How long does it take to typeset a book ready for print?
If you use software that guides you how to format your book, ready for printing, it might only take you a day to lay out a simple book, such as a novel. This may be good enough for your purposes, or you might not really notice what is lacking. The skill that goes into professional book design cannot be taken for granted, and if you have not noticed it in the past that means it was done well.
Good book design includes expert knowledge and creativity with:
- Printing specifications—trim size, bleed, dpi, effective ppi, aspect ratio etc.
- Working with text—typefaces, fonts, text size and spacing, including tracking and kerning (space between the letters; few fonts get it perfect in all cases)
- Style sheets—paragraph, character and object styles
- Page layout—margins, spacing, gutters
- Paragraph settings—line spacing, justification, leading and paragraph spacing
- The relation of left and right pages
- Carefully managing content including headings, table of contents, page numbers, headers and footers
- Eliminating widows and orphans and unattractive hyphenation
- Adding graphic elements to tie in with the cover, chapter heads, dinkuses etc.
For more details please read more about book design.
If a document-looking quasi-book is what you’re looking for, then that’s OK. A day of work can convert your text onto the correct page size, manage margins and maybe widows and orphans, with a few fonts.
Different levels of quality will work for different people. Here at PublishMyBook.Online it is not possible for us to layout a book in one day, nor even in one week, and here's why...
The time required to design your book depends on the complexity of the book—the level of work required. If your book is a 70,000-word novel, with no images and no special formatting, we could typeset your book in approximately one week. As we are project managers, however, we usually prefer to give our customers a total project timeframe, not just the amount of time we will need to work on one small part of the project, such as typesetting.
We will also have other projects in the queue, so we tend to balance all projects by letting some go on hold while pending reviews and feedback from clients. In other words, although it might only take a week for us to typeset your entire book, there is still the stage of one of our layout proofers going through it before it comes to you, then a week allowed for you to have time to go through it. The below schedule factors all these common scenarios.
In the case of book design for print and ebook conversion, followed by publishing, here is an example schedule:
|Project specs:||70,000-word novel or non-fiction book, no images, no special formatting + cover design|
|Start-up date:||17 February
Deposit paid by, manuscript and info forms supplied by.
|Contract signed by client:||24 February
1 week allows time for communications and questions about the contract, forms etc. with your Publishing Coordinator. It allows time for you, the client to take everything in.
|Book layout done:||17 March
1 month from start-up date allows time for us to typeset the interior book and design the cover. During this time layout proofing occurs where both you and another member of our team check every page of the layout for any formatting or design problems.
Only after the book’s interior is completely approved by you can we finalise the cover, as the final page count will affect the thickness of the spine, which is part of the cover design. Once you approve both the cover and interior ready for print, we will commence ebook conversion and order your advance copy (if included in your project quote or scope).
|Draft ebook conversion done:||1 April
2 weeks allows us time to convert to ebook formats, have a second person test (quality control) the files and send draft epub and mobi files to you. Before sending to you we will test your ebook, and possibly go through two or three drafts before we’re satisfied with the quality and can send ‘round 1’ to you, the client.
|Advance printed copy of book:||3–17 April
Printed advance copy of book reaches you. You give us feedback and changes or approve the final order for the rest of the books as per your quote. Nb. Our printer needs 2–4 weeks to print and ship books within each country (b&w soft cover).
|Ebook conversion complete:||17–31 April
A further 2–4 weeks allows one week for you, the client, to go through your draft ebook files, test them on devices, communicate any conversion issues, or even make content changes, which can be done (though may affect the timeframe and will be charged as extras). There is further work done by PublishMyBook.Online and a second round send to you.
This process may go backwards and forwards 2 or more times, as we take very seriously the goal of making your ebook function and look as great as it can be. This is why 2 or more weeks are needed before the conversion is complete (100% approved by you and your Publishing Coordinator).
|Published/distributed by:||10 May
7 days are allowed from conversion complete until distribution so that your Publishing Coordinator has adequate time to ensure all information is correct and everything is ready for publication. Sometimes this can be done sooner, depending on client decision-making speed.
Publishing is occurring less than 3 months from start-up date.
The publication date is sometimes brought forward or pushed further back, depending on the client usually.
|Marketing and promo ready:||20 May
Client receives bulk of printed copies.
Nb. Our printer needs 2–4 weeks to print and ship books within Australia (b&w soft cover).
The above schedule is common for projects where the book parameters are simple (such as a novel or memoir) and the client is 100% ready and committed to getting it done without delay. If your book is 70,000 words, has plenty of images, and detailed formatting this will usually take longer. Additionally, the timeframe may change if the typesetting process is interrupted, with changes or additions.
Our typesetting involves the book interior and the design of the book cover. The book cover exists as a work in progress until you approve the interior contents, this is because the final page count determines the spine thickness. Once you are happy that the cover and the interior is print-ready, and give us your approval, we will send it to print. If you request an advanced copy in your project scope, this will be arranged for you.
As we are a custom service, and an expert book designer personally works on your book; we can provide you with a more accurate timeframe once we understand the work required. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.