Category Archives: Page Layout

Preparing Your Content for Design Services

If you are not sure how to get your content into a print-ready state, we offer both cover and interior book design services! We asked our design team for some tips on how to make sure your experience in our design department is enjoyable from start to finish.

What We Need to Begin

  • Design-Department

    Our world-class designers, Kathy & Genevieve

    Edited, word-processed manuscript in a single .doc file

  • Image files (.tif or .jpg) labeled to correspond with markers in the text indicating desired placement
  • Back cover copy, ISBN, blurbs or author photo if applicable
  • A .tif or .jpg, 300 dpi image for Assisted Cover Design orders

Text

The majority of the books we design are text-based, mostly prose, but poetry too. Submit your manuscript in a single word-processed file, ideally Microsoft Word in most cases. Kathy or Genevieve will flow your text into Adobe InDesign and set it to the trim size on your order, bearing in mind your pre-discussed preferences and industry standards.

Images

Many of the books we design include photographs, art, and other visual supplements. Images for design orders should supplied in their raw files (.tif or .jpg, minimum 300 dpi). We also offer professional scanning services for hard copy photographs and other documents. See our Service Rates for pricing.

Cover Design

If you have a piece of art, a photograph, or another pre-existing image for your cover, you can take advantage of our $199 Assisted Cover Design option. Kathy or Genevieve will transform your image into a book cover set to our print specifications, including a back cover and a spine with title treatment, author photo, barcode, and blurbs (all optional).

If you have a vision for your cover in mind but not the means to supply the image in a file, you can opt for our $599 Custom Cover Design. This will allow you to work one-on-one with Kathy or Genevieve to execute your concept for a professional cover design. Come to the table with your ideas and let us bring them to life!

Clean copy saves you money!

We like to remind all of our design clients to make sure they edit any text submitted to Gorham Printing multiple times, very closely before you send it. Because we are not a publishing company, we do not modify your content in any way as we sculpt it into book form.

Any editorial changes you find in your first proof are made by your designer at the standard design rate of $92 per hour. The fewer changes you find to make in the text, the lower you can keep your design costs, and your overall cost per book.

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Free Guidebook on Self Publishing

Not much is free anymore, yet here is a perfect-bound (trade paperback) book with pricing and information any writer could use. Who’s giving away a free guidebook? Gorham Printing is, tucked away in southwest Washington, they are a manufacturer of dreams. Real dreams from the heart of people who have wanted to write the great American novel, author a self-help book, or the poet with a collection of sonnets and verse. For over thirty years Gorham Printing, a short-run book printer, has been churning out soft cover and hard cover books, of all genres, for authors and small publishers across the country.

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

What is a short-run book printer?

At Gorham Printing the minimum order is 25 copies of a book up to 2,000. Small only in size, with ten people full-time employees, this dedicated staff produces giant size professional quality and customer service for their clients. Kurt Gorham, owner, has created an environment of knowledge and expertise in Centralia, Washington, where thousands of book are designed and printed every year. This is an all-digital shop, producing books in black and white and full color. An author can place an order for one hundred books to be used as gifts, advance review copies, or for immediate marketing and selling in various venues.

Order Your Free Guidebook!

On the Gorham Printing website, there are various click points for ordering a free copy of their informative guidebook which includes pricing and details about producing a book-industry standard book. The guidebook is also a sample of the standard text and copy stock used at Gorham Printing. Get your copy today.

Why is My Word Count Important?

Ever wondered why traditional publishers require certain word counts to a manuscript? It comes down to number of pages in a completed book and the cost of printing x-amount of books. A 300-page book will naturally cost more to print than a 240-page book and a publisher knows the magic formula for estimating the page count of a book.

When you self publish, knowing the approximate page count of your book is important. So what is the formula based on the word count of a manuscript?

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

Free 2014 guidebook available at GorhamPrinting.com

With professional, book-industry design, your word processor file is imported into a page layout program such as InDesign. To get an idea of your estimated page count, use the following formula:

For a 5.5×8.5 trim sized trade paperback, figure approximately 300 words per page and for a 6×9 size book figure approximately 350 words per page.

As an example, if your book contained 48,000 words, it would end up at approximately 160 total pages for a 5.5×8.5 size book. (48,000 words divided by 300 words per page = 160 5.5×8.5 finished pages).

If you have photos or drawings in your book, a fair estimate is two photos or images per page added to your page count.

Don’t forget front matter such as title page, copyright page, dedication and such will also add to your total page count.

Professional or Casual? Your Author Photo

When purchasing a book generally the cover design is the first thing that draws a reader in. Within seconds they flip the book over and read the back cover copy which should i04 Shaputis photonclude an author photo with a few lines of bio. Readers like to know about their authors.

A photo or head shot brings the author into the reality conversation when reading a book. Stephen King seems rather normal with his dark hair and beard. Yet his mind is a carnival of storylines leading into terror and entertainment. If you passed him at a grocery store, would you realize you were seeing the king of scare? Without his author photos, readers wouldn’t recognize him.

Granted, an author typically isn’t going to become an overnight celebrity but having a photo on the book resonates with your readers. Makes you more personable to your readers, not just a name. If placed on the back cover, the image can be in full color. Maybe your photo was taken at sunset, so the oranges and yellows of the evening sky would radiate around you. Maybe the color of your shirt matches the color of your eyes, why not put the author photo on the back cover. If located on the About the Author page inside the back of the book, typically the image would be grayscale, black and white for economical reasons.

Do you need to spend hundreds of dollars for a professional head shot? No, a simple well-taken photograph in high resolution will do. But if you haven’t gone to a photographer since your school days, you might want to look into having a session done. Not only is a professional shot good for your book but having copies made for family is a side treasure. Whichever you choose, you’ll want two digital copies of the image: One in high resolution for printing and another saved-for-the-web size you can upload to your website, Facebook or any online marketing.

Select your photo carefully, whether a portrait or outdoor shot. You may need to send copies of the image to various media and social media outlets during the marketing of your book. Be sure the photo is something you are very comfortable seeing over and over again.

Fonts, Faults and Foibles

No TNRWhen reading a book, the body style typeface or font is generally not something you notice right away. However, it has quite a bit to do with the readability of your book. You don’t want to curl up with a suspense novel and find you have a headache two chapters in from eye strain. No matter how thrilling the storyline, if the font style and leading is hard to read, you’re going to lose your audience. Our graphic designers here at Gorham Printing have years of experience in book design.

Take a book off your shelf (let’s stay with fiction) and open to any page. The body text is generally a serif font, meaning there are tiny feet at the bottom of most letters to help guide your eyes across the line of words.  There are dozens of readable fonts such as Garamond, Minion, or Arno Pro used for text layout.

What you won’t find in any book industry standard layout is Times New Roman. What seems most difficult for self-publishing authors to realize is just because TNR is the default font for your word processing software does not mean it should be used for your book. Times New Roman was created for newspaper print, its narrow for typesetting in small columns.

The leading or spacing between the lines of text also helps with the ease of readability. The term leading is derived from the days of hot metal type when strips of lead were placed between lines of type to provide line spacing. Your text should not be single spaced nor double-spaced but somewhere in between. One rule of thumb is to make the leading 20% larger than the font size. So if you used a 12 pt font, your line spacing or leading should be around 14.4 pt.

Sans serif or decorative fonts can be used for chapter titles. However, when it comes to text layout, more is not better. Keep your styles down to two or three fonts only. Too many fonts and your book is going to look frenetic or too busy. Let’s say you used Garamond for the text body. You could use a smaller Garamond in small caps for the page headers and then a sans serif or decorative font for the chapter names.  Or use a sans serif font for both the page headers and the chapter names.

Make your book look professional, as if it came from one of the big houses in New York. You’ve worked hard to finish the story, be sure it’s dressed out properly for your audience.

Back of the Book Matter

“The End” or “El Fini” is not always the last page in a novel anymore. Granted it ends the storyline but you may find additional pages before the back cover. Such as About the Author information, maybe Acknowledgments even the first pages of the author’s next book. There could be an order page or advertising for other books the author has written. These pages are considered back matter.

People are accustomed to seeing six to twenty pages of back matter with a non-fiction book. This may include:

  • Appendix
  • EndnotesArtOfDevotionText
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author
  • Index

A single book does not need all of these included. It will depend on you, as the author, to decide how much and what kinds of back matter to include.

Typically back matter is designed in a smaller font size than the main body of a book. This helps minimize the room the research matter takes up, however, these pages must be included in the total page count.

Why do some books have blank pages at the back of the book? When printing offset for a large production of books, the text is run in signatures. A signature can be a sheet containing sixteen or thirty-two pages of the book. If the end text runs out at page twelve of a sixteen-page signature, the last four pages will be blank.

Whether you’ve written a trilogy for young adults or a new revelation in building self-esteem, you’ll need to decide how much back matter your book needs for your audience.

What is Front Matter?

Open any book from your shelf, whether soft cover or hard cover to the first page. What do you see? A title page? A half title page? A page of endorsements for the author’s previous books? The first page could be any one of these. Now flip through the pages until you reach Chapter One. How many are there? Could be a minimum of four pages, could be quite extensive depending on the information the author has included. All pages in a book before Chapter One are considered front matter.

The cost of printing a book depends on three things: trim size, quantity of books ordered at one time and the total number of pages. Keep in mind the front matter of a book is included in the total number of pages. A minimum of four pages in the front matter would include: title page, copyright page, dedication with a blank page behind it. Typically these pages are numbered in Roman numerals beyond the dedication.

Half title page
Many novels start with a half title page where it’s a mainly blank page with only the title printed in small caps or at least smaller font than the title page. The back side is typically blank or includes a book card: a listing of previous works by the author or other titles in the series.

I thought a half title page allowed more room for the autograph. The author could personalize the book more extensively. What I’ve heard from bookstore owners, is an author’s signature should go on the title page itself making it more valuable.

Like Wearing Suspenders with a Belt
The number of front matter entries is up to you; however, too much is like doubling up protection for holding up your pants. Do you need to include a preface, introduction, foreword, list of illustrations and more in your book? No, and especially no if the book is fiction.

What’s the difference between a preface and an introduction? Both may be written by the author. A preface is an opportunity to state why the book came to be or what the author’s credentials are in writing this book. Sometimes various appreciations or gratitude’s are included. An introduction is written about the content of the book, maybe an overall view of the subject to introduce the reader to the subject. Typically the preface comes before the introduction.

Spell That Again? 
One of the most misspelled words an editor will find in a manuscript is the word foreword. Many writers mistakenly spell it forward, as in forward motion. An easy way to remember the correct spelling is thinking “before words” be-foreword-s. The foreword of a book is typically written by someone other than the author. This may be a testament from a professional source or celebrity in the genre.

Think of an engine on a train, this is the front matter. These pages of information bring the book forward, into being.