Coffee table books. Are they a blast from the past? No, actually, folks are still publishing them, and you can, too. Do you have an idea for a coffee table book of poetry and photography? About a specific artist or a place you love? About your local history, or something completely different? With good planning and design, your book could become very successful. [Read more…]
Thinking of POD book publishing? So are we! When we published Book Design Made Simple, we got a good deal for printing both editions at Friesens in Canada. Offset printing cost us about 62% less than print on demand (POD) at Amazon. We also found a book distributor, which has housed our books and handled all of our orders ever since.
But now we’re running low on print books, and we need to decide what to do next. Should we do another offset print run, or switch to POD book publishing? [Read more…]
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…]
If you’re importing a Word index into InDesign, chances are good that the index will import just fine. But what if you get the dreaded “index entries contain invalid characters” error? This happened to one of our readers recently. It’s a tricky issue to resolve since InDesign doesn’t specify which characters are invalid. With a Word index containing hundreds (or thousands!) of entries, how can you find the specific characters causing the issue? [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…]
The InDesign Book feature provides a great way to combine smaller InDesign files into one larger Book file. It’s easy to use, and you’ll find our step-by-step guide to using the Book feature here. But, after using the InDesign Book feature for Book Design Made Simple and numerous other book projects, we’ve discovered that it’s not perfect—so forewarned is forearmed! [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…]