Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Preparing a Novel for Print #3: Copy Pages

Pick up any book and you will find that it's a good few pages before the real content begins. This first section contains all of the information about the book, including the title and copyright information, and there is an expected order that these pages follow.

Whilst most of the pages are optional, you do need to include two as a bare minimum: one each for the title and copyright / publishing information.  A point to consider here is the cost of adding extra pages - this depends on the printing service you are using. If your print company uses price bands based on the number of pages (i.e. up to 200, 300, 400 pages and so on), then keep a check on whether including optional pages takes you up into the next price band, as any increase in printing costs is likely to also increase the cover price of your book.

Also bear in mind that how the book is bound can result in blank pages being added to the end of your book. Lulu's binding process means that the total number of pages needs to be divisible by four, whereas Createspace only require an even number of pages.

Otherwise, as long as Chapter One starts on an odd numbered page (so that it falls on the right side of the open book), you can choose the copy pages that suit your needs. Ideally, you should use the same font as the rest of your book (usually Times New Roman), although you can play around with the size.

Click on page images to view larger versions.

Page 1: Title Page #1
If you are including a second title page, then you only need to include your book's title here. If you are only using the one title page, then you could also include the author's name. It is perfectly acceptable to keep this simple, with a centre-aligned, typed title (perhaps in bold text and a bit larger than your normal text). However, you can add a small image, to tie the inside and cover of your book together.

IMPORTANT: make sure any images included in your book are of a high enough resolution (300 dpi should do it - you will need to properly create and insert the image into your document and check it is embedded properly if converting to PDF).

You could even use an image for your title page, as demonstrated here with Tom Holt's latest release. This is particularly useful if you have used a non-standard font for your title, or a cover image that is your title and translates well into black and white.


Page 2: Previous Publications Page
If you have other published works, then it's a good idea to let your readers know by including an 'Also by...' page.

This is optional and you could include this information on your title page if you are desperate to keep your total number of pages as low as possible.

Page 3: Title Page #2
Again, this page is optional, but if you use it, then include the title and author.

This page normally includes the publisher, so if you don't have a label under which you (self) publish, then ignore this.


At this point I need to include some blatant marketing!

Beaten Track offers authors the use of the Beaten Track Publishing label for free. 

How this works is:
  • You send us an electronic copy of your manuscript and we read it to ensure that it is something we would be happy to put our name to.
  • We provide you with the logo and other images for insertion on the cover and inside your book (or add these for you if you are using our pre-publication services).
  • We create a page for you and your book(s) on our website, with affiliate links to Amazon (this is how we make our money from your book) and any other links you wish to include.

If you would like to use this or any of our services, please contact us: info@beatentrackpublishing.com.


Page 4: Copyright / Publishing Information Page
This page is the most important for protecting your rights as an author and you will find that the statement included in most publications is fairly standard.

As can be seen in the copy page on the left, there is some key information to include on this page:
  1. The year of first publication - if your book has previously been published in any other format, then this needs to be reflected here.
  2. Copyright date and owner.
  3. Statement regarding copyright permissions - if you intend to keep your book in the public domain, then this would need to be changed to reflect this.
  4. The ISBN number for your publication.
  5. Information on the cover design - vital if your cover was designed by someone else.
  6. (optional) Link to online location where more information about the book / author can be found, or link to publisher (see above).



Page 5: Dedication

This is another optional page, where you dedicate your book as you see fit.

I also use this page to include a disclaimer regarding the fictional nature of the work, but this could be added to the copyright page if number of pages is at a premium.


Page 6: Quotation
Again, this is an optional page, but you can use it for an inspirational quotation.

As always, quotations should be appropriately attributed.


Summary
Your title and copy section will usually take up 2 - 6 pages (always an even number) of your book, with a title and copyright page as the absolute minimum you can get away with. As detailed in a previous post, your page numbers start after this and, depending on the type of publication, you might also want to add a contents section here too (but that's for later).

The first section of your book is vitally important in providing the necessary information about the title, copyright holder and publication details. If your pages should break free of their cover, then it should still be obvious what the book is, based on these pages.

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