Well, the day is finally here. After two years planning and five months of development, I’m please to announce the grand opening of BookDesignTemplates.com.
Editor’s note: The introduction to this article, which explains a lot of the background and thinking behind this solution to the book formatting problem is here: Book Design Quick Tips for Self-Publishers
As I’ve been saying all week, this is the result of accepting the reality that many authors choose to create books with the tool they already own and know how to use: Microsoft Word.
So let’s dive right in and find out what we’ve got for you.
First, the Templates
We are launching with a small gallery of 6 template designs. All of the templates available today are intended for fiction, memoir, and literary nonfiction. In other words, books that require little in the way of formatting.
Here’s what I mean, in the form of a chapter opening page from our “Legend” template:
Can you picture your own book looking like this?
The “Legend” template uses the fonts Amaranth and Theano Didot and is particularly well-suited for contemporary novels, romance, and historical novels.
It creates pages with about 360 words per page average. It makes good use of print on demand technology since you want to create an elegant and readable book without creating too many pages, since PoD vendors charge by the page.
Here’s a page spread from the “Premise” template:
As you can see, when you use one of these templates, most of the work has already been done for you. Each template comes complete with:
- The correct trim size already set
- Margins worked out for print on demand production
- Styles for all typographic elements, so you can style your book just by clicking on the appropriate style name in Word
- Pages already set up for your title, copyright, chapter opening, and text pages
- Running heads properly set up along with page numbers
- All the fonts used by the template (completely legal)
- Even an “About the Author” page, too
Each of the templates is available in 3 sizes:
- 5.25″ x 8″, a size that’s great for novels or memoirs
- 5.5″ x 8.5″, the most popular size for trade paperbacks
- 6″ x 9″, for longer books and impressive hardcovers
The Rest of the Package
Now, we can’t just sell you a template and send you on your way. Believe me, I realize there are lots of authors who have never touched that “Styles” section in Word.
That’s why my associate Tracy R. Atkins, has created a fully-illustrated, step-by-step Formatting Guide PDF that shows you how to download and unzip the template file, install the fonts on your system, and replace the placeholder text with your own book manuscript.
Here’s a typical page from the Guide:
Both the Formatting Guide and a new free resource, the Book Construction Blueprint, are available at the site as separate downloads.
Here’s what’s included in each template package zip file:
- The Word template file
- A PDF of the template so you can see what it’s supposed to look like
- A Word document of the template that’s fully editable
- The fonts needed for the template
A New Resource for Book Creators
That’s why we’re making available the Book Construction Blueprint, a wealth of book formatting and construction guidelines. This 24-page PDF can become your guide for years to come when you need to answer basic questions about book sections, pagination, chapters and subheads, widows and orphans, and more.
And it’s free. Even if you’re not in the market for a template, you can grab a copy to use anyway.
What About eBooks?
We couldn’t leave you direct-to-digital publishers out in the cold, either. Although there’s a lot less you can do with a standard ebook in terms of design, we’ve created ebook-ready templates for each of our template designs, too.
They come with a supplement to the Formatting Guide that walks you through how to use the ebook template to get a file that will convert easily for Kindle, Smashwords, BookBaby and other ebook sellers and distributors.
The ebook templates are packaged as an upgrade to our other licenses.
That leads us to…
Licenses and Pricing
When you get to BookDesignTemplates.com you’ll see that the pricing on our templates is variable.
That’s because the licenses we’re selling are specific to the way you plan to use the template.
Here’s how it works.
You can buy each template with 3 different licenses, each at a separate price:
- A Single-Book License allows you to use the template for one self-published book. You’ll get the top-quality design, the fonts, and all the master pages in the template package along with the Guides to help you along. This license costs $37.00.
- A Multi-Book License allows you to use the template for a whole series of books, no matter how long the series is. In fact, with the Multi-Book license you can publish as many of your own books as you like with one template purchase. This is probably the best value if you plan to publish more than one book. Cost is $97.00.
- A Commercial License allows you, as a sole proprietor, to provide formatting services for other authors. With this license you can use the template on books for your clients for a one-time cost of $197.00.
For authors who are planning an ebook edition as well as a print book edition, you can add the ebook template as an upgrade to any bundle for an additional $10.00.
We devised this licensing scheme to make the templates available for different uses, at prices that make sense for each case.
Well, all that’s left now is for you to head over to BookDesignTemplates.com and check out the designs for yourself.
While you’re there, grab a copy of the Book Construction Blueprint. Also note that you can get a good look at each template by using a link to download a full-size, high-resolution 3-page sample.
We’re already at work on our first nonfiction templates, which will include levels of subheads, notes and bibliography masters, lists and pull quotes, all pre-formatted into styles for 1-click use.
There are more fiction templates coming too. By downloading the Book Construction Blueprint you’ll get on our notification list, where we’ll also make new templates available in special offers.
What’s Not Included
I almost forgot to tell you what you won’t get with our templates, and that is world-class typography. Keep in mind we can’t change the way Word works, the way it spaces letters and lines of type, the way it hyphenates. I do think these templates have been tweaked and caressed to output the best type that Word can produce.
You also won’t get Adobe or Monotype fonts, but if you have some, by learning to modify the styles you can experiment with your own fonts.
If you’re doing a fiction book, a memoir, or a work of literary nonfiction, and you don’t need formatting beyond chapter openers and title pages, these templates can save you a lot of time and frustration, and ensure that you’re producing an industry-standard book at the same time.
I’d love to get your feedback on the site, the templates, the guides, or anything else, so I hope you’ll leave it in the comments.
For my part, today I feel like I’ve created something that truly will help authors “build better books.”
Screenshot by Joel Friedlander. For readers of tiny gray type, you might be interested to know that this is the 1,000th post to this blog. Cheers.