Category Archives: Indexing and Fact Checking

The Elements of a Professional Book Interior

Kim Staflund: founder and publisher at Polished Publishing Group (PPG) and author of the PPG Publisher’s Blog

A book’s interior is comprised of three basic elements: front matter, the body, and back matter. Each element might differ slightly depending on the type of book being published. For example, a non-fiction book will contain an index in its back matter whereas a fictional novel will not. Following is a list a various components you might find within a book’s interior and what their respective purposes are:

The front matter of a book might contain some or all of the following components:

Primary title page: This is usually the very first page of the book in which the title appears on an otherwise blank right-hand page.

Secondary title page: The secondary title page repeats the book title along with the author and publisher’s name on the next right-hand page.

Copyright page: The copyright page will contain the book’s ISBN(s), publication date, copyright owner’s name, and a copyright notice such as, “No portion of this book may be duplicated or used in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) for any profit- driven enterprise without prior permission in writing from the publisher.” If the author also wishes to credit any of the book’s contributors (e.g., photographers and designers), that can also be done on this page.

Quote page: Sometimes a quote will be placed in the front matter if it sums up the essence of the story quite well.

Dedication page: Oftentimes, authors will dedicate their books to their loved ones. That dedication is placed in the beginning of the book.

Acknowledgments page: An acknowledgments page allows an author to provide more detail when crediting the book’s various contributors rather than just listing their names on the copyright page. Here, a heartfelt thank you can be expressed in a much more meaningful way.

Foreword: Usually, a foreword is written by someone other than the author. Its purpose is to provide a history leading up to the story being told or explain what inspired the publication of the book.

Preface: Where a foreword is an introduction to the book written by someone other than the author, a preface is an introduction written by the author for the same purpose. An author might also use a preface to explain what methods of research were used during the creation of the work.

Contents: A table of contents lists the various sections (i.e., chapters, articles, poems, et cetera) within the book and that page numbers on which they begin.

The body of a book usually contains at least the following two components:

Title Pages: A title page is used at the beginning of each section within the body of a book. The purpose of the title page is simply to differentiate between the sections to help organize the flow of the work.

Sections: Sections of a book’s body can be divided up as chapters, poems, articles, et cetera. It all depends on the type of book being published.

The back matter of a book might contain some or all of the following components:

Appendix: An appendix contains supplementary details that help to clarify further any legal, technical, or scientific information within the book.

Bibliography (a.k.a. Citations): A bibliography is a list of the books, articles, webpages, et cetera, that were sourced and referred to throughout the book.

Glossary: A glossary of terms contains a list of specialized words that can be found throughout the book along with their definitions.

Index: An alphabetized index is used to help readers pinpoint the exact pages where they can find an important name, place, or subject throughout the book. (It provides a much more precise, defined search result than the table of contents at the front does.)

Promotional Content: A great way to sell your back list titles is to promote them in the back matter of each new release. It is best if you can provide a graphic of each book’s front cover along with the corresponding ISBNs. This way, readers can search for these back list titles online or at bookstores if they wish to purchase them.

Author Biography: An updated author biography helps personalize your book for readers by giving them a bit more information about the storyteller. It is also a great way to promote past titles, thereby increasing the chance of more sales.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Learn at Your Own Pace: Online Courses in Writing, Publishing, and Selling Books

Through Udemy‘s online learning portal, PPG can help you build on your book writing, publishing, and selling skills from the comfort of your home and at your own pace. Here are just four of the courses that can help you with every aspect of your next book project from start to finish:


ONLINE COURSE: Writing A Book: The First Draft


ONLINE COURSE: Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer


ONLINE COURSE: Self-Publishing Success in Bookstores and Online!


ONLINE COURSE: The A-Z Guide That Will Hold Your Hand To Making A
Career Through Blogging And Building A Successful Online Business

Check them out today. Just click on the above pictures to be redirected to the course landing page where you can enroll and start learning immediately. Good luck and enjoy.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2017 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Change is the Only Constant: Welcome to the New PPG Publisher’s Blog!

Coming soon! Watch for this new book around the world in early August 2014!

Coming soon! Watch for this new book around the world in early August 2014!

First and foremost, thank you to every PPG Publisher’s Blog subscriber for your patience while we transitioned from one blog service provider to another when the former discontinued this particular product from their offering. (Such is life on the Internet.) And hello to all the new subscribers who have joined us here. Glad to have you on board!

While it’s taken me a little while to get back into the swing of things on this blog, not to worry! I haven’t forgotten you; and, in fact, I’ve still been writing much helpful content regarding book publishing, sales, and marketing to help you all succeed with your own books.

As you already know, in 2013 I launched How to Publish a Book in Canada . . . and Sell Enough Copies to Make a Profit! to address the frequently asked questions that are specific to Canadian individuals and businesses that wish to publish their work. This book was (and continues to be) a tremendous learning tool for many—so much so that it became a bestseller on Amazon within its first month and a half and has spawned even more questions from aspiring authors all across North America and even “across the pond” in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe. You’ve asked and the Polished Publishing Group (PPG) has listened. Introducing How to Publish a Bestselling Book . . . and Sell It WORLDWIDE Based on Value, Not Price! which has been written for all the aspiring authors and business professionals who wish to produce a book that presents you as professional writers and industry experts within your fields.

Whether you’re writing a fictional novel, a cookbook, or a “how to” book, publishing a book is a business venture. All authors are entrepreneurs. And the first thing every entrepreneur should ask himself or herself is this: do I offer the best value in my field, or do I offer the best price? This is a vitally important question to ask of yourself before you begin the publishing process of your book. Why? Because, if you offer the best value in your field, you need to promote your business (and everything related to it—including your book!), using value-based selling. If you offer the best price, you need to promote your book using price-based selling. Consistency is the key to long-term success no matter what industry you’re in.

This new book, due to be published around the world in early August 2014, contains answers to pretty much every question you could possibly have about how to publish and sell a truly professional-quality book all around the world. Further to that, it contains an elementary introduction to international copyright (graciously written for us by Ian Gibson, Esq., an attorney who is licensed in the State of California) to provide aspiring authors with a solid starting point of reference that answers all of your basic copyright questions and a couple more, including, “How does working with a publisher in another country affect my copyright?”

By the time you’re done reading this book, hopefully you’ll have gained some valuable insight into what it truly takes to produce a saleable book and how to market it to your desired demographic. Better yet, you’ll have all the tools you need to get that book into the hands of those desired customers all around the world, land on a coveted bestseller list in your area, and earn a healthy profit in the process. That is my wish for you.

Sincerely,

Kim Staflund
Founder and publisher of Polished Publishing Group (PPG)

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Your Book Will Never Be Good Enough For You: Learning When to Let Go

In a Perfect World

In a perfect world, every author would have their entire manuscript—including all front matter, the main body, and back matter—completed before they submitted it to PPG to begin the publication process.

In a perfect world, they would also have scanned the shelves of bookstores ahead of time to know exactly what types of book cover/interior designs and fonts they prefer to use for their books, and they would have all these instructions (along with their back cover copy) ready ahead of time to send along with their manuscript. (This way, the back cover copy can be professionally copy edited along with the entire manuscript for consistency in style.)

Then authors would sit back and let the “polishing” process begin and watch their raw manuscripts take form as professional quality books. They would thoroughly enjoy the entire process and completely trust all the recommendations of the editors, designers, and proofreaders all along the way. Most importantly, they would trust themselves. They would trust that the book they have created is good enough as it is.  

But this is far from a perfect world.  

The Realities of Book Publishing

It never ceases to amaze me how many additional changes authors want to make to their books even after they’ve gone through the copy editing process. Copy editing is the very first step in the book publishing process. This is where the majority of text changes (movements, additions, deletions, etc.) are meant to take place. By the time the copy editing process is complete, the content itself should be complete for the most part. It should be where the author wants it. 

Once the copy edit is complete, the raw edited manuscript and design instructions are given to the graphic designer to create the first draft of the actual book; and then a soft copy (.PDF) version of it goes back and forth between the designer and the author to tweak it here and there. There is a very good reason why PPG only allows for two author proofing rounds that include up to five structural changes to the cover and 50 typographical changes to the interior per round. (Additional charges apply to any additional proofing rounds ordered.) It’s because we know the nature of authors to pick and pick and pick at their own work … and we are saving them from themselves by limiting the amount of picking they can do. Otherwise, it would go on forever. That is the nature of the author … of every author, I’ve learned. (And I assure you I totally understand. Not only am I a book publisher. I’m also an author of three books that I picked at and picked at and picked at to the brink of insanity.)

As mentioned above, the purpose of this back and forth process between the author and graphic designer is to allow authors further opportunity to simply tweak (fine-tune) the content now that they can see it in actual book form. The time for major character changes and text block movements/additions/deletions was long gone with the copy editing process; and now the purpose is simply to catch those last minute spelling errors and punctuation issues that were missed beforehand.  

From there, once those two author proofing rounds of the soft copy version of the book have been completed, a hard copy is ordered and sent to a professional proofreader for another once-over by yet another fresh set of eyes. If that proofreader notices anything else, those changes (which should be minimal by this stage) are completed and a final hard proof is sent to the author for final sign-off and approval.

It’s Good Enough. Trust It. Trust Yourself.

It’s an emotional process, this book publishing business. Authors’ emotions and insecurities can get the best of them throughout this process, and it can make them second-guess their own decisions all along the way. At PPG, we understand this; and our book publishing process was developed and perfected with this in mind after extensive discussions and experience dealing with authors, copy editors, designers, proofreaders, indexers, you name it. If there’s one piece of advice we want you to walk away with after reading this blog entry, it’s this: it’s good enough. Trust it. Trust yourself. (And, of course, we’re here to help. It’s what we do best. You can trust that, too.)

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

The Index as a Roadmap

What is an index, and why would you want one in your non-fiction book? A good index is a road map to information. It leads readers to all the information on a particular subject, and it also leads readers to related information that might interest them. A good index allows readers to find what they are looking for no matter where in the index they start.

You might wonder if a computer program could produce the index for your book. It can’t. It can produce a concordance, an alphabetical listing of most of the words in the text with their page numbers, but that is not an index.

The index in a non-fiction book has two audiences:

  1. The first is people who are considering buying the book: Let’s say you’re in the bookstore browsing the sports section. You see a book about coaching soccer and wonder if it discusses sports psychology, particularly the mental imaging technique. You turn to the back of the book to check the index. No index. There is a chapter on sports psychology, but you don’t have time to skim the entire chapter to see if it covers mental imaging. Maybe the book next to it will have something. You turn to the back of this one, and it has an index. You find psychology right away, but you don’t see anything about mental imaging. You put the book back on the shelf. What you don’t realize is that the book does have lots of information about mental imaging, but the index only contains the words the author uses in the book. In this case, the author always uses the term “inner soccer” when he describes mental imaging. A good indexer would have entries under both terms or would use a see reference to direct the reader from mental imaging to inner soccer.
  2. The other audience for an index is made up of people who have already read the book: Let’s say you remember reading about something in a book and want to find it again. Maybe you want to quote something, or use some bit of information in an argument you’re having with someone. Maybe you saw a recipe you want to try. You will probably try to use the language of the book to look it up, but you might not remember the exact term the author used. Again, a good indexer will think of other words the reader might use to look something up and provide entries for those words.
The whole point of an index is to guide people to the information in the book. If they can’t find that information, it might as well not be there. A good index will make most non-fiction books more usable to their readers and more likely to be purchased. A professionally written index is a worthwhile investment for any author who lacks the skills and training to write a good one. 

Tia Leschke

Professional Indexer

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher's Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

 

A Self-Publisher’s Checklist

There are several little odds and ends involved with the Canadian book publishing process—some obvious, others not so obvious. PPG has created the below checklist to help you keep track of what needs to be done:

What PPG Will Do For You  What You Must Do For Yourself
Supplies you will require   In order to publish a book with PPG, you must have access to a computer, email, and the Internet. You must also have a working knowledge of and access to Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat Reader (for viewing .PDF proofs of your books).
Writing your book   You can hire one of PPG’s experienced ghostwriters to write your story in collaboration with you… … or you can write it yourself. Either way, whether you write your story or have someone write it for you, it must be completed in Microsoft Word. Click here for details on how to properly format all your book files.
Protecting your copyright   It is up to you to protect your own copyright before you send your book to any publisher/printer. Please click here for straightforward instructions on how to do so.
Choosing your book publishing package   Review the list of PPG Self-Publishing Services and choose the publishing package and/or À la carte services that are best for you. From there, visit our Online Store to make your purchase and begin the publishing process.
ISBN numbers/barcodes and legal deposits You only need an ISBN number/barcode if you plan to sell copies of your book. PPG will apply for all ISBN numbers and obtain barcodes on your behalf. You will be indicated as both the author and the publisher on the ISBN application so the book is linked to the true copyright owner rather than PPG. As the publisher/copyright owner of the book, it is up to you to submit one or two hard copies of it to Legal Deposit at Library and Archives Canada (LAC) upon publication.
Filling out/managing Vendor Agreements, Publishing Agreements, and Production Questionnaires     PPG will manage all Vendor Agreements with work-for-hire vendors (such as graphic designers, editors, ghostwriters, copywriters, indexers, etc.) on your behalf. Our agreements are designed to ensure: you receive the high quality service you are paying for in a timely fashion; and you maintain creative control and copyright ownership of the book/artwork that is being designed for you. It is up to you to read the PPG Publishing Agreement & Production Questionnaire in full so you understand the partnership you are entering into with PPG and our work-for-hire vendors.
Submitting Your Manuscript     Your manuscript must be written in Word.doc format and submitted to PPG via email. Please click here for more specific details.
Editing PPG will arrange for one of our qualified editors to copy edit your raw manuscript before it is sent to a designer for typesetting. You will have the opportunity to view the edited version and give final approval before it moves onto the design stage.  
Fact checking and indexing Non-fiction readers expect to find an index in the back of your book. They also expect your information to be completely accurate. You can hire fact checkers and indexers through PPG to help you with this.
Interior design PPG will arrange for a qualified graphic designer to typeset your book’s interior based on the input we receive from you on the above-mentioned Production Questionnaire. (We begin by designing your book’s interior because the spine size of your cover is determined by the final page count of your book.) In addition to answering all the questions on the above-mentioned Production Questionnaire, you are required to send your interior files to us in the manner indicated on our File Prep and File Transfer webpages.
Cover design PPG will arrange for a qualified graphic designer to create your book cover based on input we receive from you on the above-mentioned Production Questionnaire. In addition to answering all the questions on the above-mentioned Production Questionnaire, you are required to send us any related graphics/files in the manner indicated on our File Prep and File Transfer webpages.
Copyright page     PPG will insert a pre-designed copyright page into your manuscript before it is typeset. (All we ask of you is that you leave a blank page in the front matter of your manuscript to accommodate that copyright page.) It is up to you to proofread this copyright page to ensure the ISBN number(s) and all other information is correct.
Proofreading Once your book has been written, edited, and designed, a professional proofreader will review it one last time to ensure each of the book’s components fit together properly. All editors, designers, and proofreaders will do their part to help you polish and perfect your book along the way, but you are ultimately responsible to ensure it is completely correct before signing off on the final proof. It is recommended (and wise) for you to read everything over one more time before signing your final proof approval—not only your recent corrections, but everything—even after the professional proofread has been completed.
Printing hard copies of your published book  It is only possible to order hard copies of your book(s) through PPG if you are subscribed to receive our POD distribution service. Hard copies of your book(s) will only be printed if ordered through the PPG online store. If you would like to receive hard copies of your published book, it is up to you to purchase them either through PPG (at your special author discount) or from the printer of your choice. We do not include hard copies in our publishing packages as that would drive the price up unnecessarily. It is best for you, in the long run, to obtain quotes from various printers and go with the best price you receive. (We can recommend a few great printers to help you out with this.)
Complimentary & Promotional copies      It is customary for the publisher (in this case the “self-publisher”) to send out one complimentary copy of their book to each vendor who helped them publish it (i.e. the copy editor, designer, indexer, proofreader, photographer, illustrator, etc.) as a special thank you. It is also common for publishers to send promotional copies to other individuals/organizations who agree to promote the book on their behalf (i.e. publicists).
Review copies   It is up to you to research the book reviewers in your area and send them each a complimentary copy of your book. (This is not mandatory. It’s just a suggestion you may want to consider.)
Library copies   As a self-publisher, it is up to you to produce and submit a flyer or small catalogue of your book(s) to all the libraries you wish to appear in. The only way libraries learn about new titles is through the flyers/catalogues they receive from publishers.
Distribution Your book(s) will be available for sale through LSI’s online distribution channels and our very own online bookstore for as long as you are subscribed to receive our POD online distribution service. As an added bonus, we’ll also submit your book files to Google Books at no extra cost to you! Click here to see examples of how your book could appear on Google Books, Amazon.com, and the PPG Online Bookstore! You are responsible for the distribution of any additional copies of your book that you purchase on your own.
Royalties You will be paid royalties on all of your PPG books that are sold through the PPG online bookstore and/or through PPG’s online POD distribution channels (as detailed in the PPG Publishing Agreement). You won’t receive royalties for any copies of your book that you purchase at an author discount through PPG for resale by yourself, nor will you receive royalties for any other copies of your book that you have printed elsewhere for resale by yourself.
Sales and Marketing PPG will continually strive to drive more and more traffic to our website, online bookstore, forum, and blog; and we will also include a brief write-up about your book in the “Coming Soon to PPG!” category of this blog. It is up to you to manage all other sales and marketing of your book, but we’ll do our best to provide all kinds of ideas to help point you in the right direction.

 

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PPG is a professional book publisher dedicated to serving serious-minded authors around the world. Visit our group of websites today:

PPG Book Publishing Website: http://www.polishedpublishinggroup.com/
PPG Publisher’s Blog: http://blog.polishedpublishinggroup.com/

As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2009 to [current year] Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.