Tag Archives: Publishing

Is Your eBook or Booklet Ugly?

Take your ebook (or booklet) to another level. I’ve seen so many that are downright tacky. If you’re going to do this, do it right. Make your ebook or booklet easy on the eyes…a pleasure to read.

Here are some ideas (I use Microsoft Word for my publications, but you can use whatever software you choose as long as it’s designed for book formatting):

Before You Create the PDF (Adobe Acrobat full version has the most functionality and is worth every penny).

  1. Use Word’s powerful desktop publishing features to produce a more professional ebook or booklet.
  2. Resize the document to fit the finished size of your publication, adding about 1/8 inch all around for bleeds and your printer’s machinery. For example, the finished size of my book (the size it is when closed) is 5.5 x 8.5, but the Word document size and the final PDF is sized at 5.75 x 8.75.
  3. Create a stylesheet to make it easy to format everything (I use Word’s built-in styles and tweak them to fit my needs).
  4. Consider the font (I like Book Antigua for the body and Century Gothic for the headings); font size (I use 12 or 13, especially when it’s a computer book); paragraph alignment (I justify my books and avoid amateurish gaps in text using this tip).
  5. Include a table of contents with Word keeping up with the page numbers as they change.
  6. Improve the look of headers and footers, changing them for odd and even pages.
  7. Create an index with Word keeping up with the page numbers as they change.
  8. Insert pictures with figure captions with Word keeping up as figure numbers change. Pictures will break up the text and make your publication more pleasing to read.
  9. Insert cross references to other pages with Word keeping up as page numbers change.
  10. Insert your actual signature if you add a welcome letter…never a typed one.
  11. Paste information that is updated often as a link to the original so every time you change the original, the information in the publication changes too (e.g., your bio).
  12. Make all URLs look live (ebooks only, not for booklets). Change text color and underline it. You’ll see why below. (Do not underline any text if it’s not going to become a hyperlink later.
  13. Add the front and back covers in.jpegs or PDF format. Be sure to add a blank page behind the front cover and in front of the back cover.

After You Create the PDF (ebook)

  1. Check the PDF properties to make sure you created and used the right sizing (see item #2 above).
  2. Add attachments to the file (e.g., freebies sent as bonuses).
  3. Create live URLS throughout the document (they’ll also look live if you changed text color and underlined them before you made the PDF).
  4. Create bookmarks to certain pages for easier navigation and display them by default.
  5. Create live hyperlinks from table of contents to pages.
  6. Change the options – how it’s viewed by default.
  7. Set security and protect your document from changes.

After You Create the PDF (booklet)

  1. Add the front and back covers in.jpegs or PDF format. Be sure to add a blank page behind the front cover and in front of the back cover.
  2. Check the PDF properties to make sure you created and used the right sizing (see item #2 above).
  3. Set security and protect your document from changes.

For information on how to self-publish a book or booklet, see this post. For information on selling your ebook, check out this post Sell Digital Products Online While You Sleep.

If you’re going to do this thing, do it right, giving an expert impression with the look and feel of your book. 

PEACE.

Establish an Ezine Publishing Schedule that Works

I hope you’ve included email marketing as part of your plan to promote your business (a  previous post lists resources). One of the decisions you’ll have to make is how often you should publish. Carrie Drybrough of VicadeaConcepts.com says, “You’ll have to consider your own time constraints and your audience’s tolerance for regular communication.” She suggests the following when trying to decide on a publishing schedule that works for you. We are definitely on the same page.

Daily: Too much work. Your publications will becoming annoying to your subscribers and will overload already bulging InBoxes.

Weekly: Incredibly time-consuming. Entering your subscribers’ mailbox four times a month is cause for overload.

Bi-weekly: The right mix for many. Keeps you fresh in your subscribers’ minds but less likely to cause them to click “unsubscribe.”

Monthly: May not be often enough. Mailing once a month may cause a subscriber to forget who you are and when and why they signed up. Monthly is often the preferred option for information and educational communications.

Quarterly: Least amount of work but the content needs to be A-One and you’d better be hard to forget. Best for seasonal updates and significant changes.

Remember: Newsletters should be 80% content and 20% promotion. And to boost your search engine rankings, this same information needs to be online (such as in a blog).

To subscribe to my bi-weekly enewsletter, click here.

PEACE.


My Laptop Crashed but I Didn't Panic

My latest book, The Time Management Memory Jogger(TM), will start shipping August 25, 2008. It is published by GOAL/QPC and becomes the latest in their bestselling series of books that focus on workplace improvement (over 10 million in print).

An editorial board had made some great suggestions that have made the book even better, and I was down to the last paragraph of revisions. I attempted to boot up my laptop and an error message appeared that my Config file was either missing or corrupt. I couldn’t believe my eyes: my trusted friend, my baby, was sick!

I turned the computer off and on several times thinking the problem would go away, but it didn’t. Did I panic? Nope. Did I have a breakdown? Nope.

Fortunately, I use Carbonite, an online vault, to back up my computer at regular intervals whenever I’m online. I borrowed a laptop, logged onto the site, and was able to download my manuscript. I’d lost about an hour’s worth of work, but it could have been much worse.

The only thing that frustrated me was that Carbonite’s tech support is only 9AM-5PM, weekdays only (at this writing). I had a problem downloading my file to a borrowed laptop and had to wait until the next morning to resolve it. I was on a deadline and wanted immediate access. If I had procrastinated and had no more time, I would have been really ticked off. But I was on schedule with some leeway so I used my extra time to do some Web research.

As soon as I get my laptop back, I’m going to add my files to my MozyPro account with 24/7/365 support, and will use Carbonite as a secondary backup.

What would happen to your important project if this happened to you? Are you backing up your files? How? A backup is not a backup if it’s not offsite. And how often are you doing it? Can you afford to lose any amount of work? And if you’re a procrastinator, get out of the habit. You’re taking a chance that nothing will go wrong, and you’ll run out of time before you do your best work.

To get the help you need, read my blog post that has more details on backing up your data and which files to back up.

Peggy Duncan, Time Management Expert

Attach the Native Word File to a PDF Before You Send It

When I send a training agreement to a client, I’ll create the agreement in Word, create a PDF of it, and email both of the documents together. (I’m using Adobe Acrobat 7.0.)

  1. From the open PDF, click the Document menu, Attach a File.
  2. Browse to find the file you want to attach, and double-click it.
  3. Add other files as needed. You’re not limited.

Important: Once the attachment(s) is in place, you can change the PDF Options to show them by default (you’ll see an Options drop-down arrow on the right side of the screen near the scrollbar where the attachments start).

Why do I send the Word file along with the PDF instead of just the Word file? Because I want to ensure the file is formatted the way I intended (the PDF). The recipient can open the attachment in Word if they need to make changes* (it’s easier in Word than on the PDF).

*Client Changes
If the client needs to make changes, they’ll do so in Word. When they return the file, I need to see, accept, or reject any changes they’ve made. To do this, I turn on Track Changes in the Word document before I attach and send it (in Word, click the Tools menu, Track Changes. See Word Help for more information).

Set Security in PDF
To prevent changes to the PDF, set the security level with a password (click the Document menu, point to Security, click Secure This Document, then click Restrict opening and editing this document using passwords, follow the prompts, and set as desired).

Note: I used this technique to create a product that is a combination of Word documents and PDFs (instead of mailing a CD).