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To submit your book blocks as truly print-ready PDF files:
- Write, edit, and proofread your book in whatever word-processing program you choose until you are satisfied with your final text.
- Make your pages look the way you want them to look in
your book (called “formatting” or “layout”; instructions below apply to
Microsoft Word, other word-processing programs may or may not be
- Choose a “trim size” (the width x height dimensions of your finished book)—any size from about 6" x 6" up to about 8" x 10"; e.g., 5" x 8.5", 6" x 9", 7" x 10". Under Page Setup, change Paper Size from 8.5" x 11" to whatever trim size you choose and Apply to Whole Document.
- Also under Page Setup, set Top-Bottom-Left-Right Margins at 0.8" (or whatever you think looks good). Don’t worry about Gutters or Mirror Image or any of that.
- Under Paragraph, set Tabs at 0.25" (or whatever you think looks good).
- Choose a Font and Point Size for your body text - Highlight your text (Select All) and select a font and point size—feel free to experiment with different ones; however, you are generally better off choosing a fairly standard font; we may not have some of the same fonts your computer has. Keep in mind that serif fonts are more readable than sans serif fonts for body text. Good standard fonts for readability and attractiveness include:
- Garamond Palatino Times Roman Century
- Choose a Font and Point Size for your headings (chapter titles, section heads, etc.) that complements your body text. In general, whatever font you choose for your body text works pretty well as a simple heading once you bold it and bump up the size at least 2 points larger than your body text. Or, a sans serif font for heads complements serif body text fonts. Good standard heading fonts for readability and attractiveness include:
- Verdana Arial
- Choose Line Spacing - Single space is usually too tight (hard to read because there’s not enough white space between lines to rest your eyes), double space may be wider than necessary (will add more pages because there are fewer lines per page); 1.15 or 1.5 line spacing is nice.
- Now take a look at your pages and make sure the tops/bottoms of each page start/end the way you want them to (e.g., maybe you want each chapter to start at the top of a page). If you want to start the next section or chapter at the top of a new page, please DO NOT keep hitting the Return/Enter key until the page scrolls to where you want it; this will wreak havoc with your formatting. Instead, insert manual Page Breaks wherever necessary. Similarly, please DO NOT hit the space bar to align your text; for example, to indent or center a line. Instead, be sure to use the Tab key at the beginnings of paragraphs; to center a line, highlight the line and click on Center.
- In summary, DON’T “WYSIWYG” (“What You See Is What You Get”)—that is, don’t eyeball and jury-rig your text to make it look the way you want it to on the page. This wreaks havoc with your formatting and causes unpredictable (not to mention disappointing and frustrating) results and untold extra time and effort in preparing your book for publication.
- Save only your actual text pages (first page of Chapter One, or first actual reading page; whatever should be page 1 of your book) in one Word document, and save all of your Front matter (e.g., title page, copyright page, Contents, etc.) as a separate file called “Front matter.” This way your text pages will have correct page numbers and the other pages that should not be numbered don’t get page numbers. The files can be combined in the PDF stage.
- Next, on your text page document (but not the Front matter), insert page numbers. You can use Insert Footer or Insert Page Number; sometimes it is just simplest to place the number in the center of the bottom of the page. Be sure to format your page numbers in the same font as either your body text or your heads; try making them the same point size as your body text or maybe 2 points smaller.
- Once you have all the pages laid out correctly and consistently, with page numbers if applicable, then convert your Word document file(s) to PDF using the following guidelines.