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What You Can Expect from Your Designer, and What Your Designer Expects from You

For many writers, the design part of book publishing is mystifying. This excerpt from the chapter "Making It Look Good: Design and Layout" in Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro sheds some light on what to expect and what is expected of you when working with a designer.   What You Can Expect from Your Designer   Professional designers offer an expertise that most literary types don’t have: they know what it takes to make a book visually appeal­ing. That includes a wide range of aspects, from choosing appro­priate artwork (photo or illustration), colors, and fonts for your subject area or genre to knowing the best spacing to use on chapter- opening pages and where to place the page numbers and running heads. Further, your designer will be...

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Getting a Handle on the Art Budget for Your Book

Both publishing houses and self-publishers have a vested interest in controlling the costs of book production. Although artwork -- and by that I mean photos, illustrations, line drawings, charts, and graphs -- adds to the value of a book, it also can add significant time and cost. Why is that? Here are the biggest drivers:   Art-heavy books require a lot of manipulation during page layout so that the photographs and illustrations land near enough to the text that they belong with. Sometimes the text may need to be rewritten or captions revised in order to accommodate all of the artwork. Layout artists will charge more to account for the additional time. By comparison, most fiction and other all-text books require much less manipulation, as there are fewer special elements to disrupt...

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Road to Publication: Page Proofs

What do you do when you get page proofs for your book from your designer? Quite a bit, actually. Here's the rundown on all that happens when you have page proofs in hand, as I experienced it:   I received first page proofs for Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro April 15 via e-mail. I immediately printed four sets. My husband and I each had a copy, and two copies  were sent out for advance reviews. I e-mailed the PDF to three more people, one of them being the proofreader and the other two being more reviewers.   The page proofs have arrived!   While the proofreader was working away, my husband and I were each reviewing our sets of the pages. I read the book from beginning to end,...

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Save Your Reputation: Edit Your Writing and Hire Pros When Needed

It might not be clear to all aspiring authors that their reputation is at stake with everything they put out into the world. A typo in a cover letter, a small factual error in a novel, a few misspelled words in a short story -- who will notice? Who will care?   The truth is, although many people won't be bothered by little errors here and there, enough people will be, and it is often these people who are the most vocal or are in a position of power.   The repercussions can include having your query to an agent dismissed, your short story rejected from a literary mag, or your novel blasted on Amazon and Goodreads. Unfortunately, you won't get a second chance with an agent, and those online reviews never go away....

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Road to Publication: The Design Process

UPDATE--May 15, 2014   We have a final cover!   [caption id="attachment_1018" align="alignnone" width="275"] The final front cover with endorsement[/caption]   Originally published April 29, 2014 If you'll recall, I left off last time having successfully navigated the copyediting stage of book production. For four weeks the manuscript for Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro had been with the copyeditor, which was a welcome break from the revisions I had been doing. However, I wasn't completely off the hook. The book still demanded much of my attention.   The same day I sent the manuscript to the copyeditor, I sent another copy of it to the designer. I had hired a woman I have worked with in the past on other books (not my own).  From that experience, I knew she had done...

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