Can I Use Microsoft Word for Book Layout?

Can Word be used for book layout?

Well, of course.

Hah! Anyone who follows this blog would not expect that answer from me, but the truth is who’s stopping you? Go for it.

But you’ll need to understand the trade-offs.

On the upside, you will save money, at least initially. Just about everyone has access to Word, so there’s no need to go out and buy new software. Probably you used Word to write and correct your manuscript, and you feel quite comfortable using it and confident that you’ve developed some level of […]

Author Story: Shary Williamson

At first glance, Shary Williamson’s author story seems simple and even a tad predictable, unfolding as one would expect.

Retired school teacher writes children’s book based on the magical elfin world that she and her husband created in their backyard for their five young grandchildren to enjoy. She finds a great illustrator and self-publishes her book. The author had fun and the book is successful, and so she writes another.

Except, when you start to dig a bit deeper, you discover a little more, and a little more.

Much […]

5 Things Every Author Needs to Hear Before Self-Publishing a Book

Every so often I am asked what one piece of advice I would give authors seeking to self-publish.

Boiling down everything an author should know about self-publishing into one piece of advice is almost impossible. So my advice is to listen to these five things that many authors don’t really want to acknowledge, but should hear.

1. There are people who will take advantage of your lack of knowledge about the self-publishing business.

On the one hand, it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate between companies in the self-publishing industry that truly […]

Want to Publish a Beautiful Children’s Book? Here’s How.

Illustrated children’s books have two integral ingredients: A good story told well and fabulous illustrations.

Compromising on either of these ingredients can jeopardize the book’s success.

But in truth, the first thing a potential buyer will notice—be it a child pulling books off the shelves at Barnes & Noble or a relative buying a gift—is the book’s cover.

And the cover must, of course, feature a wonderful illustration.

An intriguing, fun, colorful illustration on the cover should encourage the reader to open the book and flip through the pages, and the illustrations on the inside […]

Author Story: Glyn Haynie

“I want their sacrifice remembered.”

Honoring the men of First Platoon, especially those who did not return home, was author Glyn Haynie’s inspiration for writing When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir.

Glyn’s new book recounts his experience as a nineteen-year-old in the Vietnam War—the weeks of boredom juxtaposed with minutes of sheer terror. Glyn tells of monsoons, a forest fire and a typhoon. He talks about carrying a 60 pound rucksack and the experience of building a fire base. Running throughout his book are the themes of fear, death, and their […]

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Indie Publishers

Yes, it’s the time of year for resolutions. But the resolutions below come with a couple of twists. First, they are created especially with the indie publisher in mind. Second, they are phrased as questions, making them more likely to stick according to “research.”

So, without further ado, I present our 1106 Design New Year’s Resolutions for Indie Publishers.

1.      Will I maximize my profits by arranging print-on-demand myself?

IngramSpark and CreateSpace are the only two companies that provide print-on-demand (POD). CreateSpace is the best funnel to Amazon, and IngramSpark to everything else, including […]

What Promise Does Your Book Cover Make?

books-on-shelvesWe are often told, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” but that’s exactly what we do. Your book cover is a retail package; your book is a product and the cover is the package that tells everyone about your book.  People have short attention spans, and in today’s world we make decisions (including book buying decisions) in less and less time. In fact, you have about three seconds to attract a reader’s attention, and for buyers to judge whether or not there is something in that book for them.

Traditional publishers know […]

Author Story: June Hyjek

© 2013 Peter Billard Photographer, 160 Oak Street Unit 206, Glastonbury, CT  860-633-6300  pbillard@snet.netAuthor June Hyjek is one of 12 million people in the US impacted by Scoliosis, a condition that shows up as a curvature of the spine and has no known cause or cure. June has dealt with Scoliosis for many years, and even as an adult struggles with the body image issues of being, as she describes, “crooked.” Says June, “I have had people look at me with pity and others who did a pretty poor […]

What’s the Best Route for Self-Publishing Your Book?

choose-the-right-route-to-self-publishWith the myriad options available for self-publishing—some more legitimate than others—it’s understandable why authors get confused about the best route to take. Being confused leaves one open to scams, so I’m always trying to educate authors about the self-publishing pitfalls, not because it will necessarily help my business, but because it breaks my heart to hear some of the stories authors tell me when they finally arrive on my virtual doorstop, beleaguered and bewildered and often thousands of dollars poorer.

First, the Self-Publishing Horror Stories

Take one author I spoke with recently. She was […]

Preparing Digital Print Files: Cover Files

Guest post by Sandy Gould, Direct Sales Manager, Color House Graphics

Having good print-ready files helps keep your book project on time and on budget. Whether you’re printing digital or offset, it is important to be sure you have all print specifications correct before submitting your files.

At Color House Graphics, we find many unplanned file adjustments and corrections can easily be avoided. We have assembled some of the most important steps needed to ensure your cover files are print-ready when you submit them for digital printing.

Assembling the parts:

Your cover must contain the back cover, spine, and front cover panel. These […]