. After you've got it looking pretty, you export it as a PDF.

This is where it can get a little tricky... Ideally, you'll be using a Print On Demand service as your publisher, and different sites have different rules about how to submit the files. I chose Createspace for my books, primarily because their package includes a listing for your book on You'll be asked a few things about your book when you start the process, including what size you want your book to be. Before you export the PDF file, it's important to set your page size to match whatever you've told your POD service your book size will be. Again, I picked mine by measuring a book on my shelf I liked the look of. It's also important to set the page settings of your file to "custom postscript" before you create the PDF, or it will default to 8 1/2" x 11". Not good if your book is 6"x9".

Then you upload it (the PDF file) to the publisher's site. You now have an interior for your book! Congratulations! Next up, Cover design...

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