Book Packaging Checklist: What Your Book Packager Needs

Written by on November 12, 2013 in Book Development, Books & Self-Publishing - Leave a Comment

What goes into packaging and designing your book?Preparing your book for publication? You may find yourself working with a book packager, someone who specializes in taking your manuscript and transforming it into a print-ready book. Whether you’re self-publishing or going the traditional press route, your book may well end up in the hands of a book packager. Presses love them because it reduces the overall workload on their staff. Self-publishers use them because it’s a single-stop, rather than many freelancers to manage.

If you’re preparing to use the services of a book packager, you’ll need to prepare yourself and your manuscript. There’s more to your book, after all, than a manuscript (and, even if there isn’t, your manuscript may need some major changes before it’s ready to go to the packager). Here’s a handy checklist to help along the way!

(1) Identify your style guide preferences

Your book packager will be selecting a copyeditor for your book, so it’s important to articulate the style guide you prefer. Whether it’s Chicago or AP, your book packager has editors on staff who are experts — but, if you don’t let them know up front that you have a preference, they may not make that element a priority.

So, let them know in advance to guarantee you won’t have to make changes after the copyeditor has done her job!

(2) Remove all the formatting from you manuscript 

When the designer at your book packager sits down to lay out your book, your manuscript needs to be as free of formatting as is possible. Think of your manuscript as a canvas that your designer is going to transform into a work of art. If it’s full of formatting, it’s much more difficult for the designer to pick up his brush and work.

If you have special requests from a design perspective, include a letter that stipulates what you’re looking for.

(3) Organize your illustrations

If you’re planning to include any photos or illustrations, get them organized. In the text, include a note in the proper place for each illustration that corresponds to the name of the photo file.

For example:

[Insert SmithBook3.jpg Here]

This may mean taking the time to rename each of your photo images — but, by taking that time before hand, you’re making your designer’s job easier and increasing your chances that your book will come out right on the first go!

Photo credit

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