The nuts and bolts of turning your manusript into a finished book that will hold its own and even stand out from the other titles on bookstore shelves is known as production. The essential stages of book production are:
Word processing - preparing a production-compatible disk. Most authors now write on computer and deliver their manuscripts on disk, eliminating the need for retyping. Authors who are not equipped with a computer can reduce publishing costs substantially by consolidating the computer entry and editing process.
Book design - creating an engaging, attractive product. Interior design is a technical process of selecting the typeface, layout dimensions, running-head design, chapter opening, and other elements that will reflect the overall tone of the book and make it visually pleasing to read. Cover design, the most artistic process involved in packaging the book, maximizes its appeal to booksellers, book purchasers, and readers. Self-publishers have the opportunity to work closely with the designer in ways that other authors can't.
Page composition - turning a manuscript into camera-ready pages, a computerized process that replaces old-fashioned functions of typography, page layout, makeup, and pasteup. Composition may also involve scanning photos or artwork in place, bypassing older, more costly methods of screening and stripping in art at the printing stage.
Production functions also include obtaining printer bids and acting as liaison with prepress houses and printers to ensure best quality and lowest cost.
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