Every self-publisher wears six hats. Six. It’s not an option. That’s how it is.
Even if you plan to provide self-publishing services for others, you need to know the process. You need to wear six hats.
Hat #1: Writer
Hat #2: Editor
Hat #3: Graphics
Hat #4: Technical Layout Designer
The technical layout designer is the one who makes it all look pretty and function well for the reader. There are specific parts to a book. Readers expect to see those parts. The designer incorporates text, graphics and photographs to build a book.
The one rule most people break is the rule that stipulates whether the first page of a book needs to be on the right, or the left. Yes, it does matter. One new self-publisher on the scene forces your book to begin on the correct page, regardless of whether you created it to do so, or not.
That matters. That matters tremendously.
Moving the first page, either forward or backward, one page, means all your layout will be in mirror image when the book is printed. Your page numbers will be on the “wrong” side of the page. Pages you have left blank intentionally in order to keep your pagination attractive, will suddenly be on the wrong side.
Once you have graphics, put your Designer hat on. Where do graphics go? How do you make text wrap around an image? What graphics resolution does the printer need? What graphics mode do they require?
Publishing companies provide you with a template. But, a savvy designer quickly learns to understand and adapt the template to create a beautiful book. Making those adaptations requires unique computer skills.
Layout includes choosing fonts and embedding them. It requires a keen understanding of fonts and font decoration, deciding what margins to use, how many spaces equal a tab, and so much more.
Never select text and change the font.
Never use menus to apply fonts, font sizes, font colors, font styles, paragraph or alignment, or lists.
Always apply styles instead.
And, then when you are done, save your template and copyright it. Protect your work.
Next time …Marketing