Things I Learned While Making A Craft Book

As an beginner author I dove head first into open waters without a life raft or a life jacket. I didn’t do any research whatsoever into how much work would go into making it or the process of making it. So for those of you who are interested in making a book, you have to first do your research. The only thing I looked into was how much it would cost to make it and ship it.

So first things first. You have to figure out the guidelines of the layout of your book. At first I thought I was just going to simply make the book on PowerPoint and create a PDF file. However, the guidelines on Lulu.com (the first site I decided to check out) stated that I needed the images to be 300dpi, have correct margins, etcetera. So after I saw that, I had to redo a lot of my pages. I finally decided to use Photoshop. But thinking about it now, I should have used InDesign instead because it is more user friendly when creating page layouts.

Also, when creating pages you must rasterize your layers and merge them. You have to also get rid of any layers you are not using for that particular page. When I made my book I had all of my pages in the same Photoshop file. What I did at first was made one page visible and saved that as a PDF file. What ended up happening was that the PDF files I created were huge files…about 50-60MB each. I finally realized that what I was essentially doing was saving the entire project on one page. That’s why when I put all my pages together, my book ended up to be about 1GB. So yeah, remember to get rid of layers you don’t need so that your files do not end up being really large.

I also want to stress that you have to think about where your content is going to be in the book…especially the page numbers. The first time I went to Kinko’s to see a sample of my book, I noticed that I placed the pages in the wrong spot. So you have to make sure that on all left-pages you have to have everything formatted to the left…and vice versa on the right-pages.

Besides the designing process, you have to think about how your book will feel when you first open it. When I first started I wanted my book to be about the size of an 8.5 X 11 piece of paper. My mom then told me that a 6 X 9 book would be much better. The larger size left too many white spaces in the book. So if you don’t have that much content, definitely go for the 6 X 9 size or something similar to that size.

About using brand names in your book…I looked this up and found that a lot of authors used brand names like Google and Kleenex without having to add those trademark or registered trademark symbols. Just as long as you don’t damage the name of that company, you can mention them in your book. If you want to be safe, add credits to your copyright page. Here is a sample of what I did in my book: “YouTube” is a registered trademark of Google, Inc. Since I used quite a few brands in my book, I had to look up what the companies were and if it was a registered trademark or a trademark.

When using images, I had to be careful not to use just any image I found on Google Images. I decided to just draw all my images because I was afraid that it would have been a violation of some sort if I used someone else’s images. It’s also hard to find really good royalty images for crafts that are free.

Once you’re done all of that, you still have to do a lot of waiting around because you want to be sure that your book is perfect the way you want it to be. Ordering proofs and having your book checked takes time. So yeah, that was what I learned. This was a long process that I’m happy I have gone through. I have always wanted to write a book but I didn’t know that it would turn out to be a craft book. It’s been a great journey and a lot of learning took place. If you have ever made a book please share your thoughts and any advice you would want to share 🙂

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