|Planning to Publish in Print? The Next Time You Read a Book, Look at It
December 7, 2015
Everyone's a publisher these days, or can easily become one. The digital age has put a lot of tools at our fingertips, and even folks with rudimentary computer skills can click their way through preparing a document and uploading it for publication. The question is, do you - or your publisher - know exactly what your finished product should look like on the inside? It's difficult to achieve a professional result if you do not have a clear picture of what that is. But it's no secret. You can go to your personal library or any library and study the layouts of books of different genres produced by the big publishing houses and their imprints. When you do this, you will notice (I'm dealing specifically with prose here):
It is absolutely essential that your indie or small press book looks professional. You do not want prospective reviewers to flip through and toss the book aside before even dipping into it because they notice the tell-tale signs of an inexperienced author or press.
Once the book looks good enough to read, it still has to read well enough to read. I'll address editing and proofreading in another post, and hopefully convince you to enlist experienced helpers to go through the manuscript at various stages of preparation. But when all is said and done, and the galley or publisher's proof is in your hands or ready to scroll through on the computer, anyone with a set of eyeballs and a clear concept of the finished product will be able to detect problems with line spacing, headers and footers, chapter starts, paragraph returns, font styles, art placement, and anything else that contributes to the appearance of the printed page. You can start training your eyeballs now, every time you read a book.
Copyright © 2015 Zelda Gatuskin