Category Archives: book design

Do you know how to publish an ebook with pictures?

Source: Do you know how to publish an ebook with pictures?

Workspace in InDesignHere’s a post from last fall that I swiped from Jean’s Writing! Now that I’m about to epublish my “Beginner’s Cheat Sheet” on formatting your own Print-on-Demand book using InDesign, I’m going to need all the help I can get on formatting ebooks with graphics! What I like in Jean’s video is the idea that you can force text and image to stay together. Does anyone have any experience adding graphics to Kindle ebooks? Does this look like a good process to you? Any help will be WELCOME!




Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, book design, business of writing, ebooks, indie publishing, Print on Demand, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing

Posts in My InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet!

indd pages panel w text

Complete with Screen Shots!

Here are the current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet that will help you format your own print-on-demand interior for IngramSpark. Soon to come: ISBNs and creating your PDF.

Formatting for IngramSpark in InDesign: You’re Almost Already There!

InDesign for Book Formatting: Cheat Sheet I

InDesign Cheat Sheet 2: How to Get Started

InDesign Master Pages: No Big Deal!

InDesign Cheat Sheet! Add Some Text!

Finally! Formatting Text in InDesign, Part I

InDesign Obstacle: When Smart Text Reflow Doesn’t Work

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finally Formatting Part II

Finishing Up, Part I

Finishing Up: Part !!

Finishing Up: Part III



Filed under book design, business of writing, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing

8 Tips For Formatting Your Book

These tips from Don Massenzio may help you make formatting decisions. I particularly like the idea of using 1.5 line spacing instead of single spacing in print books. Maybe I’ll try that next time!

pile of letters for writing

Check out my Beginner’s Cheat Sheet for formatting your hard copy book in InDesign!

Author Don Massenzio

This blog post is designed to help fellow independently published authors improve the quality of their work, but most of the tips here apply to the formatting of any book. I’m speaking of the formatting of books for the consumption of readers, not formatting your manuscript to send off to an agent or publisher.  There are a whole other set of rules for that exercise.

I’ve put together a list of ten tips that you should consider when putting your book together. They are not in order of priority, but together, they can make your book stand out from the millions of others available through your favorite sales channel.

1. Put Some Thought Into Your Cover

I have to admit, this was something I didn’t waste a lot of time on when I published my first book, Frankly Speaking. I just went ahead and used the Kindle cover creator and cranked…

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February 20, 2017 · 4:43 pm

A Book Production Checklist for Indie Authors

A comprehensive list for producing your own book for ingram, CreateSpace, KDP, and others! Lots of links and resources. Thanks, Chris!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

An extract by Carla King, on BookWorks Site:


Are you ready to upload your book for sale to the online retailers?

Got all your front and back matter, images, fonts, and ISBNs?

Use this checklist to make sure you’ve done everything you can to create a quality book that competes with books produced in the traditional publishing houses.

But first, here’s a quick overview of the entire book production process.

It begins with an unedited manuscript and ends with a check of the final proof before distribution.

Continue learning at the following link:

Book Production Checklist

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, book design, business of writing, ebooks, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing

Do you know how to publish an ebook with pictures?

Here’s some simple advice that may prove useful even if you’re not working on a children’s picture book! Jean Cogdell tries things out for us and shares!

Jean's Writing

Using MS-Word?

Success at last! When I loaded it up to KDP, everything worked!i-did-it

If you write children’s books or comic books, I’m sure you’ve heard of Kindle Kids’ Book Creator. This program is terrific. However, the program limits which electronic devices that can open and read the book.

I wanted my picture books to be available on e-readers and tablets. I found out after using KKBC for A Most Reluctant Princess; this wasn’t possible. Using KKBC limits which electronic devices available.  Since publishing my first picture book, I’ve read tips, blogs, instructions, and watched videos searching a way to use MS-Word.

No one had the answers I needed. So, I began experimenting until I figured out a process that worked.

My new book, A Reluctant Little Prince, in e-book form, is written on MS-Word and can be read on a Kindle. Yay!

For the print version…

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Filed under Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, book design, ebooks, indie publishing, Self-publishing, Tech tips, Writing

InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet: Finishing Up, Part 3

This is part of a series. Here is a complete list of current posts in my InDesign Beginner’s Cheat Sheet.

It’s time to put final elements together before producing a pdf suitable for submission to Ingram and CreateSpace. Most important at this final stage is your “front matter.”

Front Matter

This term refers to your title page(s), your copyright page, and any other elements you want to include, such as quotes from reviews or blurbs you’ve solicited, epigraphs like quotes from poems or songs, or an author’s note—everything leading up to the actual first page of Chapter One.

To begin, determine how many front matter pages you want. I’ve discovered that, except for the copyright page, most published books insert front-matter text only on odd-numbered pages, or the right-hand pages. So in my books, I include the following front matter pages:

  • Page 1: A “Praise for” page of quotes from editorial reviews
  • Page 2: Blank
  • Page 3: Title (return) by (return) Author, all centered
  • Page 4: Copyright page (see discussion below)
  • Page 5: Author’s Note
  • Page 6: Blank
  • Page 7: An “Also by” note listing my other titles, centered
  • Page 8: Blank
  • Page 9: Title, centered
  • Page 10: Blank

Page 11 starts the book proper.

Once you know how many pages you will need, use Layout>Pages>Insert Pages to add the correct number to your document. Until you insert text, they will show up as blank pages in the Pages Panel.

Pages Panel in InDesign

Here, the ten “front matter” pages I’ve added show up before the “Main” text.

When you submit your book to your cover designer, you will count these pages, as well as back matter pages (see below) as part of your total page count.

Creating Sections to Control Page Numbering

You do NOT want to count the front-matter pages as part of your “book” proper. In other words, right now, using my list of pages above as an example, the first-front matter page is numbered “1” and the first page of the actual book would be numbered “11.” But I want my first page of actual text to be numbered “1.”

If you’re familiar with Word, you know that the header and footer dialogue boxes allow you to tell Word how you want each chapter numbered.

In InDesign, you can solve this problem by creating sections.

 Creating Sections

  • Select the first page of your actual book text in the Pages Panel by double-clicking on it
  • Open “Layout” from the menu at the top of the screen.
  • Choose “Numbering and Section Options. . . .”

Numbering and Section options in InDesign

  • In the “New Section” dialogue box that opens, check that “Start Section” is selected.
  • Enter “1” in “Start Page Numbering at.”
  • Select the style you want, probably Arabic (the font will be determined by your master).
  • Click OK

New Section Dialogue Box in InDesign

In the Pages Panel, you’ll notice that page numbers appear under the page icons. Your first ten pages (the front matter pages) will be numbered 1-10.

Pages Panel in InDesign

Then, above your first page of actual text, you’ll see a little triangle. This is the “new section” indicator. This page will be numbered as “Main1,” and the rest of the pages as “Main 2, Main 3, Main 4. . . . etc.” “Main” is the default Section Prefix. You can change this to anything you want.

Later, if you print, or when you make adjustments to specific pages, always be sure to include the Section Prefix to distinguish Front-matter Page 1 from Book-text Page 1.

You’ll notice that your new front-matter pages each have a little  “A” in the upper outside corner. This means that the program is applying your primary, or “A,” master to these pages. But! These front-matter pages should NOT show the elements from your master: the running heads and page numbers.

So removing these elements is the next step in creating this section of your book.

Removing Master-page Elements from Front-Matter Pages

You have at least three choices for removing page numbers and running heads.

Option One:

Select the front-matter pages by clicking on the first page, then shift-clicking on the last page you intend to use for front-matter text—the last page before your actual book begins. In my example, I would select pages 1-10.

Go to Layout>Pages>Apply Master to Pages

Layout>Pages menu in InDesign

In the box that opens, select “none.”

Apply master

Note that this option may affect your margins. In my case, I had set up document margins that corresponded to my text frames, so removing the master elements using this method did not affect the margins of any of the pages. This method was easy and fast.

Option Two:

  • On each page of your front matter, use the now-familiar Type Tool to hold down SHIFT + COMMAND/CTRL and click. The text frame is selected.
  • Hit the Delete key on your keyboard

You can select multiple elements in a single spread (two side-by-side even and odd pages) by holding down the SHIFT + COMMAND/CTRL keys as you click. “Delete” should remove all the master page elements in that spread at one fell swoop.

This method requires that you delete the master-page elements on one spread at a time,  so it is a little slower than simply removing the masters across a range of pages. But this method will preserve your margins and other elements if that becomes an issue.

Option Three

Create a new master for the front-matter pages

This is the most time-consuming of your options and is beyond the scope of this book. If you were formatting a multi-section book, you would probably find the effort to create separate masters for each section worthwhile. But for a text-only book like a novel, you only need two sections, a front-matter section and a book-proper section, and you can create, format, and paginate those two sections simply by removing or overriding your single A-master.

Your Copyright page

You must include this page in your print edition, just as you did in your ebook.

I’ve used Joel Friedlander’s “short” model from The Book Designer site for the format and text.

Copyright page for print-on-demand self-published book

Click to see a larger version

This is bare bones, but for many self-publishers, more than adequate.

When you look at books published by traditional publishers, you’ll see a lot more information on the copyright page. In most cases, what you’re seeing is the “CIP data block.” Here’s an example from The Book Designer:

CIP block for print edition of a book

Friedlander tells us that a) CIP, which refers to the “Library of Congress’s Cataloguing in Publication” program, is of primary concern to those who hope to sell to libraries, and that b) self-publishers may not use the CIP program. Instead, they must pay a fee for a Library of Congress “Preassigned Control Number,” otherwise known as a P-CIP.

Only if you hope for a lot of library traffic—perhaps you are publishing a reference book or a book that has content that teachers might assign—would you have a reason to pay for this service.

Here is Friedlander’s complete discussion of CIP:

As my example shows, I did not apply for P-CIP number, and there is probably no reason for you to do so either. As you can see from Friedlander’s downloadable model and my example, all you really need to include are

  • the copyright notice,
  • a statement of your rights,
  • your ISBN
  • a way for people to contact you

Next: What I know about ISBNs.


Filed under book design, business of writing, Copyright, indie publishing, novels, Print on Demand, Publishing, Self-publishing, Writing

Author Beware … Publishing Predators Are Breeding…

Thanks, Chris, for another important article. Here is my comment on this article at The Book Shepherd:
I’m amazed that so many people will pay these sums to be published when CreateSpace will do it for free. All you need is a Word file and a cover. Sorry, my CreateSpace book looks just fine. I suppose there are genius cover designers out there who could have done a better cover than did for me, but I’d be surprised to discover them at a reasonable cost.

I went with Ingram first; again, nothing wrong with the 22 books I purchased at cost ($168). At Ingram, you will pay $49 for publication, and you must, indeed should, buy your own ISBN, since if you choose CreateSpace first, they will own the ISBN. Three hundred dollars for 10 ISBNs you can use for your entire series is a lot less than the numbers being discussed in these comments.

I formatted my own interior, which cost me $20 a month for my subscription to Adobe InDesign. On my blog [this blog!], I’m doing a series on how I conquered InDesign.

Believe me, it’s not that hard.

I hope writers will use the funds they are paying for these services to find good professional editors and cover designers. And I second Judith’s point that being traditionally published does NOT mean that you will get stellar marketing. In the end, you will do that for yourself. Why not do it all?

(And I second a comment that recommended Smashwords. Not only will Mark Coker walk you through the ebook-creation process, he will publish your ebook absolutely free!)

What about you? Do you have any tales to tell about your publishing adventures? Help us all “beware.”

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Article extract from Judith Briles on The Book Shepherd site:

Oh, what a tangled web they weave … publishing predators are breeding with the surge of authors now by-passing traditional publishing. Over half of books published today are by the self and indie publishers. Traditional publishers are taking notice and are now gearing up to offer their own “self-publishing” opportunities. Some, like Simon & Schuster, Hay House and Penguin, have had a “vanity press” relationship for years in place via Author Solutions (ASI). Expect to see all of this push into a higher gear–after all … there is money in wannabe author’s pockets.

It’s a never-ending story … the emails, phone calls, postings within the Author U Group on LinkedIn and my personal group on Facebook: Publishing with The Book Shepherd (join it) … and I’ve worked with several private clients and fielded numerous phone calls/emails from authors who have…

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