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Publishing Tutorial

Congratulations on your upcoming book! The following tutorial is designed to help you understand all the elements that go into publishing a well designed book, as well as providing information on all aspects necessary in successful publishing.

1) Cover Design
Your cover design is your invitation to the reader. It is the first thing that will attract someone to your book. People will unconsciously see your cover design before they even make note of your title. When choosing a cover design, think about the feeling you want to convey to the reader and choose colors, fonts and photos that match the theme and feel of your book.

Most people have an idea of something for their cover but need a professional graphic designer or illustrator to convert the idea into a cover design. Once the overall idea of your cover is created, you will need to start thinking about the back cover and spine. It's a good idea to put a synopsis of the book on the back cover because most people will turn a book over expecting to find a description of the book. Sometimes it is also appropriate to put the author's bio if it is particularly relevant to the book. This is also a good place to put a few short testimonials. They don't have to be testimonials from famous people. You can ask your friends to read the book and then write a short testimonial. Extract a sentence or two that makes the book sound enticing to your reader. Your barcode should go also on the bottom of the back cover.

The spine usually consists of the title, the author and possibly a logo or design from the front cover. Once your cover design is complete, you will need to have it set to print. We've included some set up guidelines below and we also do complete cover design or just set up your already designed cover to be print ready. For an instant online quote, click here or contact us at

Perfect Bind Book Sample LayoutCover Set up - The cover needs to set up in one pdf document. The front should be on the right side, the back on the left and the spine in the middle. It should be actual book size plus the bleed. The book cover needs a bleed of 1/4 inch all around the book cover. The Spine width depends on paper type and page numbers in the book. The formula is as follows: For 50 pound paper - the number of pages in your book is divided by 512. For 60 pound paper the number of pages in your book is divided by 444. For example, for a 100 page book:

50 lb paper 100 divided by 512 = .195 inches
60 lb paper 100 divided by 444 = .225 inches

2) Interior Book Layout
Layout is one of the most important elements of a successful book. Your potential reader will likely glance through your book and if it seems difficult to read or concentrate on the ideas presented, she or he will likely move on to the next book.
Interior Book Sample Layout
Your layout can be unique for your book but there are certain industry standards that make for attractive books. It is always recommended to have a professional layout artist set up your book, but if you decide to go it alone, remember to add margins, a gutter (so that the text is not too close to the spine and unreadable), chapter starts on odd pages, headers, paginating, copyright page, table of contents and a contact page. A common font size is 11 to 12 pts (children's books can be larger). If your font size is less than 11, your book will be difficult for most people to read. If your font is 14pt or larger, it can make it look juvenile and also not hold the readers attention. Spacing between lines is generally single and a half. This seems to be the right spacing to keep your reader involved.

Below you will find some technical guidelines on how to set up your book professionally. When you submit your book to us to print, we will look it over and let you know if there are any problems or abnormalities in the way it will print. If you would like us to professionally layout your book, please click here for an instant online quote or contact us at

Interior Set-up - pages need to be set to actual size in a PDF format. Gutter is usually about 3/10th of an inch - this is the minimum. Make sure chapters start on odd pages (right side of book). Page margins are your preference but usually the top margin is .9 inches, bottom .8, left and right .65.

3) Binding Type
When choosing a binding type, it is important to think about the type of book you are creating and the overall costs of book printing. Today most books are perfect bound because it is a very attractive binding and the cost is very economical. If you are wondering what a perfect bound binding is, just go to your local bookstore and you will see that 80% of the books are perfect bound (it is a paper back binding with a glue spine).

Many authors think about creating a hard back book because it looks more distinguished. There are times when hardback books are the best choice - text books, coffee table books or possibly children's books. The problem with hardback books is that they are much more costly to produce and the production cost to sale ratio is not as good as a paper back book. And, they don't sell any better. In fact, many people shy away from hardbacks and wait for the paper back version to come out in order to save money. Another option is to print paper back books and just a few hardbacks. It is nice to have your book in hardback lying on your coffee table.

If your book is under 20 pages, the best option is a saddle stitch book. If your book is a manual, workbook or journal type book, you might want to think about a spiral, comb or wire bound. I suggest you visit your local bookstore and look at all the different options. If you are not sure what binding you are looking at, just ask one of the bookstore employees.

4) Deciding on the size of your book
The most popular book sizes today are 5.5 by 8.5 and 6 by 9 inches. The only time 8.5 by 11 is used is in creating manuals, workbooks and some text books. Otherwise, this is not an attractive size for the reader. Most readers today like books they can easily fit in their purses, backpacks or briefcases. You can choose any size book to print, but if you pick a size that is between the conventional sizes of 5.25 by 8.25, 5.5 by 8.5, 6 by 9 and 8.5 by 11, you will pay for printing the next size up. In other words, if your book is a 7 by 7, you will be paying the same price as if you are printing a 8.5 by 11. Usually the most economical size is the 5.5 by 8.5.

When choosing your book size, it's important to take into account the total number of pages in your book. You don't want a book too thin or too think. If your book is written in a word document and is 8.5 by 11, it will likely double in pages when you size it down to a 5.5 by 8.5. So a one hundred page manuscript at an 8.5 by 11 will likely be 200 pages at a 5.5 by 8.5 size. Since there are many factors involved, this is a rough estimate. A 100 page book at 8.5 by 11 would look quite thin and unappealing but a 200 page book at a 5.5 by 8.5 size will likely make the reader feel that the book has substance.

5) ISBN Number
ISBN stands for international standard book number. It is like a social security for a book. All bookstores require that your book or book like product have an assigned ISBN number for identification purposes. One ISBN is assigned per title and is used for all the books printed under that title. If you decide to create your book in another format, the additional format(s) will need a separate ISBN to identify it. Click here for more information about ISBN Numbers.

6) Barcodes
also know as EAN barcodes. Barcodes are simply digital representations of the ISBN number so that stores can scan your book and read your ISBN number with their scanners. If you have chosen to put a price on your barcode, the scanner will also read your price. Your barcode should go on the back of your book cover and can be inserted graphically as part of the cover design. If your book is already printed, simply take the digital barcode file to a place like Kinkos and have them print the barcode on white sticky labels. Most bookstores find this quite acceptable.

LCCN stands for Library of Congress Cataloging Number. As a service to our customers who we have assigned ISBN numbers, we can apply for a PCN (preassigned control number) as long as your book is not yet printed. After your book is printed, we send the book to the Library of Congress and that number automatically turns into an LCCN. Although there is no fee for a PCN number, we do charge an application fee of $75.00 to complete the process. Please contact us at if you are interested in applying.

8) Copyrighting
Copyrighting will officially protect your book and give you official proof that you own the rights to your book. It should not be confused with an ISBN number as they are two separate entities. ISBN assignment does not protect the rights of the book. Although copyrighting can seem complicated to the first time author, we make it very simple and quick to copyright your work. To find out more about how we can copyright your work for you click here.

9) Printing
Today virtually all short run (under 2500 copies) book printings are digitally printed. Digital printing is sharp and crisp and will almost always duplicate the digital book files exactly. It is also the most economical way to print smaller quantities of books. Although our minimum order is 25 books, you will find that 50 books is a much better deal and will likely save you about $2.00 a book. I suggest ordering 50 to 200 books on your first order. You will discover that they go fast and you'll need to reorder right away if you order any less. If you already have pre-orders placed or media attention, we suggest you order in larger quantities depending on your needs.

Once your book is submitted to print, you will receive a cover proof in the mail. If you are trying to meet a tight deadline, you might want to forego the cover proof. Once the proof is approved by you, your book will be submitted to print. Let us know if you have a tight deadline. We can often accommodate.

To submit your book for print, convert your documents into two separate PDF documents - one for the cover and one for the interior. Please consult the guidelines above under cover design and interior layout. If you have any questions, please contact us at

When determining a printing quote, 4 elements are considered: number of books printed, size of book, number of pages and paper stock. With this information, you can get an instant online quote on our site by clicking here. Although we offer most paper stocks, the most common are 50 lb bright white and off white and 60 lb bright white and off white. If there are photos in your book, we suggest using the 60 lb paper to prevent any bleed through or upgrade to a smoother paper. You might also want to consider the 70 lb or 80 lb paper if your book is thin and you want to add a little thickness to it. Please contact us for a quote on alternative paper stocks.

10) Selling your books online
There are many opportunities to sell your books online like through Amazon and other online booksellers. Many of clients have asked for another alternative to selling their books online. We have responded by created BOOKSCAPES. Bookscapes allows you to sell your books on your own website using your very own shopping cart system. There is nothing in the book industry like it. For complete details, click here.

11) Marketing
With a little perseverance and a lot of enthusiasm, it's very easy to market your book. You will always be the best seller of your book because you know the gifts it will offer your readers. Click here for several easy to do marketing strategies that many of our clients have found extremely helpful in making their books successful. If you have found another unique strategy, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at

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