Maureen Shelley turns technical in Part 6 of Blog series "10 Simple Steps to becoming a successful published author", on preparing your book’s print file.
The least pleasant part of writing a book is preparing the file for the printer or digital publication. I recommend you save yourself a whole lot of pain and angst and send the file to a professional typesetter to do the job for you.
|Pic source: FaceGFX|
Google typesetters in your area and send off your file and get back a nice PDF that has everything done for you.
Most authors don't try to design their covers, yet many believe that they can do the work of a typesetter.
What you need to provide if you're going to attempt it yourself:
- You will need to provide two files to your printer - one PDF for the cover and one PDF for the manuscript itself.
- If you don't understand any of the points below, please consult Google as there are a myriad of resources available to the self-publishing author and most are available for free.
The Cover file for the printer:
- Send the checklist of the printer's requirements to the graphic artist who designed your cover.
- They will follow the instructions and send you back your cover with embedded fonts or with the fonts outlined.
- They will also supply the PDF in the correct format for printing, particularly if you have a full-colour cover. The details below are for the body copy file only.
The body copy file for the printer must have:
- Embedded fonts - all fonts are to be embedded, this is why I recommend Times New Roman and the use of one font only
- Mirror margins
- If the book is more than 150 pages, the right margin wider than the left (gutters)
- Manuscript margins (these are wider than standard)
- The correct leading and spacing that is consistent throughout
- The number of pages in the manuscript is exactly divisible by 16
- If the pages aren't divisible by 16 you have added blank pages at the end
- If you have blank pages, there are fewer than 10 blank pages
- If there are more than 10 blank pages, you have typed 'notes' at the top of each
- The last page blank,
- The introduction and the first chapter start on right-hand pages
- The dimensions of the 'pages' are equal to a standard paperback form such as Trade B, B+ or C
- All options of the 'printing' of the file to PDF are changed so the page size remains the same at Trade B or C or what size you have chosen
- Section breaks, so you can change the page numbers before the Introduction to Roman numerals
- Page numbers after the introduction or Chapter 1 starting with Arabic numbers
- The file is 'printed' to PDF not 'saved as' a PDF from Word
- Each page set so when the file is 'printed' to PDF the words don't move to the next page - resulting in changes in format and more pages than originally desired
- Standard headings used by your word processing program
- A table of contents created by your word processing program
- No extra spaces or paragraph marks - not one! Extra spaces and par marks can create havoc when files are converted to PDF and fonts are embedded
- Word processing commands for paragraphs (Ctrl (or Ctrl) in Word on a PC) - not the 'enter' key hit twice
- Uniform paragraph spacing - not the 'enter' key hit twice creating greater leading after 14pt letters as compared to 11pt letters
- Consistent spelling - chose Australian English as the review language and apply it to the whole document; unless your market is the US and then apply US spelling to the whole document
- Numbered chapter headings
- Spell checked - one last time
- A frontispiece - this sets out the requirements under
Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.