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Position yourself for a successful book project wi

Added on Tuesday 16th of February 2010 12:59 am EST

Before you begin any book project, you need to do some planning. However, this planning goes far beyond answering the question, “What is this book about?” Proper book planning involves gaining an understanding of all phases of the project and communicating these best practices to your clients as well. So if the thought of working on a book project has you reaching for the Tylenol, stick around. We have the tips you need to avoid at least half of your book-induced headaches!

What do you do first: Get a quote or choose your specs?
A print vendor will quote a job based on many variables, including page count, page size, paper stock, number of inks, binding type, and the print-run volume. Getting an accurate quote before you begin your book layout is tricky. You don’t have a true page count until you lay the book out, and page counts are a big variable in determining the final quote amount. Add to that equation the fact that many companies need their quotes to determine if they can even afford to print their book, or if they need to alter their specifications.

Note: Many writers provide content as either Microsoft Word documents or Adobe InCopy files. So even though you many not have a final InDesign page count to base your quote on, you can ballpark your page count—based on how many pages are in your content file—for an estimate.

Best practice: Narrow down most of your print variables if possible, and request estimates from different print vendors with varying page counts and print quantities. Use these estimates to determine which print vendor you will use and if you’re within your budget or need to trim costs further.

Assemble your content
Preparing your book’s content is the primary step for any book project, but not just because you need to know how much content you have to get an accurate quote. How your writers prepare and provide you with the content and how you manage the content is also very important.
As the designer on the book project, you may think you have little control over how your writers prepare your content, and that may be true. But for that very reason, you should be as well informed as you possibly can, so you can advocate your needs to your writers. If you give them ample notice, they might be willing to work with you!

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