Self Publishing Guide
Creating a self published artbook / portfolio is great solutions for
artists and designers to organize and display their work.
With an artbook / portfolio book, you not have to tote around an enormous portfolio.
Artbook / Portfolio books are a great sales tool for the artist, photographer, or model/actor. They showcase a myriad of images and are a very successful sales tool when left with customers/employers.
Below, we’ll give you an outline to help start your children's book publishing process.
Where to Start
If you haven' t laid out your Artbook / Portfolio book yet, there are a few things to consider about the book you want to publish.
How Do I Produce the Artbook / Portfolio book?
Most authors are using their home computers to prepare their Photo Books. This is an easy and convenient method of preparing your files.
The content or of your manuscript will likely be primarily images with small bits of text. Just as with book with written text, a Artbook / Portfolio also needs to be one contiguous file for printing.
Selecting software to use to prepare your book can be somewhat daunting. As a general rule we do not recommend any of the more common word processing software packages like Word, Works of WordPerfect for preparing your Artbook / Portfolio Book files. These word processors are fine for files that contain only a few images, and are mostly text, but for large quantities of images, they are not suitable.
We do recommend any one of the more powerful software programs for preparing your Artbook / Portfolio Book, such as Adobe InDesign, PageMaker (outdated) or Quark Express.
There are a few different qualities that you may wish your Photo Book to be reproduced in, and of course the better the quality the more costly the process and the resulting books. As a general rule, the minimum quality you will want is to have your images as 300 dpi for the finished work. Anything less than this and the quality begins to suffer significantly. You may also wish to have a higher quality book produced.
Editing and proofreading your Artbook / Portfolio book
Although it is likely there is little text in your Artbook / Portfolio book, we still recommend that it is proof read. In fact we highly recommend this particularly with books with fewer words and any mistakes be come glaringly obvious … any distractions from the pictures are to be avoided.
Artbook / Portfolio book Size Layout
There are no real common sizes for Artbook / Portfolio book, but they generally rage in size from 6” by 9” and larger (8.5 X11 is an nice size), and many are in “landscape” format rather that “portrait” format that most novels and similar predominantly text books.
Artbook / Portfolio book Binding Types
The four main ways Photo Books can be put together or "bound" are listed below, along with their pros and cons.
- Spiral Binding:
25 to 250 pages: This kind of binding is rarely used for Photo Books,
but is used for photo-book day-timer books, photo-book address and
similar type books. Advantages, when opened they lay flat and make it
easy to read and write in, they are cost effective to produce. No
particular disadvantages other than they do don’t looks as nice a some
up to 48 pages: These are the least elegant book binding to produce. In
some instances, books that do not have enough pages for other binding
types may need to be saddle bound. Disadvantages, the covers tend to
wear more readily (although we recommend laminating which will help
prevent this); these books don’t lay flat for the reader.
50 to 1,000 pages: These are the most expensive to produce but are also
the most valued because they look excellent, and are long lasting. They
can also be more desirable as they are a premium product and command a
top dollar. Disadvantages, cost to produce, and weight for shipping.
- Soft Cover Perfect Binding: Approximately 40 to 300 pages: Although these types of books use a soft cover, they retain the “book feel” because they have a square back. They are less expensive than hard cover to produce while still looking very good (especially with a color cover). Disadvantages, the covers can tend to wear out with heavy use (although we recommend laminating which will help prevent this) these books don’t have the same premium appearance as hard cover books, but are still a very good choice for these types of Books.
Artbook / Portfolio Cover
The cover of your book is a very important element of your entire book publishing project.
I order to have a professional looking cover; you’ll need professional software to layout your cover with. We recommend using Adobe Photoshop for designing and laying out your book covers. You could also use Adobe Photoshop Elements or Corel Draw as affordable alternatives.
You can purchase these programs below:
As the owner and author of your book, you should be aware of one book-cover reaction that lamination can cause on soft cover books. Laminating book covers can result in covers arching or bending from time to time, depending on weather conditions. This is a normal process which is caused by the lamination which blocks the flow of moisture through the book cover creating a small amount of pressure on one side of the cover and making them arch slightly. This is the normal reaction of cardboard covers with plastic lamination, and can really only be solved by going to hardcover books.
The front cover should have the title of the book and the author’s name, and any images on the cover should be added to enhance the “look” of the cover. The back cover could be left blank, a description of the book, or a paragraph about the author. What ever you put on the back, we recommend that it be something that is … “in aid of selling or promoting the book”. If the books are to be sold in bookstores, you will also need ISBN and Bar Code numbers to be printed on the back cover. We can help you with obtaining these if you do not have a source.
If you are preparing your own cover, the size of the cover of the book will need to be slightly larger than the actual book. This will allow for the trimming of the final book and cover, and provide nice clean lines on all three exposed book sides. If you are going to be making a “perfect bind” book, you will also need to allow for the thickness of the back of the book (spine) as determined by the number of pages in the book.
If you will be using any images or graphics on the cover that need to print with high quality, we recommend using a professional graphic program like Adobe Photoshop for best results.