Free: Expert Advice for Producing Print Books in the New Book Construction Blueprint

by | Oct 9, 2017

Are you including print books in your publishing strategy, or do you think you might want to do that someday?

Good news. I’ve partnered with BookBaby, the ebook distributor and publishing services vendor, to make my new book available to anyone who wants it for free.

That’s pretty generous, don’t you think? There’s a link to the page where you can get it at the end of this post.

Their promotion will run through the end of the year, and you’ll be able to download the entire 224-page book, including almost 100 illustrations and screenshots.

BookBaby will be giving away a PDF of the book, and next week I’ll also have a print edition available for you at a special price, for those that prefer print books.

Background to Book Construction Blueprint

BookBaby issued this statement to kick off the promotion: (They also designed the cover, by the way.)


Build a Better Book: Indie Publishing Thought Leader and Book Designer Joel Friedlander Teams up With BookBaby to Create Book Construction Blueprint

book publishingIndependent authors don’t just toss their works online anymore. They are increasingly learning to act as publishers when they decide how to design and print their books. And like publishers, they need to make sure their products are the best they can be.

Joel Friedlander knows just how important this is. With decades of experience as a book designer, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of creating beautiful, market-savvy physical books. He’s distilled his knowledge for authors into an ebook, exclusively available at BookBaby, Book Construction Blueprint: Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books.

The Blueprint examines each part of the book, explaining its logic and structure, which in turn influences each part of the book’s design. “I tried to bring all the writing I’ve done on book construction and offset printing to the table,” explains Friedlander. “Offset printing should be on the minds of every independent author. If you want to move past selling a couple dozen books, if you want to see your books with the widest possible distribution, you have to start thinking like someone who makes products. You’re need to put yourself in a “B2B” mindset. The Blueprint is designed to help authors understand how print books are put together. If you want to take the next step, it helps you do that.”

Friedlander is intimately familiar with the inner workings of books, as a designer, publisher, and prolific author. Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer, sprang from two years of soul searching about how to best help today’s independent authors, and intensive freewriting. The blog became a hub for independent authors looking to understand exactly how to deal with issues as diverse as copyright and cover illustrations.

With more than 20,000 books published from his designs, Friedlander has grappled with all these topics extensively. “The consideration that guides me in my work and my writing is that from a design point of view, books are schizophrenic,” notes Friedlander. “The cover jumps and shouts, ‘Read me!’ Inside, the designer needs to get out of the way and let the author communicate with the reader, punctuated by open space to give the readers rest. Whatever else will suit that book, that fits its market niche and reaches its target audience, is the right design.”

Design and book production advice includes:

  • How to pick fonts for your book interiors and covers, including lots of free options
  • Why readers expect your books to be “industry-standard”
  • Step by step instructions for dealing with short-run offset book printers
  • Keys to understanding the “language of printing”
  • Almost 100 illustrations clarify many topics
  • Making the decision between print-on-demand and offset production
  • How to design details like running heads, text breaks, and indexes for your book
  • Expert tips on preparing your Word files for book production

“We’re thrilled to partner with Joel and to launch his latest book,” says Steven Spatz, BookBaby President. “Joel is a great example of a self publishing expert who pushes and encourages authors to take their publishing career seriously – just like we do at BookBaby.”

Friedlander is particularly excited about sharing the potential of offset with the independent publishing community. “There are lots of creative things offset printers can do that you can’t do any other way, like using different papers, incorporating etchings or engravings into your book, or adding gilt edges to pages. There are so many different ways to spark creative potential. I could go on all day!” Friedlander enthuses.

In the end, Friedlander has always had one hope in sharing his wisdom with fellow book makers: “I want people to produce better books.” The Blueprint lays out exactly how.

Friedlander will be presenting at BookBaby’s first-ever Independent Authors Conference this November in Philadelphia. The Blueprint is available here.


Monetization in Action and the Table of Contents

Virtually all of the content in the Book Construction Blueprint was originally developed for this blog, and many of the sections of the book appeared as blog articles dating back to 2010.

Blueprint is the second book I’ve created by “booking my blog“. (The first was A Self-Publisher’s Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish in 2011.)

This is a good example of “repurposing” material that was originally free when it appeared on the blog into a financial asset that will produce income for years to come.

If you’re a blogger with specialized knowledge, and you write in logical categories, you should be able to do the same.

So what’s in Book Construction Blueprint? Here’s the Contents:

Preface v

Introduction 1

I. Putting Together Your Manuscript 5

The Parts of a Book 7
Getting Your Manuscript Ready for Publication 13
Cleaning Up Your Word Files 17
The Local Formatting Problem 27

II. Interior Design 33

Book Trim Sizes 35
Elements of the Book Page 43
The Title Page 47
The Copyright Page 51
Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins 55
What Is Pagination? 59
Chapter and Part Openers 69
Designing Your Text Breaks 81
How to Design Running Heads 87
Picking Fonts for Your Book 95
My 10 Favorite Fonts for Interior Design 99
How to Format the Index for Your Book 105
Book Interior Mistakes to Avoid 113

III. Cover Design 117

Three Secrets to Book Cover Design Success When Selling Online 123
Print and Ebook Covers, a Matter of Resolution 127
Tips on Cover Design 131
Five Great Fonts for Book Covers 135
Don’t Make These Cover Design Mistakes 143

IV. Printing 147

Three Ways to Print Books 149
5 Book Binding Styles Illustrated 153
Print on Demand or Offset Printing: Which Is Right for Your Book? 161
Finding and Working with Offset Printers 165
Understanding the Language of Printing 167
Getting Offset Printing Estimates for Your Book 175
Offset Printing Estimate in Detail 179
Print-on-Demand Book Publishing 185
Designing for Print-on-Demand Production 191
Four Crucial Checks Before You Publish 197
How to Check Your Book Proof in 3 Simple Steps 201

V. Working with Professionals 205

Working with Cover and Interior Designers 207

Conclusion 213

Resources 215

You can also see some sample page spreads from the book here: Book Construction Blueprint Landing Page

Get Your Copy Here!

Sorry! The free giveaway has expired. You can still get a copy of the book using the link above, or check out BookBaby’s free PDFs here: BookBaby Free Guides

tbd advanced publishing starter kit

9 Comments

  1. Hamza Mughal

    Thank you so much for this post.

    Reply
  2. jenni smith

    I simply want to say I am just apprentice to blogging and site-building and really loved you’re web blog. Most likely I’m going to bookmark your website. You truly have impressive articles. Bless you for sharing with us your website page.

    Reply
  3. Leon

    I couldn’t see the blueprint listed on the page linked form here, only a different book by you. Am I going to the right place?

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Leon, the BookBaby free giveaway has expired, but you can still get the print book here: Book Construction Blueprint.

      Reply
  4. Jackie

    Joel,
    I am looking for a software package that will allow me to print several short stories that I’ve written for my grandson. I need it to have a nice variety of clip art too. Looking for something that is easy to use.

    Reply
  5. Michael N. Marcus

    Offset printing should be on the minds of every independent author.<<

    For most independent authors, offset is the path to disaster. Sure, the cost to print each book is usually much lower than with POD, but competing with established commercial publishers for shelf space at terrestrial retailers entails a tough sales path, tiny profit per-copy and willingness to accept returns of unsold, often-tattered, books.

    Seeing your books on a shelf at Barnes & Noble may be good for the ego, but POD and e make more economic sense.

    My first book was published by Doubleday in 1976. The only time I saw it in a bookstore was when it was on a buck-a-buck table. I won’t go back.

    Reply
    • Joel Friedlander

      Michael,

      While it’s true that any self-publisher considering a print run of offset books would be wise to get some advice and do a serious calculation of the risk and reward involved, it’s also true that this is a natural developmental path for authors who realistically can sell more than a couple of hundred print books in a 6-month period. I have numerous clients successfully using this path to fulfill various publishing goals.

      But yes, by all means, understand the risks before you dive in.

      Reply
  6. Denise

    Many thanks! Looking forward to this book helping me with my novel adventures and non-fictions. I’m enjoying your e-newsletter, it’s packed with useful information. Thanks again for your generous gift. As an author, I can only hope to “pay it forward” some day.

    Reply
  7. Ellis (Skip) Knox

    An exceptionally generous gift, Mr Friedlander. Many thanks from here!

    Reply

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  1. From Blog to Book: Turn Your Knowledge into Profit | Mestengo Books - […] his most recent blog, Joel offers his new book, Book Construction Blueprint, for FREE. That’s right – all 225…

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