self publishing help

Hints for Self Publishing with Clark & Mackay

When it comes to self publishing the more work you do yourself the cheaper it will be to publish. Clark & Mackay offer a professional book layout & design service and also a cover design service, but if you wish to do-it-yourself we have published here a few tips to help make your job easier and more rewarding.

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self publishing traditional book

Supplying Artwork

When producing the artwork for the text of the book, you can use simple word processors such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Publisher or use professional desktop publishing software such as Adobe Indesign. Which ever way you choose to go, there are a few points you need to consider before starting.

  • Choose a page size for your book, the more traditional sizes are
    A5 - 148 x 210mm
    B5 - 176 x 250mm
    A4 - 210 x 297mm
    We can produce a book at any size you like, but if you are unsure what size is best, please contact us and we can discuss with you the best options for your book.
  • Setup the margins for your book. The margins we recommend for an A5 book are Inside (spine side) 22mm outside 17mm. Top 16mm Bottom 20mm (Text block only, the page number hangs down further.) Remember this is a general figure, the margins are what looks visually correct and balanced for the page size and the font size used. If you are unsure how to use different margins just set the left and right margins the same and we will move the text to allow for the binding at the proofing process.
  • Choose a font and a size for the text. We recommend using a type size of 11pt as it is a visually appealing size and easily read.
    Use the same font and point size throughout the book as it gives a professional look to your book and makes it easier for the reader's eye.
  • When placing pictures or images in your self published book or scanning images for use in your publication, please ensure that they are at least 200 to 300ppi. Unlike the web, the printing process requires high resolution images so that the pictures reproduce clearly without loss of detail.
  • When creating your self published book, make the cover file a separate file to the inside pages file. Having the inside pages as a separate file,makes it easier to place a page number on the pages and have it number correctly. Also when it comes to cover artwork, we often have to allow for the spine thickness, so it is easier to work with a file that just contains your self published book cover artwork.

Once you have finished formatting your self published book and your file is ready for print, we ask that you go back through your self published book reading it for spelling and grammatical errors, so that the file you supply Clark & Mackay is the final self published title ready for print.

While we can use word processor and desktop publishing files, the safer option is for you to generate a pdf file and supply us with that pdf file for the self publishing process. Unlike word processors the layout , fonts and images will not change or move in a pdf, so the file you supply us will be what your book will look at the end of the printing process.

We will supply you with a proof of your self published book, unbound, exactly as it will be printed on the same paper stock as you have decided to use. The first proof we supply is free.

If you need help we have some Microsoft Word templates that you can download for free, already formatted in the correct size of the book, with the margins and fonts already setup for you to use. Self publishing templates

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self publishing traditional books

Book Binding Types

When self publishing with Clark & Mackay there are three main types of book binding used, Case Bound, Perfect Bound and Saddle Stitched. Remember we can also accommodate an order with different binding styles, so a quantity of case bound books for important people and the rest of the books done as perfect binding.

Case Bound Binding

This form of binding is the most expensive, but it is also the most robust and sturdy of the binding methods. The pages of a case bound book are sewn then glued together which makes the book solid and also allows the paper stock used for the cover to be a heavy weight board. This thicker weight cover gives the self published book a sturdy feel and an aura of quality and strength. Our case bound books are all bound by hand.

  • Durable and long lasting, perfect for a book that is constantly being reused.
  • Available with a printed cover (case wrap) or a luxurious vinyl/leather cover with either embossing or foiling.
  • Because of their quality finish and durability they make perfect commemorate books or gifts for special occasions.
  • Perfect for small quantities of self published books.

Perfect Binding (Paperback)

This is the most common form of binding, often seen on paperback novels and telephone books. The pages are printed, a small trim is taken off the spine so that the glue can penetrate into the pages and then the cover is glued to the pages.

  • Cost effective method of self publishing, a large quantity of books can be produced as minimal cost.
  • The cover can have a gloss or matt celloglaze (protective coating) that makes the book last longer and gives the cover a professional look.
  • You can choose between different paper stocks.
  • Production time is a lot quicker than a case bound book.
  • Perfect bound self published books have a square spine which allows for the printing of the book title and author's name. This makes your book stand out on a bookshelf for quick identification and easy retrieval.
  • Books stack and lie flat.

Saddle Stitched Books

This is the least expensive form of binding, but unfortunately you cannot successfully bind more than 48 pages in this way. The pages are printed and collated then folded down the centre, and two staples are inserted through the spine to hold the book together. When creating a saddle stitched self published book please be aware that the number of pages in the book must be created in multiples of 4 pages.

  • This method is perfect for lighter weight paper stocks. The cover can be the same weight as the page stock or a heavier stock to give the book more strength and a solid feel.
  • The cover can have a gloss or matt celloglaze (protective coating) that makes the book last longer and gives the cover a professional look.
  • This method is perfect for self published books with only a small number of pages.
  • Production time is a lot quicker than a case bound book.

Interested in working with us? Contact us today
on 07 3277 2855

If you prefer email, reach us at mail@clark_mackay.com.au.

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