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We’ve packed up the tips and tricks and moved over to the Official Lulu Blog!

With this move you will get more than just tips and tricks, but information about the Lulu site, marketing tips, self-publishing news and more.

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Book Formatting 101: Make sure your words don’t end up in the gutter!

Ready, Set, Format!
Formatting is one of the most important steps in creating your file for Lulu to make sure a cut off head isn’t in a photo book or a word falling off the page. Important things to look out for include consistency, page size, paragraph sizes, etc. Go through the Editing Checklist to make sure your file is ready to go through the PDF process.

The Gutters for the leaves…. And other words in Book Formatting
There are many terms to understand in order to format your book correctly.
Below are just a few of key words to add to your publishing vocabulary. For more visit the Glossary.

Gutter – The inner margins of two facing pages in a publication
White Space – the border around the text; should be at least 1″
Bleed – The portion of an image that extends beyond the post-trim area of a page.
DPI – Dots per Inch; A measure of a device’s resolution; For graphic purposes how big your picture should be.

Want to Know More?
There’s plenty of information on the Book Formatting FAQ and in the Support forums if you get lost or just want more clarification. If you want expert advice and help, visit the Services Marketplace and use one of the many pre-publishing services.

Tips and Tricks: Cover Design…

Before designing you cover you should:

  • Identify the target audience: Consider their interests, reading levels, background.
  • Determine the purpose of your message you want to present and plan your cover layout around it.
  • Select appropriate typefaces and organize the text and graphics.

::Audience::

Remember that you are not designing for yourself; you are designing to communicate to others. Take the audiences needs, skills, and abilities, into account when developing your design.

::Layout::

Decide what you want the reader to see or read first and position it accordingly, then decide what you want the reader to read or see next.

Make the most important element you want your readers to see the largest and the least important element the smallest. A few ways to do that is to:

  • Establish a hierarchy of type sizes for headlines, subheads, etc.
  • Be consistent with formatting.
  • Use lines to organize information.
  • Outline a photo or separate it from other elements. The use of space (negative space), is very important as it gives the eye a visual rest, makes a layout easy to follow and can drown attention.

Color on a book-cover can convey moods, create images, attract attention, and identify objects, among other things. When you choose colors – think about the following:

  • Highlighting important elements such as headlines and subheads.
  • Attracting the eye.
  • Creating a mood.
  • Provoking thought or emotion.

Red – Energy, Passion, Power, Excitement Orange – Happy, Confident, Creative, Adventurous

Yellow – Wisdom, Playful, Satisfying, Optimistic Green – Health, Contentment, Harmony

Blue – Honesty, Integrity, Trustworthiness Violet – Mystic, Beauty, Inspiration

Brown – Easiness, Passivity Black – Finality, Transitional Color

:: Typography::

Key tips: Choose a font that embodies the personality of your book or theme. Aggressive, Violent, Peaceful, Confusion……..You should use two typefaces but make sure they are very different. If you decide to use only one font, choose one that has different variations.

::Images and Graphics::

Your Cover: the first impression on your readers. Once you have decided what type of feeling you want to create, choose an image. Don’t forget, unusual shapes can be used to attract attention. There are basically three types of shapes: Geometric shapes (a triangle), natural shapes (a being, plant, pet etc.) and abstract shapes (an illustration)

If you don’t have your own image and you are looking for one, check out public domain, royalty free graphics web sites or subscription graphics online services that charge a membership fee for unlimited graphics downloads….

Here are some helpful links:

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

http://www.freefoto.com/browse/04-00-0?ffid=04-00-0

http://www.pdphoto.org/

http://search.creativecommons.org/

http://www.clipart.com/en/

Lulu’s Services Marketplace:

If you would like the help of an expert, visit the Services Marketplace (add link to the services marketplace for your language) and find a designer near you.