Every book has front matter elements. A title page and a copyright page are absolutely essential. But many manuscripts have arrived at our desks with a jumble of other pages that are misnamed, out of order, or sometimes simply puzzling. So I’m going to straighten this out for all you indie authors and publishers, because a professional-looking front matter is the best beginning for any book. [Read more…]
I used to think that a copyright page didn’t really need cataloging-in-publication (CIP) data in order to be complete. But I was wrong.
But wait—what is CIP data? It’s the block of information on a book’s copyright page that resembles a library catalog entry, like the one shown here. If the Library of Congress created it, it’s called CIP data. If a private cataloging service created it, it’s called PCIP (Publisher’s CIP) data. Since they look basically the same on the page, I’ll simply refer to both as CIP data for our purposes. [Read more…]
What the heck is a text variable, anyway? It’s copy that you can add anywhere in your document—but it varies depending on the context. For instance, you could set up your document to automatically insert the current date in a header. Or if you need to send readers to the last page, a text variable will automatically update the page number reference if you add or delete pages later.
Now think how useful text variables could be as navigational tools (i.e., running heads) in a nonfiction book. They can make the current chapter number and chapter title appear—presto!—on verso pages and the most recent internal heading appear on recto pages. And that’s exactly what I’m going to demonstrate in this article. Adobe’s official user guide instructions on the topic of text variables are a bit sketchy, so I’ve developed a detailed lesson for you. [Read more…]
Do you use a layout grid? A few months ago, I saw a survey on Twitter for designers. The one multiple choice question went something like this:
- I always use a layout grid.
- I sometimes use a layout grid.
- What’s a layout grid?
I had to laugh, but then I began thinking that some of our readers could benefit from learning about this topic. [Read more…]
A book is a wonderful thing! But of course it’s not much good unless people read it, and to make that happen, sometimes you need to go beyond social media and word of mouth. Printed book promotion materials can help you do that, so in this article we hope to help you find just the right combination of giveaways for your book.
One of the advantages of doing your own book design and typesetting is that you can also produce your own book promotion materials. To reduce the learning curve for you, InDesign Secrets offers free Adobe InDesign templates for all kinds of publications.
Three years ago this month, the first edition of Book Design Made Simple rolled off the press. We expected book sales to start strong and increase immediately, but that didn’t happen. In this article we share with you our successes and failures, how plans can go awry, and about winging it. We hope you can skip some of the book marketing mistakes we made and go straight to success with your book as a self-published author. [Read more…]
Need an author website? Websites (including blogs) may be the most prevalent marketing medium these days, but the process of setting one up is still a complete mystery to most. When I teach self-publishing workshops and mention the necessity of having an author website, panic always ensues.
In this blog post, Fiona and I will explain what you need to know about author websites, how to set yours up, what costs to expect, and how to maintain it. After explaining all your options, we’ll also tell you exactly how we set up this website. Click here if you want to skip directly to that section. [Read more…]
Have you written a self-help book, DIY book, user manual, training book, or some other book that is full of advice? If so, don’t stop when it’s published. In fact, even before you start writing, make plans to use your book to build business. [Read more…]
You can save a lot of time using InDesign keyboard shortcuts. Many users find that they work faster on their keyboard than with their mouse or trackpad. Does that sound like you? Read on to learn how to use this very handy function for applying styles in InDesign. [Read more…]
Some people say that the first page is the most important one in any book—and that is probably true as a means for hooking a reader. Others say that the cover is the most important. But I contend that the copyright page wins the prize because it’s probably the first page that a librarian, bookseller, or distributor looks at. And that makes it an integral part of your book marketing program.
Many self-publishing authors find the copyright page to be horribly confusing. All that legal language! All those numbers! What does it all mean? [Read more…]