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A few posts back, I asked Joel Friedlander, a fellow CreateSpace contributor who is an award-winning book designer and the author of A Self-Publisher's Companion: Expert Advice for Authors Who Want to Publish, for the three most common mistakes he sees indie authors make with e-books. Today, I asked him the same question about print books, and here's what he had to say:

  1. Don't put running heads or page numbers on blank pages. Blank pages are supposed to be blank - and that means nothing is on them at all. Because there's no text on the page, there's no need for running heads or page numbers anyway.

  1. Don't make your margins too small. You may be tempted to use as much space as possible on the page to save money, since print on-demand costs are usually determined by how many pages are in your book, among other things. But a crowded page that's hard to read and a book that's hard to hold comfortably won't help your book sales.

  1. Don't use low-resolution images. Graphics that look great on your screen may not have enough data (resolution) to print properly. Check with your book printer to find out exactly what resolution you need for your images to print properly and use a photo editing program to inspect the ones you want to use in your book.

When I self-published, I hired a professional designer to make sure my novel looked as good as the ones on the shelves at the bookstores. I strongly recommend that all indie authors do this to avoid producing something that looks amateur and detracts from the reading experience. It's a competitive market out there, so you want your book to shine!

To learn more about Joel, please visit You can also follow him on Twitter (@JFBookman).

-Maria Contributors/MurnaneHeadshot.jpg

Maria Murnane is a paid CreateSpace contributor. She is the award-winning author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at

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