Where to begin on creating an upload-ready file?

So, what I want to create is pretty simple. It's a Standard US Trade Paperback 6x9in book with maybe around 250 pages. I have the story written, it's all edited and revised and ready, but the formatting is where I start to get really nervous. I still have trouble remembering all the bells and whistles involved in creating a document. I have two .ttf fonts downloaded from the internet that I want to use in my document, and I know that doing that requires embedding fonts. The problem with that is Word 2016 for Mac does not have that option! I've heard about DoPDF, which from what I've heard makes itself a virtual printer on your computer, so that when you "print" your file from MS Word, it actually gets saved as a PDF by DoPDF. I think that'll solve that problem. But is there any alternative program I should be using that would just make things a lot easier? I've heard of Scribus, is that a good program?

 

Another issue is setting the margins and gutter margins. I heard that a good margin is .75" and a good gutter is .25". Is this recommended even for 6x9in books? Also, there's the matter of page numbers. I'd like to set a rather simple system of numbers in the upper corners of the pages, again in one of the two unusual fonts I'm using, along with the alternating centered Title and Author's name that is common among many books I've read, where when looking at an open page, the left-hand page has the title at the top, and the right-hand page has the author in the top. Word is extremely annoying about page numbers. I want the page numbers to begin after six pages (Title, copyright info, ToC, blank, Dedication, blank), but the only options I see are either "Start at the first page" or "Start at the second page". I can do all the headers manually, if that's what it comes to. I can type random nothings for hours on end, it's almost theraputic, but it would undoubtedly waste a lot of time.

 

So, that's a dump of quite a few problems, which are probably extremely easy to solve and I'm just an incompetent, nervous wreck. But, oh, I'm sure that once these are solved, I'll come back with a plethora of new ones.

Comments

  • As a Mac user myself, I avoid Word and use Open Office or Libre Office which has an "embed fonts" option in its PDF export feature.

     

    For my 6 X 9 books, I select Mirrored for my layout options and set my margins as

    Left: .85"

    Right: .50"

    Top: .60"

    Bottom .60"

     

    To avoid page numbers in the header/footers in your front matter, use create Page styles with the header and footer options turned off. Name them whatever works for you (Title, Table of Contents, Dedication or whatever). For the pages with your actual text, have the header and/or footer turned on. Type your title and author name in the headers for the first two pages, respectively. With the cursor in the footer, choose insert Page Number and the correct number will show (ie: 7, 8, etc.). I included links to a couple of my books so you can check the previews; I think it's what you're trying to accomplish. You can open your MS Word file in Open Office or Libre, and save a copy in their .odt format. Good luck! 

     

    http://www.lulu.com/shop/gf-louvaine/the-lovers-ruse/paperback/product-22920841.html

     

    http://www.lulu.com/shop/hanley-jennings-peterson/dark-shadows-episode-guide-volume-4/paperback/product-22894660.html

     

  • DoPDF is great for converting to a solid PDF prior to uploading. Word can do it, but it is much simpler to use DoPDF.

    My margin suggestion for minimums is 0.5" on all sides, 0.5" for the Header/Footer, 0.3" for gutter, and mirrored margins.

    Getting pages number right is tricky. You'll need to set up section breaks in the document so Word knows where to start the numbering, and set them to be different for odd and even pages so the title/author to alternate.
  • My margin suggestion for minimums is 0.5" on all sides, 0.5" for the Header/Footer, 0.3" for gutter, and mirrored margins.

     

    At first I used those settings, but then I noticed that when the pages get trimmed it's not always very precise, so one should look at samples and adjust accordingly. I would say the above are the minium.

    Top and Bottom I have at 0.75, but Header and Footer spacing will also adjust that.

    Oh, I never Mirror Margins either. With the above settings why do they need to be? Just set it to Normal.

    BTW. I have also come to the conclusion that the more pages there are, the greater the Gutter needs to be.

  • Kevin,

    You're right on all points. 0.5" is a minimum, and if I was using this setting, I would absolutely add at least 0.3" for the gutter (so the inside margin would be 0.8").

    I think for longer works a larger gutter is smart too allow for the bigger spine and the flex of the pages.

    I've always been happy with 0.5" margins, but it definitely is a matter of taste preference. I wouldn't go smaller for a book of text, but I could see making them larger.
  • The problem with Book on Demand manufacture it is excruciating expensive (it all seems to be based around the price of a one-off when, well, one is ordered! But when I used to buy products for a company I often said, "Ok we may only order around 100 a week of (fill in here) but I want a discount based on how many we order a year, and you can  work that out from last year ..." Lulu should try that with the printers  Smiley Very Happy  )

    So we try to get as many words on a page as possible well still allowing it to be comfortably readable (no 7pnt  fonts!) so as to cut down page count.   (Especially with books with some colour in.)

    But some still try to increase words per page by using margins so small they often get trimmed off or lost in the spine. (One wonders if they bother to look at Proofs, or if they do they just say, "sod it."

    This is often not the case for traditional publishers who often have minimum print runs of 10,000 bringing the unit cost down to 10p. It's all the pre-printing and on-going marketing costs they worry about. I have often seen mass printed books with 1" margins and greater all round.

  • Hi, sir I am also an iMac user :-( you said you use  Open Office where is this and is it free? Do you download it and how is better for book formatting than Word? Also to the technically challenged what is DoPDF? Where can one get it and is instead of Word? 

     

    Thanks

  • Just KevinJust Kevin Lulu Genius

    http://get.openoffice.us.com/h3/oo_min-old2.php?source=bing&aid=oldinline-newlp&

     

    http://www.dopdf.com/

     

    (Aren't search engines wonderful?)

     


    englishdad wrote:

    Hi, sir I am also an iMac user :-( you said you use  Open Office where is this and is it free? Do you download it and how is better for book formatting than Word? Also to the technically challenged what is DoPDF? Where can one get it and is instead of Word? 

     

    Thanks


    OO is sort of a competitor to MS Office created by Sun who did not get on well with MS at the time, hence why it is free perhaps. It is OK but when one opens text files in it a pop-up box first opens giving you a million options what to open it as. That irked me because actual Word does not do that because it does not need to.

     

    I do not know about DoPDF because I find MS Word's own Save As (PDF) to work just fine.

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