Self-Publishing Assistance and Book Design

For more information on affordable Self-Publishing Assistance and Book Design,
Click through to Hinterlands Press and Book Design.

The Winner is – Affinity Publisher (and related Affinity programs).

I have been testing the three big Book layout and design software tools for the past year or so. After building books in Scribus, Adobe Indesign, and Affinity Publisher I have settled on my new platform going forward. The Winner is Affinity Publisher (and related Affinity programs).

The Affinity group of programs , Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo and Affinity Publisher together cover all the major tools in the Adobe Creative Cloud for a quarter of the price. Unlike Adobe, Affinity sells an old school license allowing you to use the software for as long as you like vs a subscription model. Currently a years Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is about $720 and Buying the full Affinity group of programs is about $170. A huge difference for very equivalent tools. Continue reading

Basic Novel Page Layout

Making a self published book look as people expect a book to look is so important. While big well known Authors can get away with gimmicks such as not using quotation marks in dialog most readers expect a book look like other books in look and feel. Readability is enhanced by the correct choice of Font and spacing.

Book size, shape, Indenting, and line spacing all contribute to making a book easy to read and enjoyable.

One of the most standard book sizes is 5.5 x 8.5. Big enough but not too big. It just feels right in your hand.

This basic page layout has about a half inch outside margin. Interior margins depend on the number of pages in the book. The more pages the larger the center margin needs to be to not have the book feel cramped. Continue reading

Adobe Indesign, Affinity Publisher, or Scribus, which one?

I have been doing page design for years. Scribus is the currently the only page layout software that runs on Linux. I have used Linux for years so my first page layout software was Scribus. In the last two years I have used both Adobe InDesign and Affinity Publisher for book design projects. Sadly, InDesign and Affinity Publisher only run on Mac or Windows, so when using them I have to leave Linux behind. All three have all the features needed to create a good looking book or magazine. Why should you choose one over the other?

Why Scribus? ( )
Scribus has good solid collection of page layout features
A good number of YouTube how-to videos make for a reasonable learning curve.
Scribus runs on Windows and Mac and is the only option that runs on Linux.
Scribus is free to download and use. No initial cost, no rental agreement.

Why Not use Scribus?
As an open source project with a small number of volunteer developers, changes, improvements, and new features happen more slowly than the paid alternatives.

Why Adobe InDesign? ( )
InDesign is the current industry standard.
InDesign subscription comes with access to a huge number of fonts
InDesign has a good number of  YouTube videos and training opportunities.
InDesign subscription comes with useful online tools to collaborate with customers or coworkers.
InDesign, is mostly installed and runs locally. But the license is checked over the web and will stop working if you stop your subscription.

Why Not use Adobe InDesign?
The biggest reason not to use InDesign is that it is a rental and the cost.

Continue reading

About getting your self published book into bookstores

Self-published book into bookstores  Is a good long article covering the issues and dangers of getting you book into bookstores.

“Many Authors want to get their book into hundreds (or even thousands) of bookstores across the country. It’s one of the most common dreams I hear from first-time Authors.”

“Today, being in bookstores doesn’t guarantee book sales—and it’s not the best way to make money with your book."

"Even if you can get your book onto thousands of shelves across the country (and most Authors can’t), you’re taking a huge financial risk—the kind that can bankrupt a self-published Author.”

Be sure to look at the section on books stores and the return of unsold books.

Disclaimer – I do not know anything about or its offerings to authors but the article gives the clear unvarnished facts and is worth reading.

Ingram Spark just became my go-to for print-on-demand

I think Ingram Spark just became my go-to for print on demand. I have always liked the quality of books printed by Ingram a bit better. Up until now because Amazon KDP print books had free setup and an easy approach to getting printed proof copies made going with Amazon KDP first seem smoother.  All good reasons to go with Amazon KDP first or perhaps as the only printer.

Free Setup at Ingram Spark - Their new pricing now includes free setup and free updating, at least in the first weeks after a book goes live. While they have always had some 'free setup' offers it looks like this is a permanent change.

Why Ingram Spark over Amazon KDP? - Ingram has a more thorough file evaluation prior to printing and provides good feedback where there are problems. They seem to have tighter spines and over all a bit higher quality. Ingram claims to have the one of the publishing industry’s largest global book distribution networks including Independent bookstores, Online stores, Chain stores, Ebook retailers, Libraries and Universities.

Twelve things you need to know about Print on Demand and Self Publishing.

  • As a print-on-demand author – one person needs to ‘own’ the relationship with Amazon KDP or Ingram Spark. This includes giving them tax information, a bank account where royalties will go, and a charge card where author copies of the book will be paid for.
  • Because Print-on-Demand (POD) is a technological and internet based process, the Author or some one they are working with needs to have a good working ability to do things on line such as filling out forms and uploading files.
  • The two major POD printers are Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark. Both have similar, though not the same, requirements for interior and cover files. Both companies offer some online tools to allow creating of simple texts and cover designs using their tools.
  • Amazon KDP and Ingram Spark allow for e-book, or print-on-demand printed books, or both. The design requirements for printed books is quite different from e-books. To issue you book as both requires two separate sets of files. One designed for print and one designed for e-book.
  • People do judge a book by its cover. Professional cover designers can help improve the look of your book. Continue reading

Fonts – Who buys Fonts?

Why are fonts so expensive? Why are there so many free fonts available? Who makes them and why? Gwern atempts to explain in  "Fonts are a rare highlight in software design—stable, with well-defined uses, highly-compatible software stacks, and long-lived. Unsurprisingly, a back-catalogue of tens or hundreds of thousands of digital fonts out there, many nigh-indistinguishable from the next in both form and function.

Why, then do they all cost so much, and who is paying for them all, and even going around commissioning more fonts?

The casualness of the highly marked-up prices & the language around commissioned fonts strongly points to designers spending client money, largely for the sake of novelty & boredom, functioning as a cross-subsidy from large corporations to the art of typography. The surplus of fonts then benefits everyone else—as long as they can sort through all the choices!"