Recently we’ve been asked how to import an Excel spreadsheet into InDesign. In Book Design Made Simple we walk you through importing tables from Word, but importing a spreadsheet from Excel is a bit different so we’ll walk you through it here. And, because spreadsheets and tables rarely import into InDesign looking like they did in Excel and Word, we’ll give you a few tips on the easiest way to get started. [Read more…]
Last fall and winter, we entered Book Design Made Simple in some independent publishing book award contests. In mid-April, we got word that our book had won gold at the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards. Nine days later, we won another gold medal, this time at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
Dear reader, let me repeat something that you’ve probably heard before: Nobody likes a poorly written book. It doesn’t matter if the message of the book is valid or even excellent or groundbreaking. If it is not well written and constructed, people will not read it.
So please get yourself an editor. Try to find one who has experience in your general topic (science or romance, for instance), or in your form of writing (short stories, screenplay, novel). Ask for samples of work they have edited. Naturally the pieces should be readable and error-free. You’ll find editorial resources at the end of this article. [Read more…]
For some reason I never fully noticed this before. But when I helped out at two book sale events this past fall, it became all too clear: People love dogs more than anything else. Dogs are cute. Dogs attract. Dogs are cuddly and lovable. Dogs rule. [Read more…]
Have you ever tried to typeset any kind of math and driven yourself almost mad? And have you ended up setting each part of the equation in a different type frame, then piecing it all together and grouping it? I confess that I have done both. But with a little perseverance I figured out a way to do it properly in InDesign, and I’m hoping that this article will prevent you from suffering as long and as hard as I did. [Read more…]
In Book Design Made Simple, we have given you samples and instructions that serve as foundations for your own book designs. And if you follow them, you can be certain that you have produced something very good. But are you confident about your work? Do you think it looks good? Do you wonder if anyone else will think it’s good? Do you worry that if you come up with ideas of your own they might be “bad”? [Read more…]
In Book Design Made Simple, we mention cookbooks a few times but never sit you down and explain in detail how to go about designing one. Once you’ve had some experience with designing and laying out other books, you’ll see at once that you’ll need to apply some extra effort to make a good-looking, readable cookbook. [Read more…]
How can you determine whether an image file is high enough resolution to use in your book? That’s a question I get asked all the time! Images should be at least 300 ppi (pixels per inch) at the size they’ll be printed at— and that’s where most people need help. How do you figure out the size of an image, and whether or not it’s suitable for printing? [Read more…]
Have you ever tried to add an image on your screen to your printed materials? And noticed that it looked terrible in print—all blurry and pixelated? We had the same problem! Our book has a lot of screen shots in it. We mean a LOT. We use them mostly to show you InDesign dialog boxes—each view of the screen saves many words. [Read more…]
Practically every author thinks and wonders about this a lot. How do people come up with just the right price for their books? Well, maybe the prices that are printed on their books are not actually working for them, and that might be because they used the stab-in-the-dark method of pricing. Let’s see if we can figure out the best, most rational, price for your book.
There are two main factors at work here. One is to set a price that is comparable to similar books. And the other is to set one that will give you enough returns to pay your expenses. [Read more…]