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How To Design a Book in InDesign (Free Template!)

If you're a self-publisher, chances are good that you're designing your own books. Unfortunately the tools we use for writing, like Word, don't always make for great book design. This is a job for industry-standard tools like Adobe InDesign. The good news is that pricing for InDesign has become very reasonable recently, but the bad news is it's still difficult to use. So you might still need a little help to get started.

That's why we've put together this basic how-to. Now you can build a book in InDesign that you can use time and again on as many books as you like!

Before we get started, take advantage of the free template download so you can follow along. Or if you would rather have us design a custom template for you, hit the "Talk to an Expert" button.

Download The InDesign Template › Talk to an Expert ›

Topics: Design Print

Understanding the Standard PDF Export Settings

Here at the shop we get this question surprisingly often: “What PDF settings should I use in my export, Standard Quality, High Quality or Press Quality?" This is typically in reference to the export or 'save as' options for PDFs available in Adobe InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop, but can also pertain to any software that makes use of the standard profiles found in Acrobat Distiller. So now some of you may be asking:

Topics: Print

Binding: Which One Is Right for Your Print Job?

When your job is printed at a commercial printer, one of the biggest decisions you can make that will have a huge impact on the cost and presentation of your book or magazine is binding. Luckily, most printers are very knowledgeable about this subject and usually steer you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a binding method that is appropriate for your job. Nonetheless, it's always a good idea to know what options are available to you and to understand the pros and cons of each method. So get your learning cap on and let's talk about binding!

Topics: Print

5 Tips on How to Create a Business Card that Sells

You may have heard the term “you never get a second chance to make a first impression?” This is especially true for Marketing and Sales, and for many of your prospects your business card is that first impression. So to help assure that you put your best foot forward, I'm going to share some tips that will help give you a competitive edge in the sales “Shark Tank.”

Topics: Print

Why do printers refer to black as Key?

If you've worked with a commercial printer for any length of time, it's likely that at some point they've asked you to supply your files in CMYK, or they may have told you that the color of your job shifted because your files had to be converted to CMYK. If you didn't know that meant, and were brave enough to ask, your printer undoubtedly told you that CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black.

Unfortunately, you were told wrong.

Topics: Print

How Heavy is My Paper? Paper Weights Explained

If you've ever worked with a commercial printer, chances are you've heard them rattle off paper weights in relation to your job's cost and quality. You can usually get the basic idea that heavier weights amount to higher quality and costs, but it can get really confusing once you start comparing text weights to cover weights, and so forth.

Also, you might wonder why your printer tells you the paper is 26 lbs, but the finished product is considerably lighter — where does that measurement come from, anyway?

Topics: Print

What are Points and Picas - and Why Should I Care?

Picas, pronounced PIE - KAH, is a typographic measuring system developed in 1785 by François-Ambroise “L'éclat” Didot that replaced the traditional cicéro measurement system. Comprised of 12 “Points,” Picas are still the standard measuring system for typography today, but many designers still prefer to use standard measurements such as inches and millimeters. So today we'll try to answer the question: What are Points and Picas - and why should I care?

Topics: Design Typography Print

What Influences a Purchasing Decision?

Recently, PrintInTheMix, published the results of a study detailing the influence of “Print, Digital, and Social [Medias] on Today’s Purchase Decision”.

The study broke the purchase decision process into three parts;

Topics: Cross-Media Marketing Marketing Marketing Strategy Advertising Business Print Social Media

Choose Paper - Save the Environment

Not Using Paper Will NOT Save Trees

What do you say when confronted by someone convinced that online billing statements will save the environment from the damage done by the traditional paper statements we send through the mail?

We as consumers can challenge some of the inaccurate statements that are being represented as fact.

Topics: Print Print Marketing Sustainability

Report from Graph Expo 2010

Oh the times they are a changin’


“Well I guess this digital thing isn’t just a trend,” I overheard "Fred" say as I walked the floor of Graph Expo last week in Chicago. For those who don’t know, Graph Expo is the biggest annual Print and Graphic Communication trade show in North America. For "Fred" and other career printers like him, this year’s expo must have been a total cultural shock. Certainly, the past two years have not been easy on the printing industry. However, what was glaringly obvious is that out of that struggle has emerged a bright new digital future for the industry.

Topics: Consultative Services Cross-Media Marketing General Info Marketing Opinion Print