Friday, July 06, 2018

Points to Consider Before You Publish Your Book


New to self-publishing?

Three points to contemplate before you publish:

Selecting a Book Size

Once you've published your eBook you may want to start looking into creating a paperback book. You to start thinking about things like 'trim size' and whether you should use creme or white paper.

But don't panic! I'm going to give you some helpful pointers to help you get to grips with the world of publishing, so you can get your paperback started.

What is the 'Trim Size'?

The 'trim size' refers actual size of the book which has been trimmed down and bound at the printer.

There are various 'trim sizes' depending upon whether your book is fiction or non-fiction, including photographs or images or category your book falls into. For example:

Mass Market

These books have to 4-1/4" x 7".  Books sold through supermarkets, airports, drugstores etc., their size is part of their appeal and the way they're distributed. Not usually self-published books.

Trade Paperbacks

These books have to be 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" to 6". Most self-published books are 6" x 9" trade paperbacks.

Manuals and Workbooks


These books are larger, 8" x 10" to 8-1/2" x 11. Usually used for instructional books and directories with detailed drawings and graphics.

Novels

Usually smaller sizes 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" most popular size. You can also find memoirs in this category and published in a similar size.

Learn about what comes next with "Ways of Being Published".

General Non-Fiction

These books are usually 6" x 9", one of the most popular sizes. Also widely used for hardback books.

Art and Photography Books

These books have no particular size to conform to. They can be big heavy books or very small. Photographers prefer a more square or nearly square shaped book.

Trim Sizes and Production

Print on demand distribution leaves you with limited sizes and choices. Here are the most popular sizes used by some of the biggest publishers.

Lightning Source

Black and White
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (198 x 129 mm)
5 x 8 inches, (203 x 127 mm)
5.25 x 8 inches, (203 x 133 mm)
5.83 x 8.27 inches, (210 x 148 mm)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 140 mm)
6 x 9 inches, (229 x 152 mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (234 x 156 mm)
7.50 x 9.25 inches, (235 x 191 mm)
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (244 x 170 mm)
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (246 x 189 mm)
7 x 10 inches, (254 x 178 mm)
8 x 10 inches, (254 x 203 mm)
8.25 x 11 inches, (280 x 210 mm)
8.5 x 11 inches, (280 x 216 mm)
8.268 x 11.693 (A4) inches, (297 x 210 mm)

Standard Colour
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (198 x 129 mm)
5 x 8 inches, (203 x 127 mm)
5.25 x 8 inches, (203 x 133 mm)
5.83 x 8.27 inches, (210 x 148 mm)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 140 mm)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 216 mm)
6 x 9 inches, (229 x 152 mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (234 x 156 mm)
7.50 x 9.25 inches, (235 x 191 mm)
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (244 x 170 mm)
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (246 x 189 mm)
7 x 10 inches, (254 x 178 mm)
8 x 10 inches, (254 x 203 mm)
8.25 x 11 inches, (280 x 210 mm)
8.5 x 11 inches, (280 x 216 mm)
8.268 x 11.693 (A4) inches, (297 x 210 mm)

Premium Colour
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 140 mm)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (216 x 216 mm)
6 x 9 inches, (229 x 152 mm)
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (234 x 156 mm)
7 x 10 inches, (254 x 178 mm)
8 x 10 inches, (254 x 203 mm)
8.5 x 11 inches, (280 x 216 mm)

CreateSpace

Full-colour interior books:
5 x 8 inches, (12.7 x 20.32 centimetres)*
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (12.9 x 19.8 centimetres)
5.25 x 8 inches, (13.335 x 20.32 centimetres)
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (13.97 x 21.59 centimetres)
6 x 9 inches, (15.24 x 22.86 centimetres)*
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (15.6 x 23.4 centimetres)*
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (17 x 24.4 centimetres)
7 x 10 inches, (17.78 x 25.4 centimetres)*
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (18.9 x 24.6 centimetres)
7.5 x 9.25 inches, (19.1 x 23.5 centimetres)
8 x 10 inches, (20.32 x 25.4 centimetres)*
8.25 x 6 inches, (20.955 x 15.24 centimetres)
8.25 x 8.25 inches, (20.955 x 20.955 centimetres)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (21.59 x 21.59 centimetres)*
8.5 x 11 inches, (21.59 x 27.94 centimetres)*

Black and white interior books:
5 x 8 inches, (12.7 x 20.32 centimetres)*
5.06 x 7.81 inches, (12.9 x 19.8 centimetres)*
5.25 x 8 inches, (13.335 x 20.32 centimetres)*
5.5 x 8.5 inches, (13.97 x 21.59 centimetres)*
6 x 9 inches, (15.24 x 22.86 centimetres)*
6.14 x 9.21 inches, (15.6 x 23.4 centimetres)*
6.69 x 9.61 inches, (17 x 24.4 centimetres)*
7 x 10 inches, (17.78 x 25.4 centimetres)*
7.44 x 9.69 inches, (18.9 x 24.6 centimetres)*
7.5 x 9.25 inches, (19.1 x 23.5 centimetres)*
8 x 10 inches, (20.32 x 25.4 centimetres)*
8.25 x 6 inches, (20.955 x 15.24 centimetres)
8.25 x 8.25 inches, (20.955 x 20.955 centimetres)
8.5 x 8.5 inches, (21.59 x 21.59 centimetres)
8.5 x 11 inches, (21.59 x 27.94 centimetres)*

Many of the above sizes are "industry standards" so can be found with Createspace and Lightning Sources.

Blurb

5 x 8 in. (13 x 20 cm)
6 x 9 in. (15 x 23 cm)
7 x 7 in. (18 x 18 cm)
8 x 10 in. (20 x 25 cm)
10 x 8 in. (25 x 20 cm)
12 x 12 in. (30 x 30 cm)
13 x 11 in. (33 x 28 cm)

Lulu

Black and white only
5.5 x 8.5 in. (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
4.25 x 6.87 in. (10.79 x 17.45 cm)

Full-colour only
12.75 x 10.75 in. (32.39 x 27.31 cm)
12 x 12 in. (30 x 30 cm)

Black and white or full-colour books
8.5 x 11 in. (21.59 x 27.94 cm)
5.83 x 8.26 in. (A5) (14.81 x 20.98 cm)
6 x 9 in. (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
6.13 x 9.21 in. (15.6 x 23.4 cm)
6.625 x 10.25 in. (16.83 x 26.04 cm)
7.44 x 9.68 in. (18.9 x 24.59 cm)
7.5 x 7.5 in. (19 x 19 cm)
8.26 x 11.69 in. (A4) (20.98 x 29.69 cm)
8.5 x 8.5 in. (21.59 x 21.59 cm)
9 x 7 in. (22.86 x 17.78 cm)
8.25 x 10.75 in. (20.96 x 27.31 cm)

Things to Consider When Choosing Paper

A good choice for non-fiction, novels and memoirs would be creme coloured paper. It's kinder on the eyes when being read for long-stretches.

CreateSpace and Lightning Source both offer creme paper in sizes 5.25″ x 8″, 5.5″ x 8.5″, or 6″ x 9″. Any other sizes only offer white paper.

What is a Good Size for My Book?

The most commonly used sizes for self-publishers are 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ or 6″ x 9". These sizes work for a variety of different kinds of books.  If your book falls into the above categories, then you'll have no problems with these sizes. If you're finding it difficult you need to:

Choose a different size if:

  • your book falls into a different category, such as a workbook
  • if your book needs a larger size for functional reasons
  • you want to stand out in your chosen category




The Phenomena of the Blank Page

Having blank pages in a book can seem really weird at times, but its not something that we think about that often.  Buy or borrow any hardcover or paperback and you'll stumble across blank pages in the front or back of the book.

Why is this? You might ask.

According to publishers it's to do with signatures, which is just industry spiel for groups of pages that printers cut to assemble a book.  You can have as many as four blank pages.  If the manuscript it 200 pages it may be a perfect fit.  An uneven number like 203 means there's more likely to be pages leftover from the signatures.

Design Observation

Many book designers will offset this expense by playing around with character spacing.  This is called kerning, by simply reducing the space between two specific characters throughout a book, can add up to an entire saved page.

Filling in the space

Many publishers prefer to fill that unused space with checklists of the author's work, portions from other books, illustrations.  Non-fiction publications such as manuals and textbooks may add the phrase "This page is intentionally left blank", to alert the reader that they're not missing any necessary information.

Some author's request blank pages in their books, to keep in line with tradition.

Selecting a Font for Your Book

Fonts, are an important part of publishing any paperback book.  So which fonts should you choose?

When desktop publishing started, way back in the 1980s, computers' were able to use graphics that were more accurate, sort of "what you see is what you get" kind of display.  Creating familiar fonts for computer users all over the world.

Times New Roman and Arial are the most popular of these fonts, but they're a bit of a mixed bag for all creators and customers alike.

These fonts have been set to "default", spreading everywhere whether they're appropriate or not.

The Dilemma with Defaults

Times New Roman was designed in 1931 by Stanley Morrison for use in the Times London Newspaper.

Original designed to be read in a newspaper its set width and other internal properties were always determined to be read in the confines of a newspaper, but not in the generous space of a book.

One of the most popular fonts of recent times is Arial, whose origins come from the font Helvetica.  They only typeface to have a movie made about it.  Not intended for readers unused to seeing whole books set in sans serif fonts.

Better Graphics, Better Fonts

Fortunately technology has moved on and become more sophisticated and so has it users.  There has been a massive explosion in new fonts from new designers.

A lot of these fonts are based on the older designs dating back as far as the late 15th century.

This is where the family of "oldstyle" comes from.

Identifying Oldstyle Fonts

Calligraphers and scribes, before the invention of printing, would use these fonts by writing them out by hand.

These "oldstyle" fonts have the kind of characteristics perfect for book composition.

They can be easily identified by their characteristics:

Tilted axis

Round letters like "O" and "C" have both thicker and thinner strokes.  They a tilted axis, if you drew a line threough them they would be slightly off-center.  Emulating the square-tipped pen the scribes would use.

Moderate stroke variation

No huge variation on the thin and thick strokes, they don't tend to vary that much.  They were also written with square-tipped pens creating a variable stroke with each character.

Rounded or bracketed serifs

Serifs have strokes like the "legs" on an "i" or they make letters look more decorative.  The scribes would leave a tiny flourish after each stroke.  They make words more readable.

Best Fonts For Paperback Books

Garamond

A classic old style font created by Claude Garamond in the 16th century France.  Many other similar typefaces have been created including the popular Sabon.

Caslon

This font derived from William Caslon, one England,s first printers.  A very good choice for book publishers.

Janson Text

Emanating from the Netherlands in the 17th century.

Palatino

The most popular old style font off all time is Palatino.  A hugely over-exposed font, a font used by Mackintosh, back in the day.

Which Font Should I use?

If you have real flair for design then you'll have no problem matching up your font with your book design.

Typesetting with a PC won't give you the sophisticated hyphenation or elegant control over your type.

By choosing the right typeface at the start, you'll create a more readable book and also accomodate book publishing practices.

Learn ""How to Write a Book and Become a Best Selling Author"..

What is DRM?

File Protection

If you've just started writing and want to start selling your eBooks the question of eBook file protection is something that affects all authors.

What is DRM? 

Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a standardized approach to copyright protection of digital media such as eBooks.  Basically it's a lock that is placed on a digital file which is tied to the person who purchased it.  Often its applied as a wrapper around the eBook file or part of the packaage of the eBook file.  The valid owner can only open the file if their device or software has the correct key.

Purpose of DRM

DRM is setup to prevent any unauthorised redistribution of digtial media and inhibit the methods that consumers can copy any content they've purchased.  DRM was originally established in response to the illegal distribution of digital media through peer-to-peer file exchange programs.  Within each digital download is an embedded code that prevents copying, stipulating a time period the content can be accessed or cap the number of devices the media can be installed on.

DRM Systems Used in the eBook Marketplace

Currently there are three systems being used by the dominant eBook seller's:

Amazon employs its own DRM to Kindle eBooks, this means you can't sell an eBook directly from your own website.

Apple administers its FairPlay DRM to its files bought from the iBookstore, Just like Amazon its only compatible with its own devices and software.

Adobe's system, Adobe Digital Editions Protection Technology (ADEPT), is presently being used by retailers such as Sony, B & N, Kobo, and Overdrive.

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