Just Your Type Desktop Publishing Expert Book Design and Book Typesetting

November 17, 2010

Getting Your Book Ready for Publishing Need Not Be a Daunting Process

Filed under: Uncategorized — Just Your Type Desktop Publishing @ 9:17 pm



Often long before I begin the actual process of designing a book and typesetting it, there is a process I go through with the author, editor and/or publisher, right through to the illustrators and printer.

This process helps take the guesswork and headaches out of getting your manuscript to print. Good communication by all parties who will have a hand in putting the book together is a must. I begin by finding out who each is and making initial contact.

Having a “Go-To” person is also a great idea so that emails don’t get lost or forgotten and changes and additions during the process make all those that need to know about them.

The basic plan that I follow is:

1. Initial contact with purchaser of my services, be it the author, Project director, or publisher. At this time, the “go-to person” or Project director should be established.

2. Contact information exchanged for all persons involved in the book project. Best to have both emails and phone numbers.

3. Establish scope of work. The page count of the book, trim size, types and number of graphics; who will do the cover design?

4. Proposed deadlines are established. When will the final manuscript be “final” and ready for the designer/typesetter; when will Sample Pages be presented for approval; when will first full proof be presented; what is the proposed to-Print deadline; and finally, what is the established Publication release date?

5. Present cost/quote for the project and define payment terms. It’s important to have all costs known upfront so there are no surprises or delays due to change in scope or delay in payment. Once the above are accomplished I then work with the “go-to person” to go over the specifications for manuscript submission, photograph and/or illustration file formats, and what to expect during the design and typesetting end of the process:

6. Present Sample Page Designs for approval. I usually present two page layouts of a sample chapter to show what I plan to use for text, headings, running headers, folios, front matter, page and/or part treatment, picture and caption placement, and all the elements that go into making your book the best it can be.

7. Design is approved for typesetting. This is a critical stage of the process. Once the design is approved, the book is then typeset from title page through final page. This involves text and paragraph formatting, insertion of headers, folios, TOC numbering, and often Chapter and/or Parts page elements and graphics, charts, and illustrations. Typesetting is a very skilled process and when done professionally is labor-intensive so that care is taken to watch for widows, orphans, bad line or page breaks, proper spacing, and formatting.

8. Full proof of book is submitted to client for review. A PDF proof is presented to the client for proofreading. This is not the time to rewrite the book. This is the stage where the client checks for any formatting errors or missed typos or grammatical errors from the manuscript that was submitted for typesetting. No matter how many eyes look at a manuscript, there are ALWAYS a few things missed that “jump off the page” once it is professionally typeset. The changes are submitted to the typesetter in a variety of ways: 1) Mark up the actual PDF document using Adobe Acrobat’s editing feature; 2) Print a hard copy of the PDF print, mark it up “the old fashioned way” using a red ink pen and proofer’s marks, or 3) Create a list in a word document with explicit instructions for the changes.

9. Revised proof is submitted to client for final review. If the book is approved and ready to go, we move on to step 10. If there are further changes or fixed, repeat steps 8 and 9 until the book is officially approved for print.

10. The final high resolution PDF file (Hi-Res) is prepared according to printer’s specifications and sent to the client.

11. Follow up with client and/or printer. You are not alone once you have the file in hand. I am here to work with you and your printer for any special needs or modifications that may arise.

My job is to present your book in the best possible light for you and your intended audience. I have a deep and long-standing love of books and typography and believe a well-stocked book shelf is a beautiful sight!

Happy Writing, Publishing, and Reading!

Sue Balcer, owner, www.JustYourType.biz

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