New! The Book Blueprint: Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books

by | May 21, 2018

I’m happy to announce we’ve just published The Book Blueprint, 252 pages of tips, advice, and plenty of guidance for authors who want to create print books.

Whether you are using print-on-demand or offset printing, print books have specific demands—and hundreds of years of conventions—that you need to address when designing your book and creating your production and marketing plans.

“If you’re embarking on the adventure of making a print book, keep this blueprint by your elbow as a guide, checklist, and reassurance.”
Orna Ross, Founder, Alliance of Independent Authors

I’ve spent a long career as an award-winning book designer with, I believe (this is an estimate), over 20,000 books published based on my designs.

Now I want to make sure you succeed with your print books.

book designAs more and more indie authors widen their reach and their marketing, print books will play a bigger and bigger role in their plans.

With this new book at hand, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the opportunities in print books. In The Book Blueprint learn:

  • 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 to handle short-run offset book printers
  • Keys to understanding the “language of printing”
  • Making the decision between print-on-demand and offset printing
  • Tips on design details like running heads, text breaks, and indexes for your book
  • Expert advice for preparing your Word files for book production

If you’re planning to see your book on bookshelves in bookstores, you’ll find lots of advice and tips to help you in this book.

“An essential addition to the independent author’s bookshelf!”
Carla King, Self-Publishing Bootcamp

Book Details

Title: The Book Blueprint
Subtitle: Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books
Author: Joel Friedlander
ISBN: 978-0-936385-45-7 (trade paper) 978-0-936385-48-8 (ebook)
Category: Book Design / Self-Publishing
Pub Date: May 18, 2018
Pages: 252
Size: 5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″
Price: $17.95 (trade paper) / $9.95 (ebook)

Table of Contents

Preface v
Introduction 1

I. Putting Together Your Manuscript 5
The Parts of a Book 7
Understanding Book Language 13
Getting Your Manuscript Ready for Publication 19
Hyphens, Em Dashes, En Dashes—Everything You Needto Know 23
Cleaning Up Your Word Files 29
The Local Formatting Problem 39

II. Interior Design 45
Book Trim Sizes 47
Book Design Materials 55
Book Design Workflow Overview 59
Elements of the Book Page 61
The Title Page 65
The Copyright Page 69
Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins 73
What Is Pagination? 77
Choosing Your Paragraphing Style 87
Chapter and Part Openers 91
Designing Your Text Breaks 103
How to Design Running Heads 109
Picking Fonts for Your Book 117
My 10 Favorite Fonts for Interior Design 121
How to Format the Index for Your Book 127
Book Interior Mistakes to Avoid 135

III. Cover Design 139
Three Secrets to Book Cover Design Success When
Selling Online 145
Print and Ebook Covers, a Matter of Resolution 149
Tips on Cover Design 153
Five Great Fonts for Book Covers 157
How to Create Artwork to Foil, Stamp, and Emboss Your Books 165
Don’t Make These Cover Design Mistakes 171

IV. Printing 175
3 Ways to Print Books 177
5 Book Binding Styles Illustrated 181
Print on Demand or Offset Printing: Which Is Right for Your Book? 189
Finding and Working with Offset Printers 193
Understanding the Language of Printing 197
Getting Offset Printing Estimates for Your Book 203
Offset Printing Estimate in Detail 207
Print-on-Demand Book Publishing 213
Designing for Print-on-Demand Production 219
4 Crucial Checks Before You Publish 225
How to Check Your Book Proof in 3 Simple Steps 229

V. Working with Professionals 233
Working with Cover and Interior Designers 235

Conclusion 241
Resources 243

“Joel includes well written, easy to understand information which, in this case, will answer almost all of your questions on publishing a print version of your book.”
David Bergsland, The Skilled Workman

The Book Blueprint brings together all my best writing on how to create beautiful, industry-standard print books. It’s available in print and ebook formats.

I sincerely hope it helps you reach your own publishing goals. Use this link to find out more: The Book Blueprint (Amazon)

joel friedlander


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  1. Jenell Rossiter

    Book is the best friend of human this is reality.

  2. JJ Toner

    Hi Joel, Congratulations on the launch. I love the cover design! Is there anything in your book about converting from Word to PDF? Is there an inexpensive way of doing this? Thanks.

    • Joel Friedlander

      JJ, no, not specifically. If you’re on a Mac, this is very simple since you can save as PDF from any print dialog. You might want to check out the free training and instructional materials on our template site here: Book Design Templates Guides


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