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How to eBook (picture book edition, part IV)

June 6, 2013

Picture 2Welcome to part four in my ongoing series, How to eBook, picture book edition. If you want to self-publish an eBook, you’ve come to the right place. I will be taking you from the writing and planning stage, through production, and all the way to publishing and making it available on Amazon.

In part one I discussed the preliminary steps: Writing your manuscript and planning out your dummy.

In part two I discussed sizing, creating and scanning final art.

In part three I discussed preparing art files for the mechanical.

Now on to part IV: the Layout:


By now you should have your art files saved as individual 300dpi .tif files, scaled exactly to fit your pages. In addition to your art files, for today’s steps, you will need InDesign and a basic knowledge of its use.

STEP VI. The Layout:

Picture 1
Building a New Document in InDesign

As you’ve guessed—if you’ve been following along—I’m not going to be teaching you how to use InDesign (or how to graphic design, for that matter). I’m just providing the basic steps to turn your pages into an eBook.

But I digress…

So, now you’re in InDesign and ready to build your layout. If you’ve been sticking to the plan you started back in steps I and II, this should be a simple matter of putting elements where they belong.

Follow these steps:

• Build a new document at the proper page size. (In my examples from Duck Duck Moose on a Plane, I am working with 8.25″ x 10.5″ pages).

• Establish pages to be “facing pages”.

• Give your document the requisite number of pages. (That’s going to be 32 pages, if you’ve been following along).

NOTE: If you’re familiar with the Adobe Holy Trilogy—Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator—you know that there are typically, fifty to a hundred ways to perform any task. In the illustration above, you see the box that pops up when building a “new” document, you can accomplish all of the above tasks in that box, but the above steps can also be achieved by altering settings in “document layout,” and in numerous other layout palettes withing the software.

Picture 4

• Place the art. (Note: Remember, because this is an eBook, there should be no bleed; art should be placed at exactly the 0″ x 0″ top left corner of the document and fit precisely to the size of the page. This is where all my warnings about RULE# 1 start to payoff—there should be no resizing or moving placed art. You’re welcome!).

• Add type. (Note: Because this is going to be an eBook—and because it is a picture book—we have special type considerations. When a chapter book is displayed as an eBook, text size can change and reflow. In a picture book, presumably you will want the type to be married to the art. If text reflows, and the words don’t match the illustration, that’s no good. Indeed this is the crux of the situation.

There will be more on this later, but for now, design and layout your text using WYSIWYG rules: (WYSIWYG—What You See Is What You Get)).

And finally …


Page 32

Page 32, the last page in your book, is where you will most likely set your copyright information. Since you will have no dust jacket, or flaps, this would be a good place for your “about the author” copy, too. Don’t worry about ISBN#s, Amazon will provide you a similar ASIN# when you upload.

Keep your type as big and legible as possible. If you wish to rip off my “all rights reserved” legalese, above, go for it. Just click the image to enlarge, so you can get a good luck… I mean good lick… er, good look.

•   •   •

That’s it for today. The next post will be the Special Secret Formula™.
Stay tuned …


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