3 Print Preparation Tips for Self-Published Authors
For self-published authors, the journey to success doesn’t end once the book is finished.
Becoming a self-published author means following a long, often lonely road. But it doesn’t have to be! As we’ve discussed before, there are plenty of ways for self-published authors to engage with fellow writers, prospective readers, and publishers. But once self-published authors have been accepted for mainstream publication, what happens next? Let’s take a closer look.
Use the Right Software
For self-published authors, the journey to success doesn’t end once the book is finished. Once your manuscript has been written, you’ll also want to make sure that you do as much work preparing it for conventional publication as you can. However, this process involves more than just using your chosen word processor, such as Microsoft Word. Even if you decide to re-save your project as a different file type, such as a PDF, that won’t prevent printing problems. For example, normal-looking black type font will instead be reclassified as rich black. Although this may sound like a good thing, it will cause headache-inducing issues.
If you want to avoid encountering these word processing problems, you could always try using Adobe Creative Suite or QuarkXPress instead.
Manage Bleed Marks
Part of the publication process involves trimming the edges of the almost-finished book. However, any pictures or images in your book must be modified to account for this technique. If so, then you must be able to manage the bleed marks. Self-published authors can expect their presses to request what is known as bleed allowance. The bleed allowance you’ll most likely see is only about ⅛”, and you must make sure this measurement is correct before sending your current project file to your printer.
What programs could you use to ensure that bleed marks are adequately arranged? Experiment with Adobe InDesign and Illustrator CS4. Using these software programs, you can go into the file itself and adjust the levels of bleed allowance as well as whether or not you want to show crop marks.
Name The File Correctly
Our last piece of advice for self-published authors involves naming conventions for the files you’re seeking to publish. Give your file a clear and logical name that is easy to find. Don’t make it too long, and stick to using letters and numbers in your filenames.
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