Turning your manuscript into an actual book may entail a little bit of a learning curve. Here are some steps to get you started.
This should go without saying, but it must be said anyway. While your manuscript is still in MS Word, or whatever word-processing software you use, it should be thoroughly proofread by a professional or a trusted friend. There is nothing more disheartening than getting your final product back and finding spelling or grammar errors.
Choose a Layout Program
Whichever layout or typesetting software you choose, if you are doing the job yourself, there may be a little bit of a learning curve involved. Some of the most common choices on the market are Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress, although there are a few other choices out there, including some that are free.
While we can’t provide all of the information you will need to do a complete layout, here are a few things to keep in mind as you get started.
1.Decide the trim size you want your book to have and if you want the pages in a normal (portrait) format or landscape (long ways). Make sure that all the pages reflect the orientation that you prefer.
2.When it comes to setting the margins, there are a couple of choices. Most of the time you will see books with margins that are a half inch from the edges, while some prefer to go as much as three quarters of an inch. Just do some experimenting to see what works best for you.
Now you can start to import the text from your manuscript file into your pages. Make sure that the columns are linked together so the text will flow from one to the next seamlessly. It is usually better to use the import function of your typesetting software rather than simply copy and pasting from your word processing program, because in the latter case there is the possibility of losing your formatting.
In a lot of cases, you will have to work with your spacing and font size to create a total page number that is divisible by 32.Meaning that your book should be, for example, 192 or 224 pages rather than 200. Remember to use the master page function to place the book title at the top of each page (or alternate title with author name). And don’t forget to number your pages.
Use your program’s PDF function (in InDesign, it is the “export” function) to make a PDF out of your file. Send the file to your printer.
If you are sending the manuscript to a publisher, punch and bind the pages into a three-ring binder. If you are publishing the book yourself, consider purchasing your own thermal binding machine to finish your book. These types of machines create bookstore and library-ready books in a matter of minutes and the process is amazingly simple. Thermal binding machines can be had for less than $100 in some places, so take a good look around for a machine that suits your needs.