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Before publishing a book, there are many elements to consider when formatting your book and be sure to take care of them in order to make your book a success. Among these include; typography, line spacing, book margins, page numbers, page layout cover design, headers and footers, paper choice and above all; the book size.

Here are some important highlights on book size selection that will help you along the process of formatting.

Book Size

The first decision you will have to make regarding the design of your book is the size of your book. Commonly, 6*9 inches is basically the size used for trade paperbacks. A larger trim size is preferable for children or seniors. Graphics and illustrations will play part into it too.

The size of your book will determine its printing costs as digital books are priced depending on a range of sizes instead of a price for every different size. You will obtain a quotation for your book printing based on the size of your book.

Here are highlights on specific sizes for certain books.

Mass Market books need to be 4-1/4”*7”, the ideal size for selling through racks on various book points such as supermarkets; the size is ideal for the mode of distribution. However, this will probably not apply for self-published books.

Trade paperbacks - This category of books, often in 5-1/2”*8-1/2” to 6”*9” range, a proportion of 2:3, has long been considered ideal size especially for self-published books.

Manuals and workbooks are larger thus takes a range of 8”*10” to 8-1/2”*11”, sizes that are also good for instructional books with detailed drawing with lots of graphics and for directories. This design takes a 2 column layout that provides efficient space for use.

Novels and memoirs generally appear in a range of varied sizes such as; 5-1/2”*8-1/2”, 5-1/2”*8”, 5-1/4”*8” and 6”*9” respectively. These are quite charming and intimate sizes that are not overly bulky.  

Arts and photography books don’t necessarily conform to any size limits and comes in square or almost square shapes to allow for picture placement from any orientation, may it be vertical or horizontal.

Non-fiction titles generally, come out in one most popular size of 6”*9”, the most widely used size for hardcover books too. 7”*10” is frequently used to allow a larger range if need be when more room is needed for pull quotes or sidebars on a page.

With these guidelines coupled with the outlined requirements of your prospective publisher, no doubt that you will choose the most ideal size for your print depending on your book category and preferences.

What Will be Suitable for Your Book; White Paper or Cream Paper?

Written by   |   Saturday, 14 September 2013 13:05

There is a wide range of paper out there to choose from for your book printing. However, the question is; which paper type is most appropriate for your book? Colorful paper is not as suitable as plain paper because too many colors hamper reading. It’s easier to read text on a plain background thus white or cream paper is ideal as they are not too bright nor are they too dull to cause eye-strain when reading.

Basically, you may want to experiment on a range of paper choices just to be sure which one is more suitable for your needs. However, your preference may not count as the ideal paper as you should consider what will be suitable for your readers and not go by your tastes. No one wants to read something that is strenuous to read. Offer your readers what they will enjoy reading with ease.

What are some of the factors that could lead to white or cream paper preference?

Ideally, this will depend on the elements you desire to include in your book. For instance, using black for illustrations on white brings them out more boldly than on cream paper. The illustrations appear bolder and more 3D looking as opposed to cream. On the other hand, cream tends to drain some of the effects from the digitally printed illustrations making them a bit blurred.

White paper also adds more boldness to drop caps and the text in general and gives your readers a greater appeal than when you use cream paper. Black and white brings out a better rhyme of colors than black and cream.

On the other hand, if you are using plain text, the idea of using cream paper wouldn’t be that bad after all. However, it doesn’t really come with the much needed appeal for non-fiction books, may be probably suitable for fiction books.

Besides, cream paper pages tend to do better with Lightning Source more than it does with CreateSpace. Therefore you might have to opt for Lightning Source if you choose to settle for the cream paper to have the desired effects on your end-product.

Cream paper is preferably suitable for fictions books such as novels while white paper is often used for technical (How To Books) and such other nonfiction books.

Benefits of Publishing to CreateSpace; Your Best Self-Publishing Partner

Written by   |   Friday, 13 September 2013 09:34

Are you a self-publisher looking for a suitable option for your book? CreateSpace is your ideal printing and distribution service provider. Being Amazon’s DIY self-publishing platform, it remains the most popular option for both new and seasoned authors who opt to self publish. They provide the major most essential services to make book publishing for you a success. Createspace offers you digital fulfillment, print and distribution services.

Library books - Createspace produces library-quality books by using print-on-demand model. They offer varied services to suit an individual author’s needs.

Trim size - Createspace will ensure that your book is a quality product just as one of those published by major publishers as they produce both large and small paperback books in standard sizes. However, they don’t offer off-size book printing.

Cover finish - CreateSpace only offers printing of books with laminated covers which is beautiful and optimal for many authors, however, they don’t print those with matte finish mostly preferred my major publishers for their books. They also print paperback books but not hardcover.

Apt services - You get a range of reasonably priced services as an author from CreateSpace ranging from book design to marketing services. You can make a daunting process relatively easy and pain-free with a professional design and marketing team especially for first time self-publishers; precisely what CreateSpace offers you.

Cost setup - CreateSpace is the best priced for you as they charge no setup fees and proofs cost that placed on individual books; at $25 per title. They are the most reasonably priced in the market and allow you to set your own pricing for your books.

Royalties - For the CreateSpace store, the discounts are placed at 20% for expanded distribution. For instance, a book will assume a price of $14.95, of which you receive $6.91 in royalties for sales in CreateSpace store, $3.93 for sales on Amazon and 91 cents for sales of the same book through expanded distribution. This is applicable for a 350 page book going by the size 6” *9”.

Print on demand - CreateSpace offers on-demand printing technology which is highly profitable to authors as it costs them less in terms of printing investment. However, they don’t offer printing range options on bulk printing.

Distribution - CreateSpace offers two options for your book distribution; either on expanded distribution or via CreateSpace store and Amazon. The expanded distribution comprises of academic institutions, bookstores and libraries. Although as an author you may want to add expanded distribution, all books published on CreateSpace are enlisted both on Amazon and CreateSpace store.

Well, these are some of the benefits you gain when you enlist for CreateSpace to partner with you to make your book publishing a success. There are other numerous profitable services you obtain from CreateSpace that will surely make your book a success.

New Developments in Lulu that Will See your eBook Hit the Ground Running

Written by   |   Friday, 13 September 2013 02:43

No author has ever had to worry about meeting acceptable literary standards in book design aspects such as eBook formatting, cover design, image creation and others like the one who publishes independently. This is so because the independent author has more control (and therefore responsibility) over the book production process. That’s why Lulu has decided to make the achievement of an independent author’s goals a bit easier.

Of course, time is of the essence for any author who hopes to self-publish with Lulu. This makes it necessary to acquire book preparation tools that expedite the process with little hassle on the part of the author. Again, Lulu looked into this and came up with features you may wish to know about, if you hope to achieve industry standards in self-publishing.

Lulu is in itself a self-publishing agency that helps aspiring authors publish and distribute their books via Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks. The agency has helped millions of authors tell their unique stories and is determined to make their experience faster and easier. The latest developments in the firm revolve around a revamped homepage, new book templates and new eBook solutions.

The New Templates

Lulu has introduced new templates that will help with book formatting. Additionally, the templates have support for content creation as well as layout aspects. With these, it’ll be easier for self-published books via Lulu to meet the best standards and compete on the same level with mainstream writers.

In the same vein, you can take advantage of tips from self-publishing experts, which are embedded in every section of the new templates. With this development, it’ll be extremely difficult not produce a world-class title.

New eBook Options

This strategy is aimed at giving authors more control over the book production process while shortening the time it takes to hit the market. Thus, Lulu has introduced four eBook publishing solutions that will make it easier for authors to distribute their titles on Apple iBookstore, Nook Bookstore (Barnes & Noble) and Lulu itself. With the recent introduction of iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, you have another useful tool to reach out to a wider audience.

A number of Lulu innovations and strategies have come up towards this end. For instance, Lulu exclusively partnered with The Book Genome Project and introduced the Helix Review feature. The analysis tool exposes authors to a database of over 100,000 famous titles, making it possible to draw comparisons and lay down workable formulas for successful market penetration.

Additionally, Lulu launched the Picture.com site, which will help authors with the quick creation of professional photo books. This comes complete with custom features to help enterprises capture and store fond memories and forged relationship uniquely via photography.

Already, professional eBook and paperback formatters have positioned themselves to take advantage of such developments at Lulu and help authors achieve their objectives faster and easier. Thus, don’t hesitate to let a self-publishing expert help with the nitty-gritty of eBook design in order to deliver a professional-grade product in the market.

Optimizing Images for the New iPhone 5c’s Retina Display

Written by   |   Thursday, 12 September 2013 08:46

Image formatting to publish on Apple books is not an issue for OS developers alone to worry about. That’s why self-publishing authors too must adhere to image optimization guidelines that enhance readability of their titles on Apple devices such as the iPhone 5C.

Apple’s retina display is nothing new to users of Apple devices. However, the technology continues to define Apple's top-notch display quality as evident in the new iPhone 5C. The new smart device brings with it incredibly awesome features, but its 4-inch retina display assures users of high-resolution and crisp quality images, text, widgets and other types of graphics.

Why should Authors Worry about Retina Display

Well, as an author you don’t have to be tech savvy to deliver the best image quality for retina display on iPhone 5C. But that stands for as long as you have at your disposal a professional eBook formatter that will help with the optimization of images for high quality display. However, it helps to know what to expect from your book formatter for all images, including those for cover design.

The retina display stands out for its capacity to display images at clarity and quality that’s 2-3 times better than standard density display. The images contain more detail, even when zoomed to a reasonable extent. However, authors need to follow the guidelines below to ensure images contained in their submissions for books publishing will display well on retina screens.

  • Apple recommends images of 2048 pixel width for display on retina screens. If you intend to publish on non retina display, images should be not more than 1024 pixels wide. This standard applies for all images except those meant for the book cover.
  • Your book cover designer should size it to 1400 (remember the book cover is an image too.)
  • For maximum quality, all images should be in JPG format. Apple recommends the format for opaque images. However, if you wish to achieve a certain level of transparency, the PNG format is recommended for images.
  • You may sharpen your images, but this is not necessary. Of course, your image designer can experiment with this feature on several zoom levels and see how it all works out.
  • Try to work with images on RGB or Adobe RGB colour.
  • Remember that image size and image quality are related. Images with more detail have more pixels and are larger. Photoshop is a good tool to use to optimize images for retina display on iPhone 5C by tweaking the size and quality (in this case you’ll be adjusting image height and width in pixels).

With the new iPhone 5C already in the market, the bonus is on you as an author, to take advantage and produce a quality e Book for publishing via iBooks. The platform will make your book available on Apple’s smart devices including iPhone. If you’re self-publishing, this is even better since the store never turns away aspiring authors, unlike what the case is with mainstream publishers.

Proper and Effective Indexing of Your Book Can Be Instrumental in its Success

Written by   |   Wednesday, 11 September 2013 08:41

Book indexing is one important task in the process of publishing your book thus ought to be handled with great care. A well done index is a great plus in boosting the accessibility of your book just as a bad indexing can be the reason for your book to fail. Basically, in as much as you may have a zeal to reach your audience with the message you feel could contribute to their lives positively, there is no way you would want to do so at a loss or no gain at all. Making profits is one concern any author or publisher can’t afford to overlook.

Unfortunately, book sales don’t just come but they are generated with great efforts. If your book has to be counted as a success, then it must make good sales. Getting your book to be noticed by potential buyers will definitely play a crucial role in doing so. Thus it’s up to you to find out what are the reliable ways of getting your book noticed in the market. Making your book reach and attract the attention of your potential buyers is the next important milestone you must achieve after publishing your book.

Although promotions are as effective, book indexing is one task that will give you double advantage. You may need to make several promotional efforts to keep the exercise effective yet indexing once done it doesn’t need constant updates to sustain its effectiveness.

How can you make effective indexing? Here are three things to put into consideration;

  • Three indented levels- Limit your index to three levels to avoid getting your readers disoriented. One is likely to lose track once you introduce a fourth level or so, thus three levels are quite ideal. You can start with one level in bold, the second one in plain and the third in plain italics. This variation of groupings will be helpful if done consistently without switching fonts within a given level.
  • Lower case letters- Ensure that you start your indexed words with the lower case letters except they be acronyms. It’s easier to read lower case letters but ensure that all acronyms are in caps. It’s profitable to repeat acronyms in their open forms with each word beginning with upper case letter.
  • Cross indexing- Ensure that all important phrases are cross referenced under their respective letters. This will ensure that the phrases appear under the respective letters thus your readers won’t have to think much since they will easily find what they are looking for easily.

Ideal and effective book indexing is one done by an expert. Get proper indexing with us, The Fast Fingers, which will be effectual and satisfactory to your expectation too. We offer the fast services and the best that you deserve.

eBook Formatting Considerations if Writing for iBooks

Written by   |   Wednesday, 11 September 2013 08:31

Well, Apple launches two smart devices (iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C) at the same time. Authors are already getting in position to tap into the expanded audience. However, there are a few aspects to be considered regarding eBook formatting, cover design, graphics and images before submission for publishing on Apple’s iBooks. But why should the latest iPhone models interest self-publishing authors?

According to sales figures reported by Forbes, iPhone 4S sold over 54.1 million units in both September and December, having been launched in early October, 2011. For the second half of 2012, the iPhone 5 sold well over 74.7 million devices, a significant 38% improvement over just one year. If the trend continues and all other factors remain constant, Forbes predicts that the latest iPhones may sell well over 85 million units by December, 2013. For authors, this is a remarkable audience size to target. Below are some of the eBook formatting aspects that will help you put together an acceptable document for publishing on the new iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

All smart phone makers emphasize on usability and navigability of their devices. This means that companies such as Apple cannot take any product that will compromise on their resolve to enhance the overall user experience. A table of content is one feature of an eBook that makes it an easy read. That’s why it’s necessary that you include one in your eBook. A professional book formatter can help you create a table of content with navigation links that will help readers access any parts of your eBook conveniently.

Page Breaks

Most eReaders create stretches of white space between chapters for eBooks without page breaks at the end of every chapter. This again smacks of amateurish eBook production and doesn’t augur well for an author who wishes to make their work available on any Apple device. Thus, make sure to insert page breaks at the end of every chapter of your eBook.

Cover Image Formatting and Quality

Your book cover image should be submitted as a JPG or PNG. If prepared in other formats, you should convert before submitting it for publishing. Also, size it to 768 pixels wide.

Keep the iBooks upload Limit

You cannot submit an eBook larger than 2GB onto the iBooks store. If your book exceeds this limit, find ways to ‘cut it down to size’ by removing unnecessary images or reducing their resolution. Reducing text won’t yield a significant decrease in the size of your eBook as text occupies little memory space.

Observe General iBooks Rules on Content Type

Apple doesn’t publish nudity, racial intolerance or discrimination. Thus, make sure such material is not present in the text or graphics you submit (both in the main document and book cover). Also, the book cover image should not contain addresses or web links.

Of course, only a professional book formatting and cover design service provider can help with the nitty-gritty of standard eBook design. Thus, make sure you engage one as you prepare to publish on iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

iPhone 5cAs iPhone plans to take on android with the introduction of the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, eBook publishers can take this opportunity to write for an even greater audience. Smart phones and tablets are some of the most extensively used reading devices for content published in eBook format. Thus, the potentially hundreds of millions of customers that will purchase the new iPhone present an audience that you should seek to capitalize on before it’s too late. If you haven’t done this before, aggregators and eBook formatting service providers can help a great deal. But first things first; what ticks about the latest entrants into the smart device market?

iPhone 5C Specs

The new iPhone 5C comes with a Retina display that’s 4 inch long, providing an enhanced viewing experience for users. The phone’s processor hasn’t changed, meaning it’s powered by iPhone 5 A6 processor. Other key features include an 8-magapixel rear camera, dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0. The plastic phone runs on iOS 7 as its Operating System and comes in pink, green, white, blue and yellow.

iphone 5siPhone 5S Specs

The iPhone5S is expected to have the same dual-core CPU as its predecessor (iPhone 5), but with a higher clock rate. The smart device boasts a quad-core SGX544MP4 GPU, 2GB Random Access Memory (RAM) and IGZO display and 12-megapixel camera. This phone has a fingerprint scanner under its home button.

How to Self-Publish on iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C

While Apple does publish eBooks on iPhone and iPad IOS platforms, the phone maker doesn’t take submissions from individuals directly. Thus, you’ll have to go through aggregators that will help you meet the right eBook standards and specifications before finally submitting to Apple Store.

You can start with platforms such as Smashwords, Book Baby, Constellation, INgrooves, Ingram, LibreDigital, Lulu and others. There are many advantages to going through these platforms before ePublishing on iPhone. For one, they’ll help publish your book on more than one platform such as Kindle and Nook alongside Apple’s iBooks. Secondly, the platforms help you assemble your title in line with industry’s standards on many aspects including provision of ISBN numbers.

You will also need to engage a qualified eBook formatting service provider. Since you’ll be typing your manuscript on Ms Word format or other word processor, you’ll need help with PDF formatting and conversion. Remember, the aggregator won’t take your work unless it meets their standards, and this means that a professional should help you put together an attractive title.

How about cover design? You can get help with it too. Mostly, an eBook formatter will offer a comprehensive service that encompasses paperback formatting (in case you also want your eBook available for print-on-demand), graphic/cover design and eBook conversion. This service can help you focus on writing and still deliver world-class quality.

So, now you have a reason to finalize on your story as you prepare to make it available on both iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S. The good thing with the platform is that it offers responsive display that makes most eBooks readable on it.

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Over the years, print on demand distribution has proven to be an effective and quite efficient distribution strategy for many book publishers. Lighting Source is a leading print-on-demand company that deals with printing and book distribution. Initially incorporated way back in 1997 as Lightning Print Inc., the company has come a long way and has greatly expanded its operations with its headquarters based in La Vergne, Tenessee USA and Milton Keynes UK. They are also based in Australia, France, Maurepas and Melbourne.

Why do you need Lightning Source services?

  • Today’s high-tech world has come with expectations and demands that lighting Source will help you meet as a publisher. They offer a range of services that makes business in the book industry not only easy but highly profitable too for publishers.
  • Lighting source offers their services in a flexible manner that allows you the option you find most suitable for your book. They operate on two levels, namely; print on demand and short-run and galley printing. Either way, you will get quality services that you deserve. Basically, the difference mainly is based on the duration and type of printing you may want.
  • Print on demand allows you to have your book to be printed on order in a range of formats which is done within a range of 2 working days. On the other hand, Short-run and web direct distribution orders enables printing for your book to be done within a range of between 5 and 10 business days .
  • A comprehensive eBook services is also available with Lightning source and offers digital fulfillment system that enables you to obtain a full range of services that will make your eBook a success. These services include digital rights management to your content delivery in multiple formats.

Lighting Source is not a publisher but an effective system that offers reliable tools to enable publishers maintain high standard services for their customers. In a fast changing marketplace, where technological advancement has resulted to increased demand for higher quality products, Lightning source is committed to offer fast and easy solutions that are ultimately meant for the benefit of booksellers, libraries and above all the publishers.

Through the eBooks and print-on-demand, a publisher is able to sell more books and also cuts down on printing investment as well as warehousing stock. He has his orders easily and quickly executed with great precision.


What exactly caused the rise of self-publishing to the extent of sending tremors in the world of mainstream publishing? Has it got something to do with revenue, creative standards, book formatting, cover design or other industry standards? A closer look at what writers are accomplishing in self-publishing reveals several author interests that mainstream publishers could not satisfy.

As self-publishing continues to stamp its authority in the book writing industry, more and more authors have embraced this route and for very practical reasons. This viable book publishing model has created a new type of writers, who are more assertive about what they wish to accomplish and how. That’s why even authors who have worked with mainstream publishing houses won’t hesitate to seal deals with self-publishing firms if offered the chance.

It’s not just authors only who have had to change their game to match the paradigm shift in the book publishing industry. Mainstream publishers themselves have realized the need to retain authors as well as attract new ones, with the only way to do that—by opening up opportunities for self-publishing. The entire phenomenon borders on three unique self-publishing benefits: creative control, marketing and distribution.

The present day author, who’s conscious of the opportunities in self-publishing, is highly evolved. The author wants a say in what’s to be treated as acceptable writing, more involvement in marketing and expanded distribution opportunities. Thus, such an author is no longer just a writer; they’re entrepreneurial and are quick to identify and tap into emerging niches without the obstacle of possible rejection by editors or mainstream publishers. They want their book available to an extensive market area and will explore all channels possible to deliver their titles in the market, both in paperback and digital formats.

Creative Control

With self-publishing, an author has unlimited authority over what story to tell and how to tell it. The author is keen to study an audience and come up with a story that will interest. Thus, whether it’s from personal experience, observation or imagination, no one in self-publishing will dictate what meets standards and what doesn’t. Additionally, the author has more control over all aspects of book design, from book cover to images and topography.


The self-published author does not write then sit back and wait for the publisher to take care of business. They’re involved in social bookmarking, Facebook advertising, link building and other online marketing activities that enhance their title’s web visibility.


Such authors have their own online book stores and business websites, which they market aggressively to enhance sales. They also take advantage of other established online stores such Amazon to sell their titles. To maximise sales, self-publishing embraces Print-on-Demand to make sure that authors that start out with eBooks can make their titles available for print into paperback formats on demand.

Thus, self-publishing is a viable option to both aspiring and established authors. The development has brought about a generation of authors with a business-oriented mind and with more control of critical aspects of book publishing right from writing, paperback formatting, editing, cover design, and eBook conversions among others.

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