Monthly Archives: June 2018

Discover – What is an Audio Book?

How would you define an audit book? The easiest way to explain what is an audio book is to tell you that the only difference between an actual book from the library and an electronic book would be the “delivery” of the contents within the book. So you ask again: “What is an audio book?” these are books that you can listen to the contents of any books through your I-pod or car radio as you are driving to work in the morning. Most people enjoy having these books since it is easier to transport an electronic book with you versus a heavy hard back book when you are traveling on vacation or for work. Also, you can easily advance ahead or rewind back to chapters to listen to key points within your favorite novel or investment book. Does this provide you a clear definition of what is an audio book? If not, you will get the idea as you continue to read the article.

Audio books have grown in popularity as more people are accepting living in a technology-driven world where you have navigation systems, video games and I-Phones. In defining what is an audio book and using an electronic book, you will find that you have something that you can keep with you always and it requires no physical storage. This is actually a great advantage compared to a hard back book since over time these types of books become worn and/or damaged. Also, you can download an electronic book to various products such as a computer, MP3 player or I-pod. Finally, you can potentially teach your child or children how to read by using these book so that they can listen to the pronunciation of words as they are learning how to read. Do you now understand what is an audio book? Another way to define this term would be searching various resources for the title “what is an audio book?”. It should be fairly simple to define the term “what is an audio book?” by conducting some independent research on the internet.

What is key when purchasing these books is trying to find out what subject interests you and your ability to effectively listen to this electronic book whenever you have limited time to read a book. For instance, you can purchase these books on various subjects, however, you will probably limit the type of electronic book you purchase based upon your personal time and the usage of purchasing this type of book. Also, you can probably purchase a book titled “What is an audio book?” This might sound silly but there might be plenty of authors who has audio books titled: What is an audio book?”. As you read the book, it might provide information on not only on the definition of what is an audio book but

Some people may be apprehensive on spending money on an item where they have been conditioned to check out books from a library or purchase books. However, you will find that most book stores along with a lot of other retailers are carrying electronic books along with the public library. The uniqueness of having an electronic book is that you will find the author actually narrating their books or someone with a great speaking voice emphasizing the contents of the books and make you more intrigued about your subject of interest. This will truly help you in clearly defining “What is an audio book?”

Before you make your first purchase of an audio book, you should consult with other people who have made similar purchases. This can be accomplished by reviewing certain websites for customer reviews of electronic books. Once you have read these reviews, you should than make your first purchase on your favorite subject or on a book that might have been recommended by your book club. If you are dissatisfied just like with any other product, you can return your purchase but more than likely, you will probably enjoy the experience and have no regrets in purchasing an electronic book.

How to Format a Book

Learn how to format a book and save hundreds when you self-publish!

  • Formatting a book includes:
  • the book size,
  • margins,
  • typography,
  • line spacing,
  • page numbers,
  • headers and footers,
  • page layout,
  • parts of a book,
  • cover design,
  • your choice of paper,
  • and anything else that affects the appearance of your book.

Don’t panic! Every book you own is a training aid.

Format a Book: Size

Your first design decision is the size of your book. The most common size for trade paperbacks is 6 X 9 inches. If you are writing for children or seniors, you might prefer a larger trim size. You also have to take photographs and illustrations into consideration.

Format a Book: Margins

Margins are a primary element of book design. They will be affected by your selection of page size. Normally, the larger the book, the larger the margins. For the sizes 5″ X 8″ through 8″ X 10,” margins between.5″ and 1.25″ are the norm.

The header and footer margins can be left at their default, or set at half of the margin..

Format a Book: Headers and Footers

I like different odd and even headers to put the book title on top of the left pages and the chapter titles on top of the right pages. Fiction does not require the use of headers and footers, except for page numbers. I like different odd and even footers to put the page numbers on the outside margins at the bottom of the page. Putting page numbers on the bottom of the page simplifies formatting in that some pages are allowed to have page numbers at the bottom but not at the top of the page.

Format a Book: The Parts of a Book

The inside of your book is called a book block. The book block is divided into three parts: front matter, main body text, and back matter.

Format a Book: Front Matter

Front matter consists of all the pages that come before the main body of text. The pages are traditionally numbered in lowercase roman numerals. Each page is counted; however, blank pages do not show their page numbers. Headers are not normally used in this section, and there are no footers except for the page numbers. The half title page is the first page of your book and is always put on a new right hand page. This page includes the title only. It omits the subtitle, author’s name, and publisher. It is an optional page, but a nice touch. Page two may contain other books by the author or left blank. The title page is always put on a new right hand page. It contains the book’s full title, subtitle, if it has one, the name of the author, and the publisher.

The copyright page can be put on the backside of the title page. It contains your copyright notice, date published, publisher, and where published. The purpose of the copyright page is to protect the author from plagiarism. Book numbers, photo credits, and illustrator credits can also go here. The type may be smaller than the main body text, if desired.

The dedication should be on a new right hand page. The author has full discretion whether or not to have a dedication page, and to whom to dedicate his book. The foreword, if included, should be put on a new right hand page. It is an introduction written by a recognized authority, other than the author, that explains the importance of the book. The preface is also put on a new right hand page. The purpose of the preface is to give the author’s reason for writing the book. It is an optional page. Acknowledgments are also put on a new right hand page. This is an opportunity for the author to show his appreciation for all who helped in the creation of his book either directly or indirectly.

The table of contents is put on a new right hand page. The table of contents includes an accurate listing of chapters and the pages on which they begin. If the book is divided into parts or sections, they would also be included. A table of contents should reflect the structure of a book at a glance. You are not required to have all of the above pages in your book. At a minimum, you should have a title page, a copyright page, and a table of contents.

Whenever you are required to begin an element on a new right hand page, you are often left with a blank page preceding it. Blank pages are a nuisance because they should not have any headers or footers on them. They should be completely blank. This usually means using section breaks to make each blank page a section of its own.

Format a Book: The Main Body

Body text can be divided into parts, sections, and or chapters. If the introduction is written by someone other than the author, then it should be treated as part of the front matter. If it is written by the author, it is part of the main body text. The main body text is numbered with Arabic numerals beginning with the number 1, and numbered sequentially to the end of the book. NOTE: When you are asked for the total number of pages in your book, be sure to add the front matter pages, body text pages, blank pages, and the back matter pages.

Parts are usually larger than chapters and should begin on a new right hand page. Parts usually contain introductions to several related chapters. Sections can be either larger or smaller than chapters. Chapters are the main divisions of most books and should be numbered sequentially, even if they are divided into parts. The first chapter in a book, or a major part, should start on a new right hand page. The remaining chapters can start on either the left or right hand page. Chapters are usually further divided by headings and subheadings of descending weight.

Format a Book: Back Matter

The back matter consists of the appendix, notes, bibliography, glossary, index, and a colophon. You are already familiar with these, although, you might not have come across a colophon as they are not as common as they used to be. A novel would not need any of these. A technical manual might use all of them. An “About the Author” page could go on the back cover, if the author is famous or an authority; otherwise it might go in the back of the book ahead of the items listed above. The appendix comes directly after the text and consists of letters, documents, and miscellaneous material that relates to the material in the book. It begins on a new right hand page. Notes are footnotes, which because of their extent, have been placed at the back of the book. This section is often divided into chapters.

The bibliography is a list of books and periodicals, which the author has used as source material or has recommended to his readers. There are many great style guides for listing references, so I will not cover reference styles here. The glossary is a list of terms and their definitions used in the text.
The index is an alphabetical list of references and their page numbers that the author deems important. It is usually the last part of the book to be assembled. An index is one of the things MS Word does well.
Colophons describe the fonts, papers, ink, bindings, etc. that were used to produce the book.

Format a Book: Paper Choice

Cream colored paper is the usual choice for novels and other types of fiction. White paper is often used for technical, “How To books,” and other non-fiction books.

Format a Book with the Book Design Wizard

The Book Design Wizard simplifies book design and book formatting, so that anyone can prepare a manuscript for publication using Microsoft word. It is a huge time saver, even for experienced book designers. If you don’t have time to learn how to format a book in MS Word, the Book Design Wizard will save you hundreds of dollars.

The Wizard works inside MS Word and opens with a form where you select your book size, margins, fonts, line spacing, etc. It also has a place where you fill in the title and chapter headings. When you have completed the form, you press the “Create Book” button, and it creates a professional looking, customized Microsoft Word template for your book. Then it is just a matter of using the Wizard’s tools to cut and paste your text under the chapter headings.

Top Ten Ways Authors Irritate Book Marketers

To promote a book, an author needs help, and that help comes from people in the media-from book reviewers to journalists, conference planners to bloggers, and many, many others. Approaching these people properly and following their guidelines is essential for winning them over so they will cheerfully help you to promote your book. While good manners and common sense should prevail, all book promoters have their horror stories about difficult authors. Following are the Top Ten most common complaints I have heard from various publicists and book promoters about authors with whom they have worked or refused to work.

1. Making Cold Calls: The telephone is a great means of communication, but it’s also a great interrupter. Before you call someone, visit his website and read all the guidelines. If you can’t get an answer to a question, send an email. People are busy, so when you call them, you interrupt them. Most people will reply to your email in a timely manner, and if a phone call is needed, you can ask in an email when is the best time to call.

2. Being a Bad Guest: Sometimes it’s not all about the author and the book. TV and radio hosts need guests and they like experts. They especially rely on authors of non-fiction books who can inform their audience. In these cases, authors need to remember it’s not about them or their book; it’s about the topic they were invited to discuss. Don’t try to plug your book during the show; just inform the audience. The host will doubtless mention your book when he or she introduces you and again when the program ends. Be a good guest by following protocol and fulfilling the host’s need to give his audience what it wants and you might even be invited back.

3. Being Impatient: Everyone is busy today. Magazines and other publications are often planning out issues six months in advance. Newspaper reporters are struggling to meet today’s deadline. And book reviewers have stacks of books to review. Don’t expect people to respond to you immediately. Don’t expect them to drop everything to read your book or even your press release. Give them a reasonable amount of time. If you contact someone and you don’t hear back from her right away, wait a couple of weeks and then follow up, or ask upfront what is the timeframe for when your book review or the news story might appear. Being impatient will only irritate people, and even if they do run your news story to make you quit bothering them, they might not be willing to do so the next time around.

4. Mailing Out Unsolicited Books and Manuscripts: In submitting books to publishers, usually a query letter is sufficient. Nothing is worse than getting stacks of unsolicited manuscripts in the mail without return postage. The same is true with books for reviewers, especially when accompanied by a letter that says, “Thanks for requesting my book” when the book wasn’t requested. Furthermore, as the author, you’re wasting money. Most unsolicited books end up never being read and instead are donated to a library or Goodwill store, while the manuscripts end up in the circular file, and you’ll be lucky to receive back a formal rejection letter.

5. Posting Your Own Book Reviews: Any author with a grain of sense should know better than to post book reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores and give his book five stars. Nothing makes an author look worse. And almost as bad is when Mom, your brother, and Uncle Joe post the reviews for you-you can often tell because Mom will say, “I’m so proud of you, Mary, for writing a book.” The same is true for your website if you have a guestbook to sign-tell your family to stay away from it. Your publicist who wants you to look professional will be pulling out his hair if he has to deal with your mom promoting your book.

6. Printing Non-Credible Blurbs and Testimonials: I know you’ve seen them. The testimonial from A.K. in Hawaii who doesn’t want anyone to know he loves a book but still writes a book review. Who is A.K.? Why do readers care? Find testimonials from authors and experts in your field who are willing to give you their full name. If you don’t know anyone who can give you a testimonial, get busy looking for someone. If you still can’t find anyone, don’t print any testimonials on the back of your book. No blurb is better than a bad or fake blurb. A.K. may be a real person, but for all the reader knows, the author could have made up A.K.

7. Indulging in Self-Praise: Authors who praise themselves and their books only prove to people what big egos they have. This lack of emotional intelligence likely also shows up in a lack of good judgment in writing the book. Don’t make your website read like a commercial for your book. Make it informative, but beginning with “My book is the best one ever written on this topic” and “This wonderful novel was written with touching scenes, engaging characters, etc.” is a turn-off. It’s fine if you have testimonials from others saying those things. Just don’t say them yourself. The same is true with the book’s cover. Tell people what your book is about, but save the praise for your endorsers.

8. Having Insufficient Material: Nothing irritates a book promoter more than trying to promote a book that is not promotable. What makes a book unable to be promoted? No website to visit; no placement in bookstores, either physical or online. No email address to contact the author. Believe it or not, I’ve seen authors who say, “Readers can mail me a check for $19.95 to my address at P.O. Box etc., if they want a copy.” People want a chance to look at the book and read about it before they mail you a check, and they want to pay online because it’s faster and easier than mailing a check. Create an Internet and bookstore profile or your books will rot in your basement.

9. Hiding Your Identity: No one can promote your book if you won’t promote it. Readers care as much about the author these days as they do about the book. You need to be a visible presence in your book’s promotion. No pseudonyms. Your face needs to be on your website and on the book’s cover with a short biography. You need to blog and promote via social media so you appear like a real person online. You need to make appearances at book signings and other events. It’s difficult for a publicist or a radio host to say “This is a great book” and make people interested. It’s easier for them to say, “I’ve read this great book and here is the author who is going to tell you about it.” Your book is your child. Don’t send your child out into the world alone. Hold its hand and go with it.

10. Expecting Something for Nothing: Nothing is going to irritate a book promoter more than an author who acts like he and his book deserve publicity and deserve it for free. It takes a long time to read a book and write a review or a blog. It costs money to operate a website and pay people to maintain it. Even if a service is free, such as a journalist writing a newspaper article about your book, appreciate the value of that person’s time and send a thank you note after the story appears. Always give book promoters a free copy of your book. And do not complain about prices. If you can’t afford the service, find one you can afford, but don’t argue over the fees. Remember that the publishing world is a small place-you don’t want word to get around that you are cheap or a deadbeat.

Authors, now that you know what irritates book promoters, ask yourself whether you’re guilty. Are people not returning your calls because you’re being pushy or you’re clueless about the proper ways to promote your book? Now you know. There’s no more excuses. Go out and promote your book with new confidence and proper promotion etiquette.

How to Create a Synopsis That Hooks Readers

When people pick up your book they want to know is what it is about. This is why books have a synopsis or description on the back cover. But if the text featured on the back cover doesn’t hook the reader’s interest right away, chances are they won’t buy the book.

After seeing your book cover or hearing your book title, the first thing readers do is pick up the book and flip it over to read the back cover, or if they are online, they will look for the product description, also called a short summary or synopsis (about a paragraph long). Some authors put only their biographies on their back covers. Depending on the book, the author’s Bio might give credibility but not only will the reader still wonder what the book is about; the author is also missing out on the best opportunity to hook readers. Below are some tips on writing a synopsis with a hook:

1- Make it Short. Remember, the possible buyer will not spend more than few seconds looking at the back cover, so make it sweet, short and to the point.

2- Make it Relevant. Most people look for stories relevant to their lives, so it is important to show how the book can relate to current times on the synopsis.

3- Make it Credible. Even sci-fi needs to sound credible to call the interest of a reader. So make sure that how you describe your story (no matter the genre), sounds credible to the reader.

4- Make its Uniqueness Evident. What makes your story different from other books in that genre? That is the question to answer in the synopsis.

To give an example on using the above tips to create a synopsis, below is my book’s back cover/Amazon Synopsis:

“Growing up under WWII Italian survivors was not easy. For Susan, the hardest part was the feeling of alienation as she desperate tried to relate to her parents to no avail. Through the years Susan was able to relate with her mother, but her father remained an enigma until one day he gave her five tapes containing his memoirs. Based on Nino’s first tape, Innocent War is a boy’s adventure, showing a child’s point of view through the war’s hardships, dangers, and tragedies, combined with his own humor, innocence and awakening as he grows up. Join Susan as she gets to know her father, and finds herself within the family she thought she knew.”

1- Make it Short: It is 114 words and states all topics within the stories.

2- Make it Relevant: It states how I was trying to get to know my father (relevant to all who have parents)… even though it is about WWII, currently we are in war against Terrorists.

3- Make it Credible: I state that the story comes from first-hand accounts and there are tapes to back it up…

4- Make its Uniqueness Evident: WWII under the Italian point of View, A child’s experience.

Old Books, Their Care and Preservation

As a dealer in used and antiquarian books, I am often asked how best to care for old books. This short article will explain some simple procedures to protect your books (old or new) from harm.

The general rule of thumb is to treat your books like children.

GIVE THEM A HOME. Most important, in books or kids, is that they have a comfortable home. For books, this means in a climate-controlled room-not the porch, not the shop or outbuilding, not the unfinished attic or basement or garage, not an unheated storage unit. You don’t want the books to experience extremes of temperature, nor do you want the temperature to fluctuate wildly during the day.

Keeping books on bookshelves is ideal because it is more likely that you’ll pick up the book and start reading it! Be sure to place the bookshelf so that it is out of direct sunlight, or else your spines will fade. Also, if you are a smoker, try keeping your books in a room that you infrequently smoke in. Although the odor will eventually go away, the discoloration to the covers and pages is more difficult to remove.

If you need to box your books, be sure to lay the books flat in the box. The worst thing you can do when boxing books is to pack them spine up or spine down-especially if you’re going to stack another box on top! It’s also a good idea to put some packing material between books. Oftentimes, once books are in a box, they are moved or even shipped without repacking. Visually check the boxes every once in a while to make sure mice or other pests have not discovered them.

KEEP THEM DRY. Let’s say you live in a mild climate that is usually between 50 and 70 degrees. You are more able to store books outside the home, but for crying out loud keep a roof over them! Water damage is the most common damage I see. I have also seen books water-damaged by being placed in a bookcase along with houseplants-when watered, some of the water would splash or spill and damage the books, so just because your books are inside doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe. Humidity is another concern, as it can cause foxing or discoloration to the pages. Again, keeping the books indoors will help. If possible, a dehumidifier will keep the books much happier.

KEEP THEM CLEAN. Although they hopefully don’t get as dirty as boys on a summer afternoon, books do tend to accumulate dust. Frequent dusting of the tops of the books and the shelf they’re on is recommended. Regular vacuuming of the room they’re in is also highly recommended. If possible, vacuum the books themselves with a low-powered vacuum (such as a hand-held one) with a brush attachment.

TAKE CARE OF THEM WHEN THEY’RE SICK. Just like children, books get scraped, scuffed, broken bones, infected, bitten by the dog, beat up, flaky skin, and more. Even though our store doesn’t do extensive in-house book repair or restoration, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shown some poor old book that is in desperate need of help (or that needs to be put out of its misery!) Depending on the emotional or monetary value of your book, you should consider getting any damage repaired by a professional bookbinder. Repairing even moderate damage can prevent it from getting worse. If you have mildew or insect damage, be sure that the infection is dead, or else it (the bugs or mildew) might spread to the rest of your collection. (Separate article on that coming soon!)

SPEND TIME WITH THEM. Most book collectors are also readers. Be sure to read your books! Gentle reading is good for books. If you have leather books, the oils from your hands help keep the leather supple. Reading your cloth or paperbound books ensures they aren’t getting eaten by insects or dust-bunnies.

DON’T WRAP THEM IN PLASTIC. Most of us don’t seal our kids up in plastic bags, even if we occasionally want to, nor do we need to do the same to our books. Books need to breathe. (Sealing a dust jacket in a paper-backed mylar sleeve is okay.) A sealed plastic bag can keep in moisture and possible mold, and hasten discoloration. Additionally, a fragile book that is pulled in and out of a plastic bag can get damaged each time. If you have something exceptionally fragile, talk to your bookbinder about making a custom clamshell box for it.

ESTATE PLANNING. Yes, we all go sooner or later, and you are probably not planning on being buried with your books. Be sure your spouse, kids, family, friends, lawyer, etc. knows the value of your books. I hate seeing a big or good collection be sold at an estate sale for fifty cents apiece…but I hate even worse hearing about kids who just throw out their parents’ old books, magazines, and papers. If you have good books, and if your kids do not want them, you might consider selling them (that is, selling the books, not the kids) while you are alive, or at least making contact with a reputable dealer who is willing to go through your book estate and pay well for them.

These simple guidelines will help you keep your books in good condition for years to come. Since the value of books is so dependent on condition, taking care of them is a financially wise decision as well as the best way to get the most enjoyment from them.

Scheduling Your Book Project

“Where will I ever find the time to write my book?” or simply, “How long does it take to write a book?” is a good question authors often ask themselves. The first-time author may feel overwhelmed just trying to decide where to begin, and even the seasoned author can find beginning each new book to be a challenge.

First of all, let me say that I know hardly any author who has not found that writing a book ends up taking a lot longer than was initially planned, but I also know that few things can leave a person with such a sense of accomplishment as writing a book. However long the writing and production take, it will be worth it if you spend the time being serious about the process, you allow yourself to be inspired, and you produce a quality product in the end.

To make what feels overwhelming seem more manageable, we can break down writing and producing a book into a series of steps that give an idea of the order and time needed for each step in the process.

Come Up with an Idea (a few minutes to a few years): Coming up with a good idea for a book is easier said than done. Usually good ideas just come to us rather than our going out looking for them. But even after you have the idea, you need to refine it. You’ll want to play around with it for several days, weeks, or even months. Look around for books that might have similar ideas. Read them so you can see whether your idea has been done before or you have something new you can say on the topic. Be sure not to steal ideas from other authors; you don’t want to plagiarize, but you can cite other sources in your book.

Research (one month to a few years): Even if you are going to write a novel, you will find aspects of research you will need to do. Sometimes the research is just simple fact-checking. For example, if your novel is set in Atlanta, it might just require double-checking the name of a restaurant or a street for accuracy in your book. If you’re writing a non-fiction book, it might require months of research to assemble your information. In my opinion, research is often the most exciting part of writing the book. It’s when you gather and discover new information, which can cause your idea to expand and change, become stronger and more refined. Let yourself go crazy with the research and read everything on the topic that you can. Take notes and make sure you write down the sources for all your notes-the authors, books, page numbers, etc. Look at some other nonfiction books to see how they are arranged with notes, footnotes, and bibliography pages. You will want to use “The Chicago Manual of Style” or some other style manual to make sure you incorporate your research properly into your book.

Write the Book (weeks to years): According to a study done by the Brenner Information Group, it takes 475 hours to write a fiction book and 725 to write a nonfiction book. Of course, those numbers are averages. It depends on how long you want your book to be, what your topic is, and what your goals are. If you’re writing a long scholarly work, it’s going to take longer than it does to write a thirty-two page children’s book, although both will be time-consuming. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “Where am I going to find 475 hours?” Truthfully, it’s not that hard to find. I’m a firm believer in “steady wins the race.” I frequently tell people that if they just write a page a day, they will have written a book by the end of the year. If you can find just an hour a day, or even half an hour, you can do it. If you can block out two or three hours every Sunday, you can do it. And besides, writing a book is not a race. It’s more important that you take your time and create a quality product than that you rush it.

Revising the Book (days to months): Again, the amount of time needed for revision depends on the book. I should point out that none of the steps in this process to this point have to be done in specific order. You might start writing your book, realize you have to stop and do some research, then go back to writing, then realize you need to do some more research, which could mean finding out something new that causes you to go back and revise what you have already written before you go on to write the next part. It’s a constant back and forth process when you write a book, and you will find yourself revising as you go. You might get frustrated that writing is not really a linear process, but try to enjoy the process anyway and realize that however long it takes, you are getting closer to your goal. The main thing is that once you have a complete rough draft, you sit down and revise the entire book. That means more than proofreading. It means seeing the big picture, making sure the book is organized properly, that the arguments make sense, that the sentences flow, that there are no inconsistencies, and looking for places where you may need to remove something that is irrelevant, or expand something that needs more explanation.

Editing (two weeks to two months): I have editor friends who complain that every author thinks the editor can start working on the book the day the author calls. Editing a book can actually be time-consuming; the editor will usually go through the book several times and send the book back to the author with revision suggestions. It usually takes several weeks to do an editing job, so authors should schedule plenty of time for the editing and for doing more of their own revisions. Don’t put the cart before the horse and plan your book signing for one month after you send the editor the book. Wait until you know the books are being printed. Plan for the worst case scenario-that the editor will discover a lot of work still needs to be done on the book. Call the editor a few weeks before you finish writing the book so he or she knows the book is coming and can plan accordingly so you don’t have to wait weeks for the editor to get to it.

Proofreading (one to two weeks): If you and your editor have done a good job, the proofreader should not take too long on the book, but again, your book is not the only one the proofreader has to proofread so plan to give yourself plenty of time.

Cover Design and Layout (one week to one month): A cover design can take little or a lot of time, depending on whether you have artwork or a photograph you want to use for your cover or you need to hire an artist to create a cover for you. Be thinking about your cover as you work on your book so you’re prepared for this step. As for layout of the book, if you’ve written a short novel with no pictures, the layout person might be able to have it done in a day or two (but again, remember you are not the layout person’s only customer). If your book has a lot of graphics, charts, or photographs, it could be weeks or even months before the layout is done. Remember, you will need to look over the proofs to make sure photographs are in the right places, and there are no typos. However, now is not the time to rewrite sentences or paragraphs. Only minor changes should be made at this point. Anything major should have been caught before the book went to the proofreader, and the layout person is likely to charge you extra for any corrections.

Printing (four to six weeks): Four to six weeks is standard for the printing. You will be sent a paper proof copy (different from the pdf file the layout person previously sent you), and a copy of the cover to look over and approve. Again, any corrections needed will slow down the process and the printer will charge you for changes. The four to six weeks should include the shipment of the books to your door.

Pre-Marketing (four to six weeks): If you haven’t started already, then while the book is at the printer is the time to begin marketing your book. It’s when you can build your website, make up your business cards, brochures, fliers, and arrange for placement in stores and to hold book signings. Be cautious here-if your book is supposed to arrive on March 20th, don’t schedule your book signing for March 21st, only to end up with the books not coming until March 22nd. Plan your book signing for a few weeks after the books arrive so you have time to get them in local stores and to list them at online stores. Then you will feel prepared when the truck with all those books shows up at your door. Make sure you have cleared a place to put all those books!

While writing your book, you will experience hang-ups, frustrations, and moments of triumph, all of which may alter your schedule, but if you plan it out, you should be able to produce a book in the given timeframe above for each step. At the very least, plan for writing and production to take you a year. It will probably take you two. But we all know how fast time passes-so you will have that book in hand before you know it, and then you will feel that all that hard work was well worth it.