Below are links to websites we’ve found very helpful, and hopefully they’ll come in handy for you while you’re designing your book. These websites provide useful information, and many include blogs and newsletters you can subscribe to. This list is a work in progress, and new links are added as we discover them.
- bar codes
- book printers
- CIP data
- design inspiration
- digital files (transfer and storage)
- ebook conversion
- images (stock photography)
- InDesign (tips, tutorials, and plug-ins)
- typesetting and typography
- websites for authors
Create Bar Codes – download a high-resolution EAN Bookland bar code for $10 USD
These blogs are written for book designers, authors, and self-publishers, and contain lots of useful information. You can join their mailing lists to receive updates.
Book Design Made Simple – in case you haven’t discovered our blog yet!
Fiona Raven Book Design – lots of info on book design, page layout, and self-publishing issues such as ISBNs.
The Book Designer – Joel Friedlander’s blog contains hundreds of posts about every aspect of writing and publishing books. An excellent resource!
The Creative Penn – Joanna Penn shares her self-publishing journey with articles, videos, and audio about writing and creativity, publishing options, book marketing, and being a creative entrepreneur.
1106 Design – Michele DeFilippo is a book designer, but her blog is about so much more, including self-publishing, book marketing, and printing.
Jane Friedman – blogs about writing and publishing in the digital age, and keeps up with the rapid transformation in the publishing industry.
Book printers: digital, offset, POD
Bookmasters – offers short run printing (minimum 100 copies) plus a variety of services including storage and fulfillment, marketing and an online bookstore.
BookMobile – offers digital printing for trade paperbacks, hardcover books and full-color illustrated books.
Edition One Books – offers printing and binding for art and photography books, color coffee table books, and hardcovers with special treatments such as inset images and foil stamping.
Printorium Bookworks / Island Blue – offers short-run digital printing for books, including color pages and softcovers with flaps.
Friesens – manufactures books for publishers across North America specializing in full color hardcover and softcover books. Located in Manitoba, Canada, they give very competitive quotes for printing and shipping books to the US.
Sentinel Printing – is a nationally recognized printer of softcover books, catalogs, manuals, and directories. Located in St. Cloud, Minnisota.
Createspace – is an Amazon company, offering full services including printing, distribution, and marketing.
IngramSpark – is affiliated with Ingram and offers a simple publishing solution for self-publishers with one book (for both print and ebooks).
Lightning Source – is affiliated with Ingram and offers color POD as well as reasonable prices for offset printing.
CIPblock.com – (U.S.) get cataloging-in-publication data from a private source
Communication Arts – covering graphic design in all its forms—in our opinion, simply the best place to find design inspiration
Digital files: transfer and storage
Dropbox – a popular service for saving and sharing files in the cloud
Email Large Files – free transfer of files that are too large to email
WeTransfer – free transfer of files, very easy to use
eBook DesignWorks – eBook conversion and design service
Fonts: identifying and purchasing
Identifont – identify a font you admire by appearance, name, or similarity
Font Shop – a great place to shop for fonts, and check out their blog too
My Fonts – another great font store, plus you can identify a font by uploading an image to their “What The Font” page
Fonts.com – another good place to shop for fonts, and they have frequent sales
Images: stock photography and illustrations
iStock Photo – just enter a word or phrase in the keyword search box, and away you go! You can save images in a lightbox to keep track of the images you’re interested in.
RGB Stock – all images on RGB Stock are free for personal and commercial use. You may use them in digital format on websites, blogs, multimedia presentations, broadcast film and video or in printed material such as magazines, books, brochures, flyers and text books.
Can Stock Photo – offers professional royalty free stock photos at reasonable prices. High-quality images start at just $1.00, and their license agreement gives you flexibility.
First Light – represents over 200 of its own photographers, and in combination with Design Pics Canadian based photographers, has the most extensive collection of Canadian content available anywhere.
Foto Search – provides high-quality images to creative professionals for use in their designs and presentations
Getty Images – a leading provider of digital media worldwide, creating and distributing a range of assets—from royalty-free stock photography and editorial images to video, music and multimedia
Image Zoo – specializing in royalty-free stock illustrations, rights managed and custom illustrations from hundreds of artists in all different styles
Masterfile – buy photos, vectors and illustrations for web, mobile and print
Morguefile – free photos with no strings attached
Wikimedia Commons – free images in the public domain; excellent for historical events, famous people, etc.
InDesign: tips, tutorials, and plug-ins
InDesignSecrets – free online newsletter that answers readers’ questions and offers tips and new ways to use InDesign
CreativePro – similar to InDesign Secrets but relates to the entire Adobe Creative Suite
Lynda.com – online training for the most popular Adobe products, including InDesign, of course
Adobe InDesign: Learn & Support – Adobe’s free online tutorials, accessible through the Creative Cloud interface. Hint: InDesign has the same tools and works the same way as Adobe Illustrator for drawing, so if you need to learn about drawing, try Illustrator tutorials. Similarly, if you need to learn about images, try Photoshop tutorials.
Rocky Mountain Training – Paid interactive training with Adobe Certified Instructors. Also an excellent blog covering all kinds of InDesign (and other Adobe product) topics, both basic and advanced.
Plug-ins World – hundreds of plug-ins for all kinds of functions
MathMagic – an equation editor for InDesign
Movemen – solutions for mathematic, scientific and financial equations
Proper Fraction 2 – easily make fractions using even non-OpenType fonts
Adobe help – how to install and use plug-ins
ISBN number (Canada) – Library and Archives Canada: information includes FAQs, a User’s Guide and online Application Forms for ISBN numbers. Must be Canadian to get an ISBN in Canada, and ISBNs are free.
ISBN number (United States) – purchase ISBNs from Bowker Identifier Services. Must be a US publisher to purchase an ISBN in the US.
Typesetting and typography
Butterick’s Practical Typography – an inviting site that explains basic typography
The Chicago Manual of Style – subscribe, or get the first 30 days free
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation – instant, free grammar checker
Recipes into Type: A Handbook for Cookbook Writers and Editors by Joan Whitman and Dolores Simon – a guide to editing recipes
Websites for authors
DIY Author – websites for authors, among other services
Jimdo.com – based in Germany with a U.S. branch. Website made from templates plus hosting for authors with reasonable pricing
Nodebud Authors – custom designed author websites
Find out more about the book
Buy the book online or at your local bookstore.
Read about the authors, Glenna and Fiona.
Learn about InDesign from our Video tutorials.
Explore our Blog for book design and self-publishing tips.
Check out our Media Kit.