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5 Steps to Being a Successful Author

Guidelines for Editing Non-Fiction Books

Book Formatting

Selecting Font Size and Type

Getting Published

Realistic Odds of Getting Published

7 Steps to Writing A Book Publishing Query

Tips on Writing Book Proposals The Way Editors Want

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Preparing Your Book For Printing

 

Before you send your book off the the publishers, you need to convert the manuscript into a printable format.

Most authors today work on pc, and use desktop publishing software that is capable of creating a a printer-ready book in digital form. MS Word does not provide the right format with the necessary print drivers to use a printing press. Use either Quark Xpress or Adobe Pagemaker.

Formatting is just a matter of adjusting the text to the required:

  • Margins
  • Font Size
  • Line Space
  • Font - you need a Postscript font, coupled with Postscript print drivers.
  • Illustrations - use a high quality computer scanner and a quality graphics program, such as Adobe Photoshop, to prepare your graphics for print

Ensure you check the publishing guidelines of your publisher for any special requirements.

Use your desktop publishing program, to put together every single page of the book. You will have several files:

  • Desktop publishing file
  • Font file
  • Graphics file

Save all files to a CD. Your book is now ready, in digital form for the printers.

Checklist

Once you send your manuscript to the publishers, most will send you a checklist. This will generally include:

Front Cover

  1. Title spelling
  2. Cover is centered properly
  3. Within the printing margins [to avoid losing some of the image over the edge].

Back Cover

  1. ISBN number is correct
  2. Price
  3. Proofread the back cover text

Spine

  1. Spelling of book title
  2. Spine text is centered on the spine
  3. Spine text is within spine margins

Book Jacket [Hardcover]

Proof read flaps must text. Ensure the case-binder or cover producer gets the title on the spine correct as well.

Content

  1. Margins - margins in the proof agree with the margins in your design.
  2. Fonts - are the ones you selected, and look good
  3. Headers and footers – check for typos introduced by the book designer in the headers.
  4. Chapter headings, TOC, Index – check for completeness, layout and spelling
  5. Picture Placement and Descriptions - all pictures are in the right places and picture captions are correct, and proofed.
  6. Proof in final form - read through the whole book in the final proof or galley form. You will be amazed at the mistakes still there, and it also gives you one final chance for any edits.
  7. Tables – check table data, row headings and column heading formats.

Next: Advanced Book Editing Checklist

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