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Level 0 10 posts since
Dec 30, 2008
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Dec 31, 2008 11:54 AM

What program does everyone use to write their books in?

Everyone has been so awesome in answering my questions and wanted to say thanks to all who take their time to answer them!

 

I was wondering what program everyone uses to write their books in? What file format do you save it in?  When we send our book in for approval what all is checked and what type of problems that would cause your book not be approved?   Does anyone add artwork or pics inside the chapters you write if so is that more?

 

Thanks!

 

Message was edited by: crosado8

Level 4 1,322 posts since
May 16, 2008
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1. Dec 31, 2008 12:03 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

You can use word/open office and a pdf software (adobe acrobat preferred) if you would like to do it all yourself for inner book formatting.

 

For cover you can use photoshop or other graphic software.

 

If you prefer to you can hire a designer to do all the work for you, from formatting to cover designing and they will use most probably indesign, page maker and photoshop to create  your book. These softwares take some time to learn for a new person.

 

There are many designers here on CS community who can help you out, including me.

 

You have to save the final format as pdf with CS settings given on the website.

 

A new person is going to face a lot of problems for sure, and that can be numerous actually. If you are very new to designing simply hire some designer.

 

I have created an illustrated color poetry book  and used graphics inside. Color books cost more than b/w ones. I could not underdstand what you meant by is that more?

 

www.wickedsunny.com

Level 4 1,322 posts since
May 16, 2008
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3. Dec 31, 2008 12:20 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

You will need to install a pdf software like adobe acrobat or free ones ( they may have export problems)

 

Then you will be able to export as pdf from word.

 

If you are using pictures and diagrams, word is not preferred as it tends to reduce the dpi of the pictures. Use open office or indesign. .

Level 4 1,322 posts since
May 16, 2008
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5. Dec 31, 2008 12:52 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

Open office is free I believe, just search on google.

Level 5 13,065 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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6. Dec 31, 2008 2:24 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

There are basically three steps for getting whatever you have in your head into a file that contains what a commercial print-on-demand book machine needs to be able to produce your book block (interior). 

 

First, you compose the manuscript, and for that you can use any word processor you prefer.  (I have and use Word, WordPerfect, and OpenOffice for collaborative projects -- but personally tend to prefer WordPerfect for solo efforts.)

 

Second, you lay out the book's pages.  There are two ways that people usually go here -- professional software or not.  (I prefer InDesign for page layout, and would suggest that anyone who is serious about being in the business of publishing books invest in a professional layout tool of that caliber.  If writing and self-publishing is more of a hobby, however, then the best option is the totally free one -- i.e., just download a book layout template for the trim size you select that will work with the word processor you are using.  I would avoid the low-end page layout software, as it doesn't really do anything that a free template can't do -- whereas a package like InDesign has sophisticated algorithms that can layout text and graphics for digital printing in a way that makes a POD book look as much as technologically possible like books that are printed by major publishers on offset presses.)

 

Third, you print the book's pages to PDF (which writes a set PostScript instructions that tell the commercial equipment how to print each page, and then encapsulates those instructions in a .pdf file that contains the interior content of the book, the fonts you used, and other information).  Again, there are two ways that people go here -- Adobe Acrobat or something else.  (I use Adobe Acrobat.  It's the only surefire way of producing a file that any POD equipment used by CS and Amazon can work with.  Any other tool or process introduces the possibility -- not necessarily the probability, but the possibility -- of a book being printed that contains problems.  Also, a standard .pdf file contains a lot of stuff for sharing, annotating, archiving, etc. that a commercial printer doesn't need -- and while printing to PDF with Acrobat lets you strip all of that stuff out, other tools for creating a .pdf file leave it in and produce a file that is sometimes too large to upload.)

 

Bottom line, if you're serious about self-publishing, it's worth it in the long run to acquire and learn the tools for doing it professionally (or if you don't have the desire or aptitude to do that, to hire someone who does to turn your manuscripts into a print ready products).  If you're just "testing the waters" or writing as a hobby at this stage, then the cost of those options is probably prohibitive -- in which case, the better alternatives are the ones you already have and know, and/or the ones you can get for free (or for a very low cost).

 

Good luck with your project!

Level 4 1,322 posts since
May 16, 2008
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8. Dec 31, 2008 3:33 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

Rates depend on your book pages, illustrations if any etc.

 

Normally there is no template for Open Office but there is for word.

 

If you would like simple conversion to pdf or complete formatting, you can contact me outside CS through my website.

 

I have already formatted 8 books for different authors here and would do it for you at a very reasonable price, so that you can start publishing your books through createspace.

 

 

www.wickedsunny.com

(Contact form link is on the right hand side just below the header)

Level 0 10 posts since
Dec 7, 2008
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9. Dec 31, 2008 3:34 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

crosado, I saw earlier in this thread that you said you use Word and it doesn't have pdf capability.  Actually, though, it does.  Just work on your book and save as you go along like you always do.  Then, when its all finished, click 'Save As' and one of the options that will open up will be to 'publish to pdf.'  Just do that.  You will then have 2 versions of your work saved--one as a Word document and the other as a pdf.

Level 5 13,065 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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10. Dec 31, 2008 3:38 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

Since you're just exploring, and since you have and know Word already, I'd go here:

 

http://www.lulu.com/content/591506

 

and download the layout template for a 6x9 book that another CS member (tinhorn) created.

Level 3 701 posts since
Mar 29, 2008
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11. Dec 31, 2008 3:52 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?
crosado8 wrote:

I was wondering what program everyone uses to write their books in?

 

I use OpenOffice for writing and InDesign for typesetting.

 

Wicked wrote:

Normally there is no template for Open Office but there is for word.

 

OpenOffice can open and edit Word doc files. It can also save as PDF.

 

(InDesign is expensive, but it is quicker and gives you more control over the end results once you've taken the time to learn it.)

Level 5 13,065 posts since
Aug 22, 2008
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12. Dec 31, 2008 3:55 PM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

One caution on the suggestion from iheartseverus (that you save to .pdf within Word) is that it can present both of the problems I mentioned above (it won't contain the scripting language needed by older equipment, and might result in too large a file to upload).  Also, illustrations/graphics and font embedding can be funky (I'm not saying that they will be in every case, just that they can be.)  So when the book is completed, edited, proofread, and done (i.e., there are no more changes to be made and you're ready to move forward), you might consider spending ten bucks and using the Acrobat conversion on-line.

 

http://createpdf.adobe.com/

Level 0 5 posts since
Nov 10, 2008
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13. Dec 31, 2008 4:19 PM in response to: Derek
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

Has anyone used Scribus?  I mainly use OpenOffice 3 but I have used Scribus for other publishing needs in the past.  I'm wondering how well it would sit in place of InDesign, as in OO3->Scribus->PDF->CS instead of OO3->InDesign->PDF->CS?

 

LewisC

Level 3 516 posts since
Oct 12, 2008
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14. Jan 1, 2009 7:28 AM in response to: crosado8
Re: What program does everyone use to write their books in?

I publish books written by kids, and use Createspace/Amazon for fulfillment. Nearly all of the books come to me in Word format. I typically do a rough edit in either Word or OpenOffice, then move the manuscript to FrameMaker for layout and final edit. I send PDF review copies to the authors. FrameMaker is much more book-oriented than Word, and I find I have more control over the final layout.

 

Cover work is done in PhotoShop.

 

I've also used Scribus. It does a fair job of layout, and its templates work well. I tend to bounce back and forth between Linux laptops and Windows desktops, but if I were running strictly Linux I'd likely use OpenOffice and Scribus, and use GIMP for graphics.

 

Perry

www.kidpub.com

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