We have NEW SUBMISSION GUIDELINES for clients and or anyone submitting work for an anthology at Plaisted Publishing (Author Assist).
This is what you need to know!
All work needs to be automatically set up for when you write, this includes – Titles, Chapter Headings, Indents, etc. You won’t need a Contents Page or page numbers at this stage. Use Styles on your HOME tab if you use MS Word to set up the following.
6 x 9 Manuscript
1.8 cm Margins, Headers, and Footers
Garamond, size 12
Make yourself a template to use with each manuscript you write or ask for a copy. We only give these templates out to clients and for our Anthology submissions.
In the Header, you need to have:-
Body of Manuscript:-
Auto Indents – 0.3 – 0.5 cm (Never use Spacebar or Tabs it is unprofessional and your submission will be rejected).
Automatic Titles and Chapters via HEADINGS 1, 2 & 3
DON’T use SHIFT &ENTER (Soft Return) for a new line, let it move automatically. ENTER is for New Paragraphs.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW…PLEASE ASK! WE CAN HELP GET YOU SORTED AND WILL HAVE INFORMATION ON HOW TO USE STYLES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE.
Nothing is FREE when you publish independently unless you’re a tech expert and know everything. EDITING, INTERIOR DESIGN (Formatting) BOOK COVERS & MARKETING, etc. Can you do everything? I know I can’t which is why I use CONTRACTORS for my manuscripts and developed a business to help other Independent Authors. I’ve seen so much BAD INTERIOR DESIGN, it makes me want to leave reviews with one, two or three stars. Never mind the lack of flow and EDITING in stories I try and read, along with BOOK COVERS. The worst part is, most of these books could be saved with some professional help.
This post is about INTERIOR DESIGN, something I love to do. In fact I’m pedantic with formatting books, be it choosing a paperback size, a FONT for headings and Chapters, INDENTS or an image to use as a break between paragraphs. It all makes a difference and those little STARS used as breaks are—in my opinion about as unprofessional as you can get.
The fonts an author uses for Titles, Author Name and Chapters can be hard to choose. However, I like to look into the genre of a manuscript when making a choice with my own work and I advise my clients what may work for their story.
When writing romance I’d chose a type of Calligraphy with swooping curves that draws the reader to the book cover, catches the eye though readable. Some of these fonts can be over the top and unreadable. Leave those well alone. For Romance I like Tangerine. Not overly fussy like some Scripts and is FREE for commercial use.
For Horror, Thriller and Ghost Stories who want something that looks a bit scary. One of the ones I like is Chiller, though if you look online you can find plenty to use. Make sure the fonts are FREE and can be used Commercially or you could be sued for Copyright Infringement.
Murder and Mystery fonts can stay with the romance or thriller fonts there again, what about the age group you’re writing for? What would you use for a book aimed at Teens or Young Adults? Something simple or…Scooby Do…ish? Like the one below.
How about this one?
There are so many different fonts to use in your writing which could attract readers to your work. Think carefully before you choose what to use. Talk to your graphic artist about the font to use on your book cover (if you’re contracting out to someone), they know the ropes on what to use. Some of these can be used in the interior in the front matter of the manuscript as well as Chapter Headings. Think outside the square and be daring.
All the above fonts are for commercial use and downloadable at 1001 FONTS.
FONTS FOR BODY TEXT!
Nothing is simple, though the body of the text is much easier to decide. It has to be readable to the literacy age of the person you’re marketing your books to – better known as your audience. Most authors of adult books use Times New Roman size 12. It’s generic and usable in most books. Some in the book industry tell you not to use this font, ever. However, like everything with Independent Publishing, it is up to you, the writer. Always do your research and ask others who have been publishing for advice. Everyone has an opinion. Some authors decide to blend their Title and Chapter Fonts with the body text, this can mean decided the line spacing is different as well.
I use Garamond size 12 at 1.08 – 1.15 cm spacing. When it’s an indented line I use 0.3 – 0.5 cm indents, this is decided on the size of the paperback you are making, the smaller the paperback size the smaller the indent. Putting it mildly it looks ridiculous with large indents in a pocket book. I find Garamond is easy to ready and goes with all the Title and Chapter Font’s I use. However, children’s books are totally different.
Childrens’ books should always have a bigger font size, so as they learn to read they can follow the words with a finger underneath the sentence. This also means your spacing can be bigger. There is one font I love for childrens’ books and it’s close to how children form their letters when they first learn to write. Comic Sans size 16 (at least) with spacing at 1.15 – 1.5 cm. The spacing depends on the literacy age of the children or even the adult who is learning to read or reading a new language, after all, English isn’t everyone’s first language and it is a complicated language to learn due to word usage.
Remember to do your RESEARCH and have fun with your creativity!
FIVERR and those who offer Formatting, also known as Interior Book Design, through this platform can be awesome and then not so much. Authors, especially new ones, need to know how to research and get the best. It’s time for those questions again. All Authors need to know what questions to ask to find a good business to help them get the work done. The company also needs to know various things so they can get your Formatting correct without too many edits.
First thing. Remember how long it took you to write your novel! Well, Formatting isn’t done in an hour! I honestly wouldn’t touch any business who says they can format your work for $10 in an hour. There is bound to be something wrong.
Today I watched a video about Formatting. Some useful information, and with the book open on the screen, they showed the results. It was the results which caught my attention. Two things wrong from what I saw. First, the indents looked too big and secondly, the text wasn’t justified. Though, this doesn’t matter on eBooks, in PRINT it is a MUST…Go look at any traditional book, and you’ll see the right hand edges of the text are straight. If PRINT books aren’t Justified, they look horrible. I’m exceptionally fussy, and I won’t even read a manuscript unless it is justified. It’s the first thing I do on a clients manuscript. I will also teach a client how to do this, so they know for next time. You will also find 99% of what I write on my blog is JUSTIFIED. Those articles not Justified are usually SHARED LINKS. I think having your text makes it look nice and tidy.
If you are going to offer a SERVICE to an AUTHOR, please make sure you know what you’re doing. It’s a hell of a learning curve and, unlike many, I’m self-taught and learnt the hard way. I’ve learnt so much now that I’m updating my own books as well as past clients.
QUESTIONS to Ask an INTERIOR BOOK DESIGNER
1. What type of books do you format? 2. What fonts do you suggest for my genre? 3. What size fonts will you use? 4. Do you use the same font for Headings & Titles or blend fonts to work together? 5. What book size do you suggest for Paperback and hardback? 6. What is the best indent size? 7. Do you Justify text? 8. Can you do Contents pages and Linked Contents for eBooks? 9. Headings, Page numbers – Starting at Chapter One, Dropped Caps and Header information? 10. Can your format full-colour children’s books for Paperback and eBook? 11. Do you have samples of your work?
You could probably add a lot more to this list. Make sure you have a good look at the traditional books you see. They can give useful pointers in how you may like to have your text laid out.
QUESTIONS FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS
1. Font and font size are important, depending on the age of your readers. 2. Do they have experience with Full-colour children’s eBooks and PRINT 3. Do they have experience with BLEED! Will your book have a bleed or not. 4. How do they turn a full-colour book into an eBook and PRINT, so it comes out correct. 5. Will they check the IMAGES are 300 DPI if need be?
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
This once again depends on experience and what you want your book to look like. It can also depend on how long the book is. Is it a Novella, Novel or Saga? Is it a Children’s book and if so, what kind?
Once again, as with assisting new authors with bad work, generally from FIVERR Businesses is something we do at Plaisted Publishing House. It can be trying and tiring work, especially if it is a full-colour children’s book. I have assisted with two of these in recent months. If you only pay small amounts, it should clue you in, they may not be as professional or experienced as you might think. I dislike seeing people ripped off, especially if they are on a budget like most Independent Authors are. We’re not all rich, and many of us have jobs outside the home to pay the bills.
Don’t complain about paying someone either. A slightly higher fee could mean better work and that you’re less likely to need someone else to do edits. Remember you pay the plumber to do their job! I have seen bad work. I’ve seen good work. Please do your homework and RESEARCH before you hire anyone.
KNOW WHAT TO ASK, WHEN TO ASK AND MAKE SURE YOU SEE SAMPLES. IF YOUR INSTINCT SAYS ‘HELL NO’ THEN LISTEN TO IT. IT COULD SAVE YOU MONEY.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF BAD FORMATTING FROM FIVERR FOR AN EBOOK. WHEN I WENT TO HELP THE AUTHOR, I LOOKED AT THE MOBI FILE, AND THIS IS WHAT I FOUND. I NEVER DID TELL THEM…TO HORRIFIED.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT I DID TO MEND THE ABOVE FILE (DIFFERENT PAGE) AND MAKE THE IMAGE LOOK LIKE THE PAGES FROM A PAPERBACK BOOK.
NEEDLESS TO SAY, IT CAN TAKE A WHILE TO SORT THINGS OUT. MAKING SURE IMAGES ARE THE RIGHT DPI AND SIZE – ESPECIALLY FOR PAPERBACKS.
One last thing. I’m still learning. I will always be learning my trade, updating how things are done as technology changes. I’m happy to learn the same as I’m happy to share the Pros and Cons of looking for the right contractor, be it an illustrator, editor or interior book designer.
PLEASE RESEARCH! NEXT TIME I WILL TALK ABOUT EDITING
Welcome to the world of LULU Uploading. As promised here is the second installment about UPLOADING…This time it’s for eBOOKS.
WE start with picking what we wish to publish, of course this time it is the ebook we wish to do. So follow the images and I’ll explain what is what as you scroll through them.
You picked the ebook now it is time to think about if you wish to do this for FREE or need to ask for help. This of course depends on how proficient you are at formatting and if you can format the way LULU need you to.
One think I have noticed with ebook distribution sites, they all have their own styles of formatting. Some are easier than others. Once in the know…it becomes easy.
This blog is about how to publish your book for FREE and we would hit ‘MAKE YOUR EBOOK’ Tab to continue.
Meanwhile. If you need any assistance and a guiding hand you can ask for some professional support from LULU – who will handle the heavy lifting for you.
The choice is made and you are starting a NEW PROJECT. It’s time for the TITLE and AUTHOR NAME. It also asks what you wish to do with your project. Most people want to sell their books and this is the recommended route to take. After your choices are made click save and continue.
Next you get to choose your ISBN for your book. You can pick the FREE LULU ISBN which can only be used on books you distribute via LULU.
If you are uploading to another site, it is likely they will offer their own FREE ISBN. If you have already purchased a set of ISBN then use them. There is a link on the below image on how to purchase your own numbers.
If you don’t wish to use an ISBN then you WON’T be able to distribute through LULU retail channels.
Below is shows the FREE ISBNfor my book which they will email to me. Since you haven’t yet uploaded your manuscript, now is the time to add the ISBN to your copyright page and save it again.
DO NOT UPLOAD YOUR MANUSCRIPT UNTIL YOU HAVE SET UP YOUR CHAPTER HEADINGS IN ACCORDANCE WITH LULU RULES. YOU CAN ALSO DELETE YOUR CONTENTS PAGE HYPERLINKS…LULU WILL MAKE THIS FOR YOU.
Choose you manuscript and upload. You will see the BAR below turn and orange-yellow.
Once it has uploaded it will show the document as below. If you have to make amendments later make sure you delete this file first on theX
Remember back to when you organised the HEADINGS in your manuscript. Well this is what LULU do. They show you the list for your contents table which you can adjust by changing the headings. When you do the HEADINGS you can use HEADING 1 – 3 ONLY You will also need to change the style to what you wish to see, making sure you embed the fonts as well.
Most Authors will also have their own BOOK COVERS by this stage in the process. If you do then you will need to upload the cover during this next stage. Having your own BOOK COVER means you can use any Theme, they are technically irrelevant though you still need to choose one. As you can see I stayed with the gold one with my name in the bottom right corner.
Click onto Backgrounds & Pictures. You can see where you can change the colour and edit the image. If you have a BOOK COVER already made you will need to EDIT the IMAGE. If you need to build your own you can ask for professional help from a LULUCover Designer.
Once again LULU have a criteria for the BOOK COVER. This is where you will USE A DIFFERENT FILE – as shown below. Or you can accept this image and proceed to building your own cover.
Since you have clicked‘Use a different file’this new box will appear asking you to either upload your cover from your computer or browse the LULU GALLERY. When you upload your own file make sure the sizing is correct or….
Before the ‘OR’ The file will upload the same way as the manuscript did…One the bar has finished loading you will be asked to ACCEPT or TRY AGAIN due to sizing requirements.
As show here…The first time I uploaded my BOOK COVER the requirements weren’t met, meaning they rejected my file asking me to alter it and upload it again.
Once the BOOK COVER file meets their criteria you will see the image – like shown below. Now you can ACCEPT the file and move on to the next stage.
Now you can see your cover you will need to click on TEXT. If you have a ready-made cover you will need to take out the TITLE and AUTHOR information as shown below.
If you have built your cover here then you can now edit your TITLE & AUTHOR name, give them the font, size and colour you wish them to have.
Once you have done, click SAVE and CONTINUE to go to the next stage.
You’ve nearly finished now.Unlike Kindle, Createspace & Draft to Digitalwhere you describe your project at the beginning. With LULU you do this towards the end
Fill in the blanks. On my children’s book this is what I choose to go with. You can change this at any stage.
My children’s story is all about adventures in the Insect world in a Country Garden. It is suitable for ages 3 upwards though parents, grandparents, siblings etc would need to read to the younger children.
Fill in the description which you would usually find on the back of a PRINT Book. This will show on your AUTHOR PAGE and in the LULU Shop. I choose the Standard Copyright License though there are quite a few you can look through and choose from.
YES YOU MADE IT…IT’S TIME TO REVIEW, DOWNLOAD THE INTERIOR, CHECK THE FORMATTING, SEE IF IT ALL WORKS CORRECTLY. IF NOT THEN YOU HAVE SOME WORK TO DO, OTHERWISE IT IS TIME TO PRICE YOUR BOOK
DISTRIBUTION TIME – PLEASE REMEMBER IF YOU HAVE UPLOADED YOUR EBOOK ELSEWHERE THEN UN-TICK IT HERE. ALSO REMEMBER YOU CAN GET YOUR BOOKS DISTRIBUTED VIA INGRAM SPARK WITH LULU
Make sure your LULU website is in the country where you live. Then pick the price and how much royalty you wish to make. Tick the boxes you need and hit REVIEW PROJECT.
Next is the eBook Distribution Terms and Condition. Read them and ACCEPT if you wish to publish.
The next slide shows your REVENUE excl taxes. Once you are satisfied you have what you wish go to the last TAB – SAVE and FINISH.
CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE PUBLISHED
This is all from me for now. I hope it helps. I will be making a post on how the HEADINGS work next week. Meanwhile enjoy the read and please SHARE.