Build Your Book

Page Layout and Design Elements

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers One of the most important hurdles for an indie author / self-publisher to overcome is making sure your product can be displayed side-by-side with what the buying public is used to seeing from traditional publishers. This task is much easier for fiction than for nonfiction, but no matter what the subject, it costs just as much money to design and format a book that looks…

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Ten Tips for Laying Out Back Cover Text Like a Pro

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers You’ll no doubt find plenty of information on what to include on the back cover of your book. Things like synopsis, barcode, publisher imprint, author bio, author photo, credits, and reviews are all customary. But laying these elements out on the back cover of a paperback needs to be done properly. Careful attention has to be paid to the font size and spacing; margins have…

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An Indie-Author’s Guide to Organizing a Book for Publication

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers Whether you’re writing a novel or a nonfiction book, you’ll eventually need to organize the materials and format the interior for publication. This is something a professional book designer can do for you, but as the publisher, you should decide what sections you want to include. Some sections aren’t as important in today’s publishing world as they were even a decade ago, but for legal,…

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Editors Are Not As Evil As You Might Think. Honest!

Even industry icons such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe had an editor: His name was Maxwell Perkins. He’s credited with being a significant influence in the success of The Great Gatsby. by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers “Thou shalt commit adultery.” That “commandment” was printed in a Bible in 1631. The publishers, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, were heavily fined and lost their printing license as a…

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10 Tips for a Professional Book Layout

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers A book that has been professionally designed will appear more polished and appealing to potential buyers. These formatting tips are not limited to the front cover of a book. There are many ways to enhance the look and readability of  back cover text and interior layout. 1. Don’t make your line width too long. Many people assume the solution to too much text is to…

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Can I Fit 900 Words on the Back Cover?

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers Over the years, I’ve developed a file of information that I send to all of my book cover design clients as we’re nearing the spine and back cover parts of the project. These are just guidelines, but for the typical 6 x 9 book this is what I have found works best, and what I share with my clients: BACK COVER TEXT: You have room…

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DIY Book Cover Design: An Infographic That Explains Templates

by Cathi Stevenson Part of the Build Your Book Series for indie authors / self-publishers Having an awesome book cover design will go a long in way in helping you sell your book. Self-publishing has come a long way since the advent of print-on-demand (POD) technology, and sophisticated, professional book cover design is available to everyone. There’s no need to look “self-published,” or to paraphrase the late guru of self-publishing, Dan Poynter, for your book to have that “loving hands…

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