After you have spent considerable time writing your history, it needs to be printed in a beautiful way. A hardbound book printed on acid-free paper will last for generations. Voices and Images will design and lay out your manuscript.
Book design includes not only the graphic design of the front and back cover, but also the layout and typographic design of every page within your book. So, it is the responsibility of your book designer to ensure that the details of your book lead your readers to explore and thoroughly read your book. It needs to give present a professional impression, and won’t your interrupt readers from enjoying your hard work.
You have spent a significant amount of time, in many cases years writing and preparing your story. Don’t skimp and take your MS Word or Apple Pages documents to your local neighborhood print shop to print it. It won’t last and it looks cheap, it certainly does not represent the time you have spent on it.
We will take your manuscript as a word-processing document, either MS Word or Apple Pages, and use the Adobe InDesign software program (a professional layout software program) and insert your family photos in a way that highlights your history. We have been told by our clients that it is all the beautiful photos we insert into their book that makes it is special to them.
In addition to the pages that have the body text of your book on them, books require certain other pages for readers to gain important information, and to protect your book from copyright infringement. These pages include:
- the book’s interior title page
- copyright page
- dedication page
- table of contents
Have you ever started to read a book, and on the first page—before you’ve engaged the actual content—you immediately get a bad feeling and can’t take the book seriously? And sometimes you can’t even explain why?
That may have been the impact of interior layout and design.
Book design is one of those things that you never notice…unless it’s wrong. Despite how simple it seems (or perhaps because of it), your book’s interior layout is one of the major factors that separates amateurish books from professional ones.
Interior layout is easy to dismiss. It’s just formatting words on a page. Google Docs does that automatically. What’s the big deal?
The first thing to realize is that there’s a lot more that goes into designing the interior of a book than you might expect. These are just some of the decisions that must be made:
- color vs. black and white
- trim size (as explained above)
- other physical considerations (paperback vs. hardcover, paper stock, etc.)
- font selection
- spacing decisions
- design elements in the header
- sidebars (if any)
- if/how you want to incorporate illustrations, photography or other graphics
There are also all the nerdier publishing details that your proofreader should have caught but likely didn’t, like making sure you’re using the right dashes in the right places (hyphens, em and en dashes all have distinct uses). The same goes for quotation marks (straight vs. curly vs. foot/inch marks—all different things), mathematical symbols (× vs. x) and nearly every other symbol you can (but probably won’t) think of.
And, because it’s a book and you don’t want anything slipping through, it’s also crucial that it’s manually checked for widows and orphans (the single line at end of a paragraph that ends up at the top of the next page, or a single word on a line by itself), or any other formatting that can come across as unprofessional or ugly.
Book layout/design is hard, tiring work, and requires a lot of hours from someone with at least a strong baseline of design skills. Most designers went into the field because they love working on beautiful, creative projects. Interior print layout has those elements, sure—but also demands a lot of precision and “boring” practical considerations that designers don’t always like to be constrained by (not unlike, say, industrial design).