Journal News 2015 – Step 10 – format for print

We’re lucky. We’ve already created two journals on Createspace. Our intent is to make this next one match and improve on the last – learning from our mistakes.

You can always download templates from Createspace or elsewhere, then cut and paste your document into the template. This way you create a new document, with pages and margins just how Createspace wants them, fonts well-chosen, and someone else having made all the difficult decisions. Personally, I would download the template then change the format of my document, as it gives me more control. And for our journal, I’ll simply copy the formatting from last year’s copy:

  • Page layout lets me choose the page size and margins to match the template. Do you know what gutters are or why they matter?
    • Note, the “inside” margin is always bigger than the outside – use “mirror margins” to get this right.
    • Gutters add blank space for the binding, since your book doesn’t open up flat.
  • Set header and footer spaces from the template too, and decide where you want your page numbers.
    • There’s a button to add page numbers. Use it.
    • Set the page numbers to start at 1 on the first page of the first section (to avoid having the book start at page 7, for example)
    • If you don’t like the size of the page number, just change it (change font, change size, etc).
    • Making the font the same as the rest of the document is a good idea.
  • If you want headers and footers to appear differently – left and right – by section? – look at the template to see how it’s done.
    • Word lets you put section breaks (from page layout again). We didn’t use these last year. This time we’ll make the right hand header reflect which section you’re reading. Cool, right?
    • I’ll have to format headers and footers to the right font, left and right justify appropriately, etc.
    • Try insert – header – edit header – and uncheck “link to previous” to create different headers.
    • then use go-to-footer to work on the footers
    • Don’t put headers and footers on the first page (it’s in the edit header dialog)
  • The template has a font size for a reason – it will print well. Make sure you have a reason if you’re going to use something else (e.g. this is for little kids, the previous edition had a different font, my publisher likes this and it looks good…)
  • The template has a paragraph indent for a reason. It’s meant to look good, easy on the eye. Ditto paragraph spacing etc. Change your “normal” to match the template’s normal.
    • There again, you might want something smaller. We had 1/2 inch last year and it was too big, so try 1/4
  • Your document will change straight away.
    • Check how the headers and footers look. If they’re too big/small, you might want to change them.
    • Did you put any section breaks in? Here’s where you make sure they look okay. We have several sections in the journal.
    • What about page breaks? This is where you insert them too so each story starts on a new page.
    • Start your text on the rhs page. Put copyrights etc on the lhs
  • Fix the contents list.
    • If you already have one, right click and edit it.
    • Add page numbers.
    • Decide how many levels of headers you want to list (I want sections and entries).
    • When you add those page breaks, move pictures, etc, don’t forget to update the contents list (update page numbers only at this point)
    • If some of the titles spread too far in the contents list, try adding dots so that, say, the author name appears on the next line. So far this seems a bit limited, but try to make it look good.

At this point I’ll have a print-ready document that simply doesn’t look right. Pictures will be too big, badly positioned, etc. Paragraphs and pages will abound with widows and orphans. Sections will start on left and right hand pages. Almost blank pages, odd glitches… Time to start fixing them too.

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