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.]