I recently posted an article on the Publishing Talk Blog.
It’s a fact that not every author is going to have experience as a designer, typesetter or book production manager. This article is about investing a little time initially to get to grips with a few aspects of publishing books to save lots of time in the long run and ensure that your finished book looks professional.
In summary, I suggest that you:
1. Learn to use Microsoft Word
This probably sounds rather patronising, but Microsoft products have the problem of being a lot like icebergs to the majority of their users – there is a huge amount of depth to them in terms of the functionality available but most users only see and use the surface. Word can produce great results if you know how to use it effectively.
2. Study the page, not the words.
Look at the pages in books that you own that are in a similar genre/category to the one you have written. Scrutinise the typeface, line-spacing, layout, chapter headings etc. and choose the style that you like best, and then try and emulate that.
3. Become an expert in ‘packaging’
How to come up with a professional looking cover, even if you have no design experience.
4. Be flexible
If you go into publishing with a very particular end product in mind, you can make life difficult and expensive for yourself. Keep an open mind in terms of the size, format and methods you use to publish your book. Being flexible will mean that you can take advantage of the lower budget options, or you can get a premium product at a more reasonable price.
You can check out the full text of the article here.
The Publishing Talk website has lots of useful information for people working in the publishing industry and some really useful materials on social networking. In fact, Jon Reed, the head of Publishing Talk is writing a book on all of that kind of stuff. If you haven’t come across the site already, it’s worth a look!