Friday, December 9, 2011

Lessons Learned in Self-Publishing, Part 10...Its what's inside that counts

A big thanks to Tony McFadden for his guest blog, sharing some of his thoughts and techniques on laying out the paperback. The inside of a paperback is going to be more complicated than the ebook. Things that have to be considered are margins, headers, page numbers and various parts of the book like the title page, copyright page, dedication and so on.

I am sure that a hundred writers will have a hundred ways to layout the book.  The front which is made up of the title page, copyright notice, dedication and credits doesn't get numbered, or it can get number in lowercase roman numerals. i...ii....iii...iv.... Either way, I suggest not putting a number on the title page. Generally the main body of the paperback books gets numbered. 1...2...3... After the last page that has THE END, stop numbering. Biography and post material does not get numbered. Leave them blank.  The back of the book is a place to some advertising.  (This goes for ebooks too.) Web address, blog site and plugs for upcoming books go here.  Its also not a back idea to include the beginning of the first chapter of the next book.

There's no one right way to format. I will give you my formula here. I put my name in the top left header and the book title in the right. I center the page numbers at the bottom.   My chapters start about 1/3 the way down with a chapter number and title in bold, larger than the body text.  Also somethings to consider are the margins and most tricky is the margin on the bound side as it must be slight wider than the outside margins.  Having a good working knowledge of WORD can be good when doing margins size, the gutter, mirror margins, section breaks and page breaks.

Now that I have scared a few people off, let me tell you about the easy way. Createspace offers templates that can be downloaded.  Pretty much I started with the template and cut/pasted from my working copy to the template. I still needed to do some tweaking, but it was a far less daunting task. 

When ready I converted the whole thing into a PDF which is later uploaded to Createspace.  The PDF is WYSIWYG. If it looks good, that is most likely the way it will look in the printed book.

Happy formatting!

Ron D. Voigts is the author of PENELOPE AND THE BIRTHDAY CURSE and PENELOPE AND THE GHOST'S TREASURE, both are available from Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that CS had templates for the interior! When I was considering entering self publishing back in 2009 a friend of mine mocked up a paperback layout for me, so I started from his and tweaked it up to meet their specifications and such. Now I just use that basic one for each of my books and copy/paste in the relevant info (is that why they all have exactly 24 chapters, perhaps? ;) )