Whether you work in a silo as a one-person operation, learning and figuring everything out along the way, or you have partnered with other professionals in the production of your title, there is room for error at each step. So, readying one's title for production may seem deceptively simple. I sure thought so.
In order to send your title to the printer you will need to have secured these assets:
a) Barcode art
b) Cover art
c) Text File
Preparing the Cover
Not only will you need to place and position the Barcode in the appropriate area of your title's cover art, but you will need to adhere to industry standards with respect to scale. These are all detailed on your myidentifiers account page.
In addition to this, the printer will have delivery specs for your cover that include preferred dpi, file format, as well as bleed and crop marks. Unless you have a graphic design background, I suggest getting help on final format. Printing is expensive.
Preparing the Text
Most manuscripts are written in Microsoft Word. However, when formatting a book for print, the industry standard is Adobe InDesign. Having used both, I concur that writing directly into InDesign would be disastrous to the creative process. It is a formatting tool, not a word processing tool.
That said, InDesign is wonderful in that you have far more options to adjust and tinker with the final formatting of your title. This includes auto-hyphenation with word splits at the end of a line, page numbering the way you want it (I prefer to hide the page number on a chapter's first page), alternating header for even/odd pages. You name it. The program is fairly intuitive. I decided to forgo a $1000-$1500 import fee from a typesetter to bring my first title into InDesign from Word and figure it out myself. I was successful. Mostly.
Just as there are technical specifications for file delivery with the cover, there are also tech specs for the text. This includes a bleed (typically 1/8 inch on all sides) and crop marks. Be sure to set it up right. Yes, you'll receive proofs from the printer, but it is the publisher's responsibility to deliver the right materials in the right format.
THIS COMPLETES THE SERIES OF POSTS ON "SETTING UP YOUR TITLE FOR PRODUCTION & DISTRIBUTION"