Category Archives: Graphic Design

Why You Need a Graphic Designer Who Understands Printing

In this post, I want to discuss why you need a graphic designer who understands printing. This is especially true if you wish to print business cards, book marks, and other marketing materials.

Why You Need a Graphic Designer Who Understands Printing

Why You Need a Graphic Designer Who Understands Printing

In past posts, I mentioned the different printing processes and what each one is used for. I also discuss that today’s digital printers can only handle certain paper sizes and weights.

Now I want to take this a step further to discuss specialty “soft touch” papers and soft touch finishes. These are popular choices for those who want to emulate elegance and sophistication. But they have their limitations.

Why You Need a Graphic Designer Who Understands Printing

Graphic designers are truly creative people who can take your author business to the next level. They can design stunning business cards, book marks, trade show banners, et cetera, to complement your books. Many of them are recommending soft touch to their clients nowadays. Feel a soft touch business card or presentation folder just once, and you’ll understand why.

But before you hire a graphic designer to help you produce any speciality marketing materials, ask if he or she has a printing background. If not, ask that designer to vet his or her recommendations through a local printer before presenting them to you. It will save you a lot of time having your print jobs quoted and requoted several times over.

Some of these specialty papers/finishes cannot be run through digital printers. They’ll either get jammed or they’ll melt. They can only be printed on an offset press, which means you’ll have to produce large quantities of them. As discussed in an earlier post, offset presses cannot be used for short runs. This is because the set-up cost is far too high to print only a few copies at a reasonable price.

Related reading: Why Do Authors Need Graphic Designers?

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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 © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Book Binding: What Are Your Options?

When it comes to your book binding options, you have a few choices: paperbacks, case-wrapped hardcovers (cloth or laminate), or dust-jacketed hardcovers. The below pictures illustrate the differences between them.

Book Binding Option #1: Paperback (Perfect Bound)

paperback

paperback book binding

Last year, PPG had the privilege of publishing the above paperback for a Canadian CFL Champion: Smoke and Mirrors: Life in the CFL with Richie Hall. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but this book has a standard 6″ x 9″ trim size.

Here’s an interesting video that shows you the difference between a perfect bound book and a saddle-stitched book: https://vimeo.com/61195060. Generally, the only time an author would choose saddle-stitching over perfect binding would be if your page count is too low to be able to glue the edge (e.g., from only four to 48 pages). In that case, printers fold the sheets in half and staple them in the centre, instead.

Book Binding Option #2: Case-wrapped Hardcover (Laminate)

case-wrapped laminate hardcover

case-wrapped laminate hardcover book blinding

Above is the best picture I could find of this children’s book PPG published for Denise Geremia back in 2013 titled The Pouty Puppy. Oftentimes, you’ll find children’s books are published as case-wrapped laminate hardcovers like this one. Because it’s more durable and easier to handle for children. Like Richie Hall’s book above, but this book has a standard 6″ x 9″ trim size.

Book Binding Option #3: Dust-jacketed Hardcover (Cloth)

case-wrapped cloth hardcover with dust jacket and paperback

case-wrapped cloth hardcover with dust jacket and paperback book bindings

PPG published the above centennial celebration book back in 2012: 100 Years of Memories: Celebrating Strathmore’s Centennial. As you can see, we did two different versions for this client: a case-wrapped cloth hardcover with a dust jacket; and a paperback. The paperback version was sold online. They are selling the case-wrapped cloth hardcover as a limited-edition book directly from their town hall. (Typically, if you want a dust-jacket around your book, the book itself will be a cloth hardcover as shown above.) Both versions of this book have a special 8.5″ x 8.5″ trim size.

Related reading:
Book Trim Sizes: What Are Your Options?
Print-on-Demand (POD) Limitations [Endsheets Endpapers Endleaves]

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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 © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Book Trim Sizes: What Are Your Options?

book trim sizes

book trim sizes

When it comes to book trim sizes, there are a few standards: 5″ x 8″, 5.5″ x 8.5″, and 6″ x 9″. These measurements relate to the width and height of your front and back covers in inches, as shown on the illustration to the right. This book has a 5″ x 8″ trim size.

Browse any bookstore, and you’ll see there are all kinds of different shapes and sizes of books to be found. Some of these books use a thick, glossy paper for their interior pages. Others use a thinner uncoated stock. In the traditional (trade) publishing world of corporate publishers with big budgets, they can afford to print large quantites of books on offset printing presses. This enables them to use any paper stock they want to use for their book covers and interiors. And if they want a uniquely-shaped book that stands out from the rest, they can pay to have special die cuts created to achieve that result.

As I discuss inside 3 Book Printing Tips for Indie Authors, today’s publishers (self-publishers) have more choices than we had when I started my publishing career 25 years ago. If you want to print 1,000+ books straightaway and pay the lowest possible cost per unit, you can still use offset printing. Alternatively, you can choose to print smaller quantities of books using two different digital printing solutions: print-on-demand (POD) and short run printing.

The Pros and Cons of Print-on-Demand (POD) Printing

Online worldwide book distributors, such as Amazon and Ingram Content Group, utilize POD and short run digital technologies to sell physical books online. In other words, they won’t print and store any physical copies of your paperback/hardcover book in a large warehouse anywhere. Instead, they’ll store only the digital cover and interior files that you’ve uploaded to their sites; and they will print, bind, and ship only as many copies as someone buys from them at any given time, saving you from having to print any upfront copies whatsoever. If someone goes to their site to buy ten copies of your book, then ten copies will be printed, bound, and shipped to that buyer. If another person buys only one, then they will print, bind, and ship only one—hence the term “print on demand.” This is a definite pro, isn’t it?

Now here are the cons: digital printers can only handle certain paper sizes and weights. Because of that, you’re limited to the following book trim sizes, binding types, and paper stocks/colours if you wish to sell your books online (which most of us do nowadays). The below specs come from Ingram Content Group’s Lightning Source® division.

Book Trim Sizes for POD Books With B/W Interiors

Trim Size Inches Trim Size mm Binding Types Available Page Range Paper Stock Priced as
5 x 8 203 x 127 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
perfect (paperback) 18 – 1050 crème small
5.06 x 7.81 198 x 129 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
5.25 x 8 203 x 133 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
perfect (paperback) 18 – 1050 crème small
5.5 x 8.5 216 x 140 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
perfect (paperback) 18 – 1050 crème small
case laminate (hardcover) 18 – 1050 crème small
cloth – blue or grey 18 – 1050 crème small
jacketed 18 – 1050 crème small
5.83 x 8.27 210 x 148 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
perfect (paperback) 18 – 1050 crème small
6 x 9 229 x 152 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
perfect (paperback) 18 – 1050 crème small
case laminate (hardcover) 18 – 1050 crème small
cloth – blue or grey 18 – 1050 crème small
jacketed 18 – 1050 crème small
6.14 x 9.21 234 x 156 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
case laminate (hardcover) 18 – 1200 white small
cloth – blue or grey 18 – 1200 white small
jacketed 18 – 1200 white small
6.69 x 9.61 244 x 170 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
7.44 x 9.69 246 x 189 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
7.50 x 9.25 235 x 191 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white small
7 x 10 254 x 178 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white large
case laminate (hardcover) 18 – 1200 white large
8 x 10 254 x 203 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white large
8.25 x 11 280 x 210 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white large
8.268 x 11.693 (A4) 297 x 210 perfect (paperback) 18 – 1200 white large
8.5 x 11
(A4)
280 x 216 perfect (paperback)
case laminate (hardcover)
18 – 1200
18 – 1200
white
white
large
large

Book Trim Sizes for POD Books With Colour Interiors

Trim Size Inches Trim Size mm Binding Types Available Page Range Paper Stock Priced as
5.5 x 8.5 216 x 140 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white small
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white small
case laminate (hardcover) 24 – 480 white small
cloth – blue or grey 24 – 480 white small
jacketed 24 – 480 white small
6 x 9 229 x 152 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white medium
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white medium
case laminate (hardcover) 24 – 480 white medium
cloth – blue or grey 24 – 480 white medium
jacketed 24 – 480 white medium
6.14 x 9.21 234 x 156 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white medium
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white medium
case laminate (hardcover) 24 – 480 white medium
cloth – blue or grey 24 – 480 white medium
jacketed 24 – 480 white medium
7 X 10 254 X 178 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white large
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white large
case laminate (hardcover) 24 – 480 white large
8 X 10 254 X 203 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white large
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white large
case laminate (hardcover) 24 – 480 white large
8.5 x 8.5 216 x 216 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white medium
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white medium
8.5 x 11 280 x 216 saddle-stitch (paperback) 4 – 48 white large
perfect (paperback) 24 – 480 white large
case laminate (hardcover) 24 – 480 white large

Related reading: The Elements of a Professional Book Cover 

Related reading: Is Book Printing a Good Idea for Indie Authors?

Related reading: Why Do Authors Need Graphic Designers?

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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 © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Why Do Authors Need Graphic Designers?

Why do authors need graphic designers? Because it takes a true specialist to understand and follow each printer’s unique file creation guide.

Why do authors need graphic designers?

Why do authors need graphic designers?

What is a file creation guide?

For independent (“indie”) authors who wish to produce ebooks alone, things are pretty simple. You can write your book using Microsoft Word and create a simple but attractive book cover using Canva or Amazon.

It’s when you want to create a paperback or hardcover book that things get tricky, particularly if you want that book sold in traditional bookstores. In this case, you’ll need to use a company like IngramSpark® or Lightning Source® (both Ingram Content Group subsidiaries) as your printer/distributor. They each have specific requirements regarding how your cover and interior book files should be designed. These detailed instructions are listed in multi-page file creation guides. And, unless you’re familiar with how to use Adobe Creative Suite or similar programs, you probably won’t be able to understand or follow those instructions. But a professional graphic designer will.

Why do authors need graphic designers?

Perhaps the most important reason independent authors need graphic designers is for their knowledge of colours. Believe it or not, colours are much more complicated than you may realize. How something looks on your computer screen may look completely different in printed format. There are many different reasons why.

For starters, RGB (red, green, blue) colours are what you see on your computer screen. They are created using light. CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) colours, on the other hand, are created by mixing inks/toners together in varying percentages.

When you are creating an ebook only, it’s okay to use RGB colours in your design. But if you plan to print a paperback or hardcover version of your book, you should design it using CMYK colours. Otherwise, your printer may not be able to match the colours you’ve chosen since printers have a smaller colour gamut available than computer screens do.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the specialized knowledge graphic designers have to offer. You can (and should) provide a draft layout of your book’s cover and interior so your designer knows upfront what you’re looking for. But let him or her do the rest. It will be well worth it, I promise.

PPG’s Graphic Design Process

Once your manuscript is edited, it will be given to a professional graphic designer. He or she will work hard to complete a professional design of both your book cover and interior within the agreed-upon project timeline/deadline.

The design component of your PPG publishing package includes:

  • two sample cover designs and two sample interior designs for you to choose one each from (before any full proofs are completed and sent out)
  • one colour cover with either a b/w or colour interior (plus up to 10 interior graphics automatically included in each graphic design package)
  • a half hour phone consultation with the graphic designer (if needed)
  • two proofing rounds (two .PDF proofs of each component) with up to five structural changes to the cover and up to 50 typographical changes to the interior allowed per round
  • one hard proof (physical book) for final proofreading

If you need more than the standard two .PDF proofing rounds and one hard proof, you can purchase these items separately. Keep in mind that doing so will extend your book publishing timeline and also increase your costs.

While you wait to see your first design samples, I recommend you click on these two links to read more about book cover and interior design: The Elements of a Professional Book Cover and The Elements of a Professional Book Interior.

Related reading: 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

Related reading: Book Binding: What Are Your Options?

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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 © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers

Every book is a little bit different. But this project timeline template will help you guesstimate how much time it will take to publish your book. It is essentially the same process for all books: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, et cetera. But some books will require all the below steps (e.g., non-fiction books require indexing) while others won’t.

Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers (Project Management)

Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers (Project Management)

Traditional Project Timeline Template for Book Publishers

Below is the approximate amount of time it takes to publish a paperback book the traditional way. For a 30,000-word non-fiction book, you can expect the entire process to take around four months. If your book is twice as large (e.g., 60,000+ words), then expect to double the amount of time it will take each person to complete his or her duties within the project. Plus, you can add up to another four weeks if you plan to print any books once the publishing process itself is complete.

Title of the Book: Sample Non-Fiction Book
Author Name(s): Jane Doe
Genre: non-fiction
Format: paperback
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Word Count: 30,000
Picture Count: up to 10 interior graphics automatically included in each graphic design package
Colour or B/W Interior: b/w
WORK-MADE-FOR-HIRE VENDORS
PPG Publishing Services (Project Manager)
Copy editor
Fact checker
Indexer
Graphic designer
Proofreader
PROJECT TIMELINE
Order Vendor/Author(s) Project Duties Deadline
1 Author Order publishing package (prepay) June 26, 2017
2 Author Digitally sign publishing agreement and submit to PPG June 26, 2017
3 Author Send Production Questionnaire to PPG June 26, 2017
4 Author Submit manuscript and interior graphics to PPG June 26, 2017
5 Author Submit cover text and graphics to PPG June 26, 2017
6 PPG Order ISBN & barcode June 26, 2017
7 PPG Submit contracts to PPG vendors June 26, 2017
8 ALL Vendors All vendors return signed contracts and initial invoices June 26, 2017
9 PPG 50% deposits sent to vendors June 27, 2017
10 PPG Send manuscript to copy editor June 28, 2017
11 Editor Copy editing July 11, 2017
12 Editor Return copy edited manuscript to PPG July 12, 2017
13 PPG Review and send copy edited manuscript to author for approval July 12, 2017
14 Author Finish reviewing copy edited manuscript July 18, 2017
15 Author Return reviewed/approved copy edited manuscript to PPG July 19, 2017
16 PPG Send ISBN and barcode to graphic designer for cover July 20, 2017
17 PPG Send graphics and copy edited manuscript to designer July 20, 2017
18 Designer Complete and send two sample cover/interior designs to PPG July 22, 2017
19 PPG Review and send the two sample cover/interior designs to author July 23, 2017
20 Author Choose one cover design and one interior design and let PPG know July 25, 2017
21 PPG Let designer know author’s choice of cover/interior design July 25, 2017
22 Designer Design cover and interior of book August 7, 2017
23 Designer Send first round .PDF proofs of cover and interior to PPG August 8, 2017
24 PPG Check over first round .PDF proofs and then send to author August 8, 2017
25 Author Complete first proofing round August 14, 2017
26 Author Send changes (if applicable) back to PPG August 15, 2017
27 PPG Check author’s comments and send first round changes back to designer August 15, 2017
28 Designer Complete changes and send next .PDF proofs to PPG August 22, 2017
29 PPG Check over .PDF proofs and then send to author August 22, 2017
30 Author Complete second proofing round August 28, 2017
31 Author Send changes (if applicable) or approval back to PPG August 29, 2017
32 PPG Check author’s comments and send second round changes/approval back to designer August 29, 2017
33 Designer Complete changes and send next .PDF proof to PPG September 4, 2017
34 PPG Check over .PDF proofs and then send back to author for approval September 4, 2017
35 Author Review and send approval back to PPG September 5, 2017
36 PPG Send approved .PDF interior to Indexer September 5, 2017
37 Indexer Complete index of the interior September 18, 2017
38 Indexer Send index in Word.doc format back to PPG September 19, 2017
39 PPG Review and forward index to designer to insertion into the .PDF September 19, 2017
40 Designer Insert index into .PDF September 20, 2017
41 Designer Return print-ready .PDF of interior and .jpeg of cover to PPG September 20, 2017
42 PPG Submit print-ready files to printer and order hard copy proof September 21, 2017
43 PPG Order hard copy proof for proofreader (Can take up to two weeks to receive this from the printer.) October 5, 2017
44 PPG Send suggested retail price to author for approval October 5, 2017
45 Author Reply to PPG with chosen retail price for book. October 6, 2017
46 Proofreader Complete professional proofread of hard copy proof October 18, 2017
47 Proofreader Return proofread hard copy proof to PPG October 19, 2017
48 PPG If more changes, submit to designer to complete changes and mail hard copy proof to author October 19, 2017
49 Designer Complete proofreader changes and submit updated .PDF proof to PPG October 23, 2017
50 PPG Review and send .PDF to author for review along with hard copy proof October 23, 2017
51 Author Compare hard proof to new .PDF proof and send final sign-off to PPG October 25, 2017
52 PPG Request all final-approved working and finished  files back from designer October 26, 2017
53 Designer Send all final working and finished files back to PPG October 27, 2017
54 PPG Send author all final working and finished files October 27, 2017
55 PPG Submit final files to printer/online distributor(s) October 27, 2017
56 PPG Organize one book signing event at a local book store for author October 27, 2017
57 Author Print books (Depending on how many copies are being printed, this can take up to four weeks.) November 17, 2017
58 Author Submit book copies to Legal Deposit at Library and Archives Canada October 27, 2017
59 PPG Update PPG Facebook page October 27, 2017
60 PPG Update PPG blog October 27, 2017

Project Timeline Template for “Rapid Release” Publishing

This past year, I discussed the many merits of “rapid release” publishing (e.g., releasing a new book every six weeks). Obviously, the above traditional project timeline template won’t work for independent authors who wish to self-publish an SEO-friendly book series like that. They will require a different approach as outlined in this mini ebook series. But for those of you who wish to produce only one book at a time the traditional way, you can use the above template as your guide.

Does “rapid release” publishing appeal to you more than the traditional publishing process does? If yes, here are 7 Tips to Help You Write a Book FAST!

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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 © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Printers and Publishers: What Their Graphic Designers Will and Won’t Do for You

Printers and publishers have a lot in common in terms of what their graphic designers will and won’t do. Today’s post will help you understand why.

Printers and Publishers: What Their Graphic Designers Will and Won't Do for You

Printers and Publishers: What Their Graphic Designers Will and Won’t Do for You

First and foremost, I’m referring to hybrid publishers as opposed to traditional (trade) publishers here. When traditional publishers purchase the rights to publish your manuscript, they are also buying full creative control of the book. That means they will make all the graphic design decisions on your behalf. You won’t have much say in anything. But in the self-publishing and hybrid publishing business models, you retain full copyright ownership of the book. As such, you also retain your creative control and must make all the design decisions for yourself. (You can learn more about today’s three primary book publishing methods by clicking here.)

Printers and Publishers Won’t Make Graphic Design Decisions on Your Behalf

Printers and Publishers Need to Know This

Printers and Publishers Need to Know This

Twice in the last nine years, I took on projects from authors who said they had no idea how they wanted their book covers to look. I pressed them for details with various leading questions. But they both insisted they didn’t know what they wanted. They asked me to have my graphic designer supply them with two sample layouts to choose from without providing any real instructions ahead of time. I cringed. I knew where this was headed. But I obliged and asked my designer to create two sample layouts based on the little information we had: the type of book, topic matter, and stated demographic.

In both cases, the designers did their best and came up with what I considered to be beautiful, professional designs. But, not surprisingly, both authors hated the sample layouts. “That’s not what I had in mind,” they both complained. It had been a giant waste of everyone’s time.

You see, even if you think you don’t know what you want, you still do to some degree. And this is important information to provide the graphic designers of both printers and publishers ahead of time.

When deciding how you would like your book’s cover and interior to appear, it’s best to browse a bookstore (whether in person or online) and view the many different examples there first. What designs, colours, and fonts draw your attention? Write down the book titles and author names, so you can use this as a handy visual reference when it comes time to provide a description to the graphic designer. This will help the process run much more smoothly for both of you.

You can download this book completely free of charge to obtain a check-list of the types of information graphic designers will need from you upfront. I highly recommend you read it.

Printers and Publishers Won’t Choose Graphics for You Free of Charge

Book Printing Tips

Book Printing Tips

If you want to include any illustrations, graphics, or images on your book cover—or in your book’s interior, for that matter—you must ensure you have the legal right to use them. There are three ways you can do this: one, you can use photos, illustrations, or graphics that you have personally created and therefore own the copyright to; two, you can purchase them from someone else; or three, you can find public domain stock photos that are deemed as “free for commercial use” and download those. Either way, it’s best if you to provide these files to printers and publishers ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot more money paying them to create or find these files on your behalf.

Click here for more information regarding where and how to find public domain stock photos for yourself. Always respect another artist’s copyright. If you don’t—if you just pull any image file you find off the Internet and use that for your book without first confirming you have the right to use it—you may find yourself involved in an expensive copyright infringement lawsuit down the road.

Printers and Publishers Won’t Choose Paper Stock for You Without Some Input

I fully understand the inclination of an author to say, “Just use the standard interior and cover stock,” when asked what type of paper you want used for your paperback or hardcover books. I get it. You’re thinking that printers and publishers are the experts, so they should know what you need in this regard. Here’s the problem with that: there is no one standard.

As you’re browsing through the bookstore to determine your design preferences, take note of all the different types of books in front of you. Notice how some books are thicker than others. Some covers are glossy and shiny; others are dull. Some interior pages are thin while others are thick. The colours vary. The sizes vary. Everything varies! (Choice is a wonderful thing. But it can also be a bit of a nightmare at times.)

When you’re browsing the bookstore, take note of the types of cover and interior paper stocks that appeal to you most. Take photos of your preferences. Better yet, bring physical samples to show printers and publishers when it comes time to place your order with them.

Printers and Publishers Will Sit Down With You to Discuss All These Details and Make Recommendations

Here’s one more thing printers and publishers have in common: they want to make you happy. When you’re happy, they’re happy!

Once you’ve visited the bookstore and gotten an idea of what you’re looking for, your next best course of action is to book a graphic design meeting to discuss your findings. Ask questions, listen to the recommendations, then make your decisions from there.

Printers and publishers are here to help you create the best book possible. But they need you to help them help you by doing some homework ahead of time. Trust me, it will save you time and money in the long run.

Related reading: Preparing Your Digital Files for a Book Publisher and Why Do Authors Need Graphic Designers?

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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 © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



3D Book Cover Template: Book Series Promotion

3D Book Cover Template

3D Book Cover Template

Looking for a great 3D book cover template to help you promote your next book series? I know a great tool you can use for free.

3D Book Cover Template: Boxshot Online

When it comes to pre-promoting your book series online, it’s always nice to create 3D cover images (like the ones shown above) for your blog and/or social media sites. These stand out more than the flat images that are created by other template builders.

I used a free tool called Boxshot Online to create my 3D covers. It’s a pretty simple and user-friendly site.

Create a 3D Cover Image in Minutes

Boxshot can help you create a 3D image of your book within minutes. All you have to do is upload your front cover from Canva into the front cover spot of the template. If you want your 3D image to have a spine just like hardcover/paperback books have, then you will need to create one and upload it into the spot where it asks for a spine. You can leave the back cover portion blank, as no one will see it on your image anyway.

Create a Book Spine With Ease

I created pretend spines for my ebooks using Microsoft Word. First, I inserted my cover image into a blank Word page. Then I created a vertical text box beside it that matched its height dimensions. I typed my book title and name into that vertical text box. Then I took a screen shot of the whole image using the “ctrl” and “prt sc” keys on my PC keyboard.

From there, I opened up Paint (a standard photo program on all PC computers). I clicked on the “ctrl” and “v” keys on my keyboard simultaneously to paste that screen shot into the Paint program. I then cropped out the spine and saved it as a .JPG file, called “spine file,” separate from the cover image file. Done. Easy. Simple. (The beauty of this is that you’ll barely be able to see the spine in your 3D image. You can get away with using a low-resolution screen shot image in this instance.)

A Versatile Tool for Creating 3D Cover Images

Next, upload both your front cover and spine images into the Boxshot template. Now you can play around with various options such as yaw, pitch, contrast, and shadow. You can even move the book image itself so that less or more of the spine is showing. It’s a versatile tool, and it’s free of charge to use.

The only portion of this process that will cost you anything is when it comes time to download your 3D images. I paid $10 USD for a 24-hour licence to manipulate and download as many different marketing images as I wanted to for all four of my ebook covers at the same time. “Bada bing, bada boom. Done!”

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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 © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books

There are 3 reasons graphic designers should never edit books, despite your genuinely good intentions in doing so. So many do this as a form of “value add” for the clients who hire you to design their books. What you don’t realize is that you may be causing more harm than good.

#1 of 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books: All Editors Edit Differently

While it’s in all authors’ best interests to have as many different pairs of eyes as possible on their books, to catch as many of those last-minute typos as possible before publication, this practice also comes with its challenges. This is because they can give the same work to three different editors, and each one of those people will copy edit it differently from the others. Every single time. Without exception. And then the proofreader will make even more changes that will seem to contradict these editors’ recommendations … unless authors specify which editorial style guide they should all be using right from the very start. In other words, there’s no “one right way” to do this, which can be very confusing/frustrating for authors at times.

That’s why simplicity and consistency in editing is so important to every author’s sanity and why graphic designers should stick to designing alone. Otherwise, you’re just adding one more opinion to an already-complicated group of opinions. Believe me, it can be more confusing than helpful.

#2 of 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books: Editorial Style Guides

To take this a step further, English is far from being a simple, straightforward language. That’s much of the reason why editors and proofreaders sometimes contradict each other. There are many different editorial style guides associated with the English language. In fact, each different English region has its own: the UK, Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. We all have different ways of spelling and punctuating the English language, so we each use different style guides.

To achieve the desired simplicity and consistency mentioned earlier, my company now creates a customized editorial style sheet for every single one of our authors. The styles are driven, first and foremost, by each author’s preference (if any) as to which primary guide we should use (e.g., The Oxford Style Manual for British authors, The Chicago Manual of Style for American authors, a special blend of the two for Canadian authors, et cetera). From there, the customized editorial style sheet is created by the primary editor. All other proofreaders and editors follow that editor’s lead for every book published by that author going forward. Since most graphic designers are not privy to which style guides are being used, you are not in a position to make any changes to the books.

#3 of 3 Reasons Graphic Designers Should Never Edit Books: Stick With Your Specialty

Editors would never recommend graphic design changes to a book; they know that’s the graphic designer’s specialty. That respect should go both ways. Editors know their jobs best and are most familiar with which style guide will work best for a particular project. So, when graphic designers see things that you think might be wrong, I recommend you leave it be. It’s okay to send a note to the publisher or author questioning a certain word, phrase, or punctuation mark. But never change it on your own. You may just be changing something that was correct exactly the way it was and undermining the agreements made between the editor, proofreader, and author. It’s best to just stick with your own specialty and let the editors stick to theirs.

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Reach Your Mobile Readers With QR Codes

What is a QR code and how can you create one for free?

A static QR code (static meaning “unchangeable” once created), such as the one to the left of this paragraph, is a two-dimensional barcode. You can easily create one for your blog and/or website free of charge on this website. Where traditional linear, one-dimensional barcodes (like the ones on the back of books) are used to store small bits of information about the object they are on (such as the price of that book), a QR code has a larger storage capacity and can re-direct scanners to websites for much more detailed information.

How are QR codes used?

It’s as simple as downloading a free QR reader on your smartphone and you’re ready to go. That’s why this is the perfect tool to reach your mobile readers. Anyone with a QR reader on his or her phone can now scan these barcodes from magazine ads, books, signs on the side of a road, computer screens, you name it. I even saw a large QR code on the side of a city bus and was able to scan it through the city train window so I could view a local restaurant’s take-out menu on my way home from work. Brilliant!

Why pay someone to create a QR code for you ?  

Several years ago, my company website looked much different than it does now. It looked great on a laptop or desktop screen, but it wasn’t mobile friendly in the least. At that time, I wanted to learn more about QR codes. I created a free one for myself and also paid another company to create a more professional-looking QR code for me so I could see the difference between the two. The QR code they created is shown to the right of this paragraph.

When scanning the static QR code I created for myself, I could see that it took people straight to my website as planned. This was wonderful except for one thing; that website was intended to be read on a large computer screen. When it was viewed on a smartphone, the text and graphics all appeared very tiny, and it was difficult to navigate.

There was quite a contrast when I scanned the dynamic QR code (dynamic meaning “changeable” once created) that was created for me by some QR mobile marketing experts. Not only did they create a much more attractive QR code for PPG, but they also created a much more mobile-friendly landing page that still redirected to PPG’s main site. They even went so far as to add one of PPG’s promotional YouTube videos to that landing page. 

Case in point: if your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, and your website service provider has been unable to help you fix that for some reason, then you can always use the services of a professional QR code creator. They will oftentimes create a mobile-friendly landing page for your site along with the code itself.

How can authors best utilize this technology?

Authors can place a page at the back of each of their books that contains a QR code that redirects readers to their blogs or websites to keep readers abreast of any upcoming book launches, tours, or books. It’s a real-time update for readers even five years after that particular book was published. How convenient is that?

Watch for my upcoming T-Shaped marketing book on Amazon, Kobo, or E-Sentral that contains even more great mobile marketing tips! In this ebook, we’ll discuss the importance of mobile-friendly websites along with the value of QR codes, email marketing, text message (SMS and MMS) marketing, and social media marketing for authors.

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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 © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Choosing Illustrations, Graphics, or Images for Your Book

If you want to include any illustrations, graphics, or images on your book cover—or in your book’s interior, for that matter—you must ensure you have the legal right to use them. There are three ways you can do this: one, you can use photos, illustrations, or graphics that you have personally created and therefore own the copyright to; two, you can purchase them from someone else; or three, you can find public domain stock photos that are deemed as “free for commercial use” from whatever design-template program you’re using, or from websites such as Pixabay.com, as I did for this blog post.




It is crucial to respect another artist’s copyright. If you don’t—if you just pull any image file you find off the Internet and use that for your book without first confirming you have the right to use it—you may find yourself involved in an expensive copyright infringement lawsuit down the road. This isn’t only about protecting the rights of other artists; it’s also about protecting yourself. So, do a little research before you use any images for your ebooks. Pixabay.com is one of many websites containing free stock photos. You can find even more resources here: http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/1257937-avoid-copyright-infringement-use-tool-find-free-stock-photos-your-display-ads.html.

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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 © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.