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Page

Layout
For The
New
Publisher
By David Bergsland
Written and published in May, 2011
© David Bergsland • All Rights Reserved

Mankato, Minnesota • http://radiqx.com • info@radiqx.com


Please let us know if there is anyway we can help you
in you publishing endeavors.
Page layout basics
Setting up your book to be read
One of the more daunting aspects of book design for the
inexperienced is page layout. Most people have Word experi-
ence and Word cannot do professional page layout. In fact, it
is worse than that because Word’s feeble attempts give you
bad habits and poor expectations that must be corrected.
Many parameters have to be covered for every docu-
ment. Many of these are set up as you go through the Pref-
erences for your applications. You might want to consider
setting your measuring system to inches or millimeters,
for example. Only die-hard traditionalists use points. You
should work in whatever measurement system works best
for you. Every application has important decisions to be
made in Preferences. To repeat, the point is to set up your
applications so they work best for you.

Starting at the beginning: Document Setup…


Many of the choices found in this dialog box are based
on experience that you may not have as of yet. The first
choice is that we always start with print. There are many
reasons for this that we have talked about repeatedly else-
where. The second is that we always start with color. Except
for Kindle, all of our ebooks will be in color. For years print-
ing and color were mutually exclusive for publishing books
in the kingdom because printing in color was (and is) too
expensive to be good stewardship.
In this new publishing world, all docu-
ments will be done in print and in color:
This is due to the wide variety of for-
mats and media you will be using. BUT, you
will severely damage your relationship with your
readers if they think you are wasting money on
color printing. The color is for the monitor. Print
comes first because if the high quality required.
Printing in color is usually squandering resources
and offending your partners.

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Some of the things are obvious
In this book we are concerned about publishing so
several of the options are predetermined. Let’s go through
these choices quickly:

❦❦ Facing pages: Yes. We are doing multiple


page documents. This gives us a
workspace that mimics a book.
❦❦ Master text frame: No. It doesn’t
do what you want it to do.
❦❦ Intent: Print. Always. Only print uses 300 dpi
full color images and supports vector images.
Only Postscript can handle the fonts and
styles we need to do excellent typography.
❦❦ Number of pages: This can range from 12
to 100 pages to start. You’ll be adding
more later. You need 24 pages minimum
to publish. It should be divisible by 4.
❦❦ Save Preset: You’ll probably end up saving
several document presets at various sizes. Just
4 click this button and name your setting.
THE NEW PUBLISHER: http://radiqx.com
❦❦ Start page: #1
Document size [page size]
For the new publisher, document size is a given with
few options. Here the concern is distribution. The fact that
we can publish free is wonderful, but it includes some
restrictions. You need to make wise choices.
There are only certain sizes acceptable to Amazon
(and the other distributors offered by our on-demand print
suppliers). You must make at least one version of your book
in a size that can be distributed through Amazon (unless
you have no intention of selling any copies). They are the
500# gorilla at this point. The standard trade paperback (as
close to normal as you can get) is 6x9. In general, I would
always release a 6x9 version.
Amazon accepts 13 standard page sizes in early 2011:
Size Lulu Amazon B&W Color

5 x 8 inches √ √
5.06 x 7.81 inches √ √
5.25 x 8 inches √ √
5.5 x 8.5 inches √ √ √
6 x 9 inches (trade) √ √ √ √
6.14 x 9.21 inches (royal) √ √ √ √
6.69 x 9.61 inches √ √
7 x 10 inches √ √ √
7.44 x 9.69 inches (Crown) √ √ √
7.5 x 9.25 inches √ √
8 x 10 inches √ √
8.5 x 8.5 inches √ √ √
8.5 x 11 inches (letter) √ √ √ √
There are several sizes that cannot be distributed up
to Lulu’s 12x12 premium casewrap. CreateSpace also
provides for custom sizes with no distribution. 5
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Remember, it only costs a proof
to release another version (if that)
Some of Lulu’s sizes work really well with comb bind-
ing and saddle-stitching. These cannot be distributed through
Amazon (although Lulu makes them available through its
marketplace on Amazon), but they can work really well to
add workbook varieties to the mix, for example. They might
not have the larger distribution, but might be real handy to
offer low price releases by your ministry directly.
Bleeds
A bleed is needed when you produce a design where you
really need the ink to go exactly to the edge of the paper.
To produce a bleed, you make everything that reaches to the
edge of the page extend one-eighth inch beyond the edge and
then trim the piece back to finished size after printing. That’s
one-eighth inch, nine points, or a little less than four tenths
of a millimeter (.375 mm to be precise).

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THE NEW PUBLISHER: http://radiqx.com
The power cutters used in the industry are the reason
a bleed is necessary. These huge guillotine cutters slide their
knives through stacks of paper several inches thick. They
can cut 1,000 to 3,000 sheets at a time. Those huge cuts
force the paper to slide around a bit. The result of these
limitations is that cuts are only accurate to plus or minus a
sixteenth of an inch or so.
Margins
This seems to be too obvious, but many ruin their job
here. The most common amateur mistake is to make margins
too small. You can assume that you need to leave .5” margins,
minimum. Neither Lulu nor CreateSpace will accept a book
where copy comes within .375” of an edge.
In addition, margins are often a large part of style.
If you are trying for the elegant look of an old book, for
example, you will need huge margins. There are many for-
mulas, but here’s one you can try: 100% inside, 125% top,
150% outside, and 200% bottom (for example, 1.25” top; 1.5”
outside; 2” bottom; and 1” inside). “Look at all that empty
paper. I can’t afford to waste that space!” You might want to
keep some old books to remind yourself. Very high-priced
products, or very cultured clients like the opera, commonly
use one-inch to two inch-margins or more.
Conversely, if you need to convey maximizing your
money — fundraising materials and the like — you need very
small margins, gutters, and a lot of rules and boxes. You need
to fill every open white space, making the page look like
everything is crammed in to save money. Even if it is not
strictly true, readers will think it is. The point to remember
is: the smaller the margins, the cheaper the look.
Minimal professional standards: basically you want the mar-
gins to be large enough to engender trust. Most readers have
a subconscious reaction to cheapness—making is synony-
mous with unreliable and many other negatives. You need
to be careful to make your work look professional.
For the new publisher: I would assume a three-quarter inch
(.75”) margin as my minimum. The gutter margin (toward
the spine of the book) should be at least an inch. The on-
demand printers tend to cut slightly undersize and even
half-inch margins can look very cheap and too tight for your
work in the final delivered product. 7
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Columns
Be very careful with your column choices. Your focus
must be easy, comfortable readability. Generally, the more
asymmetrical and the more open you can lay out the piece,
the better. Of course, you can go crazy and make things
totally illegible. Modern style tends to be chaotic, splashy,
and overly complex. But your innate taste and discretion
should keep these tendencies in check. The problem, of
course, is that taste and discretion have become rare. I know
you are working hard to learn taste and reduce that trend
— thank you.
The basic concept is to focus on the reader. You are
writing to serve your reader. If you are not doing this, you
need to have a little talk with the Lord about why you are
writing in the first place.
Books are a very conservative piece of design. The type
needs to be invisible. Your goal is to present the content
are irresistible to read and easy to understand. That is the
essence of good typography.
Be very careful of using cheap clip art
and the supplied templates: Art and
layouts from sources like Office are
instantly recognizable, and subconsciously cause
most readers to reject your work as bad quality,
bureaucratic, official, or any number of similar
horrible epithets. There are now several Web-
sites with excellent stock photos to download
for free or for a couple dollars each: morguefile,
fotolia, bigstock, and many more. All of us use
stock art. The important thing is to locate high
quality images, with unlimited use.
Column width: The first assumption is that you have column
widths in good, readable range. The formula we use for
column width is very simple and gives you a good starting
point for readability.
Here’s a practical rule of thumb that’s less complex than most:

40% of the body copy point size in inches


So, 10 point type works well in a column that is four
inches wide. 12-point type may need nearly five inches (10%
is 4.8”). This assumes a normal x-height of about 50% of the
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THE NEW PUBLISHER: http://radiqx.com
cap height or a third of point size. If the x-height or width of
the letters is radically different than the norm you will need
to make adjustments.
Adjust your margins to leave an appropriate column width:
You can see that this gives us some problems with the
smaller book sizes. The normal size of body copy is 10 point
type with 12 point leading. We’ll talk about that elsewhere.
But it is a fairly rigid norm.
This gives you a four inch column. For a five inch wide
book, this only allows for half-inch margins on the sides.
As mentioned that is very tight. You can probably take the
column down to 3.5” with no readability issues, but you dare
not go more narrow than that.
On the other hand, an 8”x 10” book leaves you with
four inches of margins. This is not a bad thing. One inch
margins on all sides leaves you with an extra two inches for
the gutter. This makes excellent room for a sidebar and to
hold graphics up to six inches wide.
For a 6x9 book: my normal setup is .75” top and outside. I
set the bottom at an inch to leave a quarter inch to hold
my page numbers. I use the resultant 1.25” inside margin
to help keep the copy out of the gutter and make reading
more comfortable.
For a low price workbook to help your clients, a letter-sized
book might help: You can set it up with three-quarter inch
outside and inside margins, and two 3.375” columns with a
quarter-inch gutter between the columns. This will enable
you to convert a 200 page 6x9 book to eighty pages or less—
enabling a cheap workbook for group studies.
Guides
Guides are the non-printing lines that enable designers
to line up graphic pieces to keep their designs tidy. More
than that, it is assumed that text blocks will line up with
each other; that graphics will line up to an assumed grid;
that headlines and subheads will relate to that inferred grid.
Especially when you are learning your
craft, shut the guides off on a regular
basis (there’s a shortcut): Until you get
used to the fact that these lines appearing in
your design on the screen do not print, you will
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tend to leave room for them. As a result, many
of your white spaces will be surprisingly large.
Proofing a printed hard copy helps a lot, but
simply turning off the guides and frame edges
occasionally will tend to keep you on track.
Master pages
Some might think that this fantastic ability requires at
least a larger subhead, or something. Really, all that master
pages do is place repeating elements automatically. Unless
you have a graphically intensive book or a repeating task like
a monthly magazine, a journal, or a large newsletter, master
pages are only used to place automatic numbering markers
for page numbers.
Automatic page numbering
You insert an automatic page number into an inser-
tion point in the text by right-clicking and choosing: Insert
Special Character>> Markers>> Current Page Number. If you
insert a page number on a normal page, the number will
be on that page only. It will always be correct, no matter
how many pages you add, delete, duplicate, or rearrange. If
you add these numbers on a master page, the page number
will appear on all pages where that master page is applied.
Table of Contents and Index
Here are two more capabilities like master pages.
Tables of contents are created from information stored in
the Style palette. Indices are created by hand-flagging the
entries and then automatically gathering them into an index.
Tables of contents are used quite a bit. Newsletters,
magazines, books, and so on all need tables of contents. You
simply collect the heads and subheads into a new story and
then reformat as desired. The TOC paragraph styles can be
generated automatically.
Indexing is a very difficult, specialized
skill: In most cases, if an index is
needed, a pro is needed to write it. A
poorly written index is worse than no index. It
infuriates the reader. A good index will cost you
hundreds of dollars. I usually use an complete
TOC instead. But this is not really the best prac-
tice. Ask the Lord in your case.
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THE NEW PUBLISHER: http://radiqx.com
Sidebars
In general, sidebars are a wonderful idea. As men-
tioned before, sidebars contain interesting data that is not
essential to the document. They add reader interest. They
add graphic interest. They alleviate boredom. They contain
graphic and typographic aberrations that are added merely
for aesthetic reasons. As you have probably figured out by
now, making room for sidebars will usually require a larger
book size.

This is the second part of


a series of postings
I am headed toward a new book called something like
“The New Publisher”. If you have questions, concerns or com-
ments, please share them with the rest of us. My goal is a
book that will really help you.

Mankato, Minnesota May 2011

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For similar content, on ebook production, you will find this helpful

This book is available in print at Amazon for $12.95


It’s also available in print at Lulu for the same price. Plus,
there it is available as a downloadable PDF for $5.99
As an ePUB, it is called “InDesign OnDemand: Print & Ebooks”
and it is available at iBookstore and NookBooks for $5.99
The Kindle version is still in the works.