Page design process

Book page design and layout processThe steps outlined below explain every stage of your page design in the order you can expect them to occur. Authors often ask me, “How long will it take?” The quick answer is four to six weeks.

Your page design, typesetting, and layout will receive as much careful attention as it needs to become the best it can be. I’ll make sure you’re completely happy with your pages before your book goes to press. That’s a promise.

Step 1: Free initial consultation
Call or email me to discuss your page design ideas and we’ll get to know each other a bit before deciding whether to work together. There is no obligation.

Step 2: I’ll give you a firm quote
We’ll discuss all the elements your book contains and how best to present them to your readers. Then I’ll provide you with a firm quote.

Step 3: Getting started
When you’re ready, just send me your signed quote. You can mail a check for your 50% deposit , send it via e-transfer, or if you prefer, pay by any major credit/debit card via PayPal. We’ll also sign a simple contract stating that I agree to do the work, you agree to pay for the work, and we both agree that you’ll own all rights to your final book design.

Step 4: Has your manuscript been edited and proofread?
It’s important that your manuscript be as clean as possible before going into your page design. Having your manuscript edited and proofread beforehand is cost-effective in the long run. An experienced editor will make sure your text flows smoothly for your reader. A proofreader will search carefully for any errors or spelling mistakes. Feel free to look for editing and proofreading professionals in my Resources section.

Step 5: Choosing a page design
We’ll discuss your manuscript in detail, and I’ll learn about your target audience and what elements are in your book. Then I’ll prepare two or three designs for your pages based on our discussion. Each design will consist of the first page of a chapter, followed by a two-page spread (see Page Design Samples for examples). You’ll have choices of typefaces and layout, and I’ll create your final design template according to your preferences.

Step 6: Sending your final manuscript
When your manuscript is ready, you can email me your document together with any images. If your files are too large to send by email, we can use a free online file transfer service such as YouSendIt, Dropbox, or EmailLargeFile.

Step 7: Typesetting your book
When I receive your manuscript, I’ll flow your text into the final design template and place your images. Each page will be typeset, including the front and back matter. I’ll create your title page, copyright page, table of contents, and any other front and back matter you’d like to include in your book. Then I’ll send you a PDF of your completed pages for review.

Step 8: Reviewing and proofreading your pages
Print your PDF and see your manuscript in book form. It’ll look very different from the way you’re used to seeing it. Review each page carefully for any errors. Your editor or proofreader will also want to review it for you. In fact, the more eyes the better! Now is the time to make any last-minute corrections.

Step 9: Making proofreading corrections
Send me your proofreading corrections and I’ll update your pages and send you a new PDF for review.

Step 10: Receiving a mockup of your book
I’ll send you a mockup of your book, printed double-sided, trimmed and bound. Your mockup enables you to see your finished book just as your readers will see it. This helps catch details that might have been missed when looking at the manuscript, such as awkward page turns or facing pages of different lengths.

Step 11: Pre-press approval
When you’re satisfied that your pages are perfect, you’ll sign a Proof Approval checklist, confirming that we’re ready to go to press.

Step 12: Communicating with your printer
I’ll contact your printer for technical specifications and uploading instructions. Your book cover will be designed in InDesign, and you can leave all the details to me.

Step 13: Going to press
I’ll package your digital files and, upon payment of your final account, upload them to your printer, and make sure your printing is trouble-free. I’ll also send you a DVD containing all your digital files for safekeeping.

Step 14: Marketing your book
While your book is being printed, you’ll be busy marketing it. I’ll create a webpage for your book in my Recent Work section, so readers will be able to find your book on the Internet. I’ll also provide you with low-resolution images of your front cover for your marketing and promotion.

Step 15: You’re a published author
Congratulations, you’re a published author. You’ll soon receive the first copies of your published book. When you do, please send me a copy for my records—preferably a signed copy!