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"Self-Publishing Tips: Proper Layout"


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Thursday, September 17, 2009
With self-publishing, the author do not just write the articles, he is also responsible for the proofreading, editing, publishing, cover design and the layout. If unable to finish or do these duties, the self-published author could outsource or get somebody to do the task for him. Self-publishing is a jam-packed responsibility, but its rewards can be big in the end.


Some writers who prefer self-publishing would often try to do everything on their own, it is okay as long as you have the knowledge and expertise. But some writers, even if they fail miserably in the field like creating the page layout, would still try to do things on their own. This could be a costly mistake. The book can either appear unattractive or unprofessional.

If you are planning to do you own page layout for the book, then here are some pointers.

• Size

You would have to chose the size of your book first. The style that you would be using on your book should be compatible with the size of the book. A school yearbook is usually an 8.5 inch by 11 inch while a pocketbook will be smaller in size. Make sure that you would do sufficient research on what book size will be compatible with your manuscript.

• Margins and Spacing

The good thing about margins is that they could make your book easy to read. They have certain impact on the text that makes them easy on the eyes. You would have to make sure that the margins are balanced, how do you achieve that. Whenever you are setting the margins for the book, add an additional 1/8 inches on the side where the book will be binded.

Spaces are also good to the eye. But you would also have to be careful in using spaces. There are writers who would use spaces to convey something. So pay attention whenever you are using spaces between your paragraphs and other sections of the book. Character spacing is also important, lines which are compressed makes it look very heavy. An average line usually contains about 50 to 60 characters. Characters would involve the letters, numbers, spaces and punctuation marks. A page usually contains about 250 words.

• Font Size and Style

Make sure that you will a font style that would be easy on the eyes of the reader. But be conscious when picking out fonts, some fonts would require additional printing cost. Aside from that you do not use Comic Sans MS as a font when you are writing about a historical account. You would have to choose a font that will also be suitable with the content of your book. If you are unsure of what kind of font to use, then you can check books. Pull out a book from your shelf or bookstores.

Aside from that, you would also have to make sure that the font size will also be readable. Most publishers would use the size 11 or 12 since it is better for people who are using reading glasses.

• Colors and Photos

When using colors in the book, avoid the monotonous color scheme. You can play with contrasting color to make the images captivating. If you will be incorporating photos, make sure that they are aligned with the text. You do not want it to look as if you just pasted it. Be conscious with the size of the picture and the number of pictures you will be putting in your book. If it is a novel, then you do not want to look like a picture book.

Whatever style you use in your book, make sure that it is uniform all throughout. You do not want it to be constantly varying based on your mood. With self-publishing, you do not have the luxury of publishing houses doing everything for you. But just think about the control you have over your book and at the same time the profits you will be getting from it.

Provided By: Ray Plumlee
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