Hit the Books with Dan Milnor: Finishing Touches Webinar Recap

Hit the Books with Dan Milnor is a monthly webinar about all things book-making and self-publishing. This month, we’re talking about putting the finishing touches on your book project. Did you miss our latest webinar live? Not to worry! We’ve got the entire webinar recorded below.

If you want more info on finishing touches, you can download this PDF we put together so you can reference tips on editing and proofing at any point in your book-making process.

February: Finishing Touches 

Join us to hear about:

  • Editing
  • Typography
  • Proofing
  • Cover Design
  • External Resources

Webinar Replay

Top 10 Questions from the Audience:

1) How do I wrap an image from the front cover to the back?

Dan Milnor: Go to the BookWright interface and click the “covers” tab in the upper left corner. Then go to the “photos” button. Then select the “photo draw tool” under the photos button and draw an image container that covers both the front and back cover of your book. Next, drag your cover image into the container and resize to your needs.

2) How do I choose an editor for a poetry and photography book?

DM: Great question, but a tricky one. Seeing as poetry and photography are different disciplines you might need to consider working with both a copy editor AND a photo-editor.

3) Does Blurb allow you to publish and create two versions for an ebook – e.g. one for black & white and one for color?

DM: Sure. You can make your ebooks look any way you wish. This just entails you creating the various books you want to show. So, you would do one version first and then create the second and upload that as a second option. There is no magic Blurb button that would convert a book from color to black and white or vice versa.

4) Do you do a book draft first or work with prints?

DM: I work with prints first as they are less expensive and quicker to produce and very easy to utilize as an editing and sequencing tool. After I get my edit and sequence done by utilizing then prints I then incorporate those choices into my test book.

5) How many proofs do you do before you are done?

DM: That depends on how experimental or risky the book is. If I’m doing a simple book, simple story, or a portfolio, I rarely ever need more than one test book. But, if I’m trying something totally and utterly unlike anything I’ve ever done, then sometimes I might need two or three proofs.

6) Any tips for paper types?

DM: Yes, first order a swatch kit from Blurb. This kit will show you the paper types, cover types, etc. Then, choose the two papers you like the most and print a small test book on each paper, using a wide range of your work. Keep these test books as resources for all your upcoming projects.

7) How do you know if your book is going to sell?

DM: This is a tricky question but one that bookmakers/publishers worldwide ask themselves on a daily basis. There is no perfect way of determining how a book will sell beyond actually creating a presell book list where buyers say “I will buy this book.” People do this via things like email newsletters. But, it’s still not a perfect system. People can change their minds. However, if you have a following, fan base, audience, you can reach out to them before the book is complete, survey them even, to understand how they are willing to engage with your project.

8) Does Blurb work with ICC Profiles?

DM: Yes. You can find the Blurb ICC profile at Blurb.com and you can install and utilize your books and magazines.

9) Is 130gsm matte paper good for a cookbook?

DM: Sure. I can see a cookbook being made out of high-end materials, but I can also see a cookbook being made out of lo-fi materials with the idea the book gets dirty along with the chef. There really are no rules.

10) Typically how long does it take you to do a book?

DM: Well, it depends on the book, and it depends on the audience. Doing a portfolio of your best work might not take you that long because you aren’t really telling a story you are simply showing your best work. If you did a book about the story behind your best work it might take longer to write that story, edit, sequence, etc. because you are trying to tell a story and convey a message. The more complex the story and audience the longer it will take to make the book. On the flip side, I’ve made “ten-minute” books where I set a timer and challenge myself to make something interesting in ten minutes and several of these books have turned out really well.

Stay tuned for our next webinar on March 20!


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