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July 2013

Tips on Do-It-Yourself Page Design - Part 1

If you are proficient on your computer and have decided to do your own interior page design work, there are some choices you'll need to make and necessary equipment to invest in if you don't already have it.

Right at the beginning you need to be thinking about how your book will be printed. Different book printers have different requirements. 

Most book manufacturers will accept either PC or Mac files. They do, however, have specific requirements on the types of software or final files they will accept. The most common page layout programs are Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.  You've probably been using Microsoft Word for your writing and editing. These word processing files can be imported directly into the page layout software. Whatever you choose, be sure to talk to your book printer ahead of time about compatibility.

The vast majority of book printers - if not all of them - do not accept files in Microsoft Word. Word files are very unpredictable when transferred from computer to computer. Word does not have the capability to report the fonts that were used to build the document or reveal when a font is missing or has been replaced. Such problems can cause the text on the pages to reflow and graphics to behave unpredictably. Virtually all book printers accept PDF files.

If you plan to scan your own photos or graphics, you'll need a good quality scanner. For your interior graphics, you'll need to scan at a minimum of 300 dpi. You'll also need the software (example: Photoshop) to operate your scanner. 

In Part 2 of this post, we will discuss options you have regarding type, including style and size, the use of white space, using boldface and italics, and other issues involving do-it-yourself page design.

[This post was created, with permission, from excerpts take from The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, 5th Edition, co-authored by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier.]

10 Tips For Selling Your Book Through Social Media

By Karen Hodges Miller    

Social media has given us the ability to connect with people all around the world and tell them about our products and our expertise. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, blogs and countless other networking sites are available. Using these tools effectively can be a challange. To help you, here are some tips for using social media to market and sell you book.

1. Create a business Facebook page. Facebook is a great way to stay in touch, but you still need a second business Facebook page to promote your professional image, your book and your speaking engagements. It should be friendly, but also professional.

2. Be consistent. It doesn't matter which social networking sites you are listed on if you aren't consistent in  your posting. There are tools you can use to link one post to several of your networking sites.

3. Share useful information. Share valuable information and tips that relate to your work or come directly from your book.

4. Participate. Social networking doesn't work if you don't actively participate. On LinkedIn, find discussion groups that relate to your book.  Participate in discussions - share tips and advice.

5. Create interest before your book is finished. Share about the process of writing your book. Ask for feedback. Use your social networking sites as a focus group.

6. Give something away. Find something to give away that has value for your readers, acts as a teaser for your book and can be offered as a free download. Things like a free 20-page e-book guide about your subject, an excerpt of an upcoming novel, or an unpublished short story.

7. Create links to your order page. 

8. Use event notifications. Tell your friends and fans where you will be speaking or hosting a seminar. Make it easy for people to sign up by adding links to your registration page.

9. Update all of your profiles. Search for yourself on Google and Yahoo. Where are you listed. Are they up-to-date? If not, update and edit your profiles whereever you need to.

10. Blogging and more. Social networking is all about interaction with other people who are passionate about your interests and expertise. Don't forget other social networking techniques such as a blog, an email newsletter, podcasts and YouTube. The more you do, the better your search engine listings.

 [This post was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from Sell Your Book, written byKaren Hodges Miller, founder of Open Door Publications.]

What You Need to Know About Copyrights

By Bobbi Linkemer.

The following answers some of the most common questions asked by writers and authors regarding copyrights.

What is a copyright? Copyright is a set of rights that regulates a unique way of presenting an idea or information. Usually these rights are for a fixed length of time and may apply to a variety of creative, conceptual, or artistic forms or works. Copyright is one of the laws covered by the greater term "intellectual property."

What is not protected by copyright? Copyright law covers only the precise form or manner in which ideas or information have been produced. It is not designed or intended to cover the actual ideas, concepts, facts, styles, or techniques that may be represented by the copyrighted product.

How long does copyright last? In the United States, all books and other items published before 1923 have expired copyrights and are in the public domain. All works created by the U.S. government, regardless of date, enter the public domain upon their creation. If the author has been dead more than seventy years, the work is most likely in the public domain.

How is copyright transferred? Under the U.S. Copyright Act, if you want to transfer ownership of your copyright, you must do so in writing. A simple document that describes the work involved and the rights being granted is adequate. Non-exclusive grants or licenses, such as allowing someone to include a paragraph from your book in his or her writing, need not be in writing. Transfers and exclusive grants should be formally noted in the U.S. Copyright Office.

How is copyright obtained? You can download the paperwork yourself from the U.S. Copyright Officd at www.copyright.gov/forms. The Office commonly charges $50 per submission. 

[This post  was created, with permission, from excerpts taken from How to Write a Nonfiction Book, from planning to promotion is 6 simple stepswritten by Bobbi Linkemer. To visit her website, go to http://www.WriteANonfictionBook.com.]