This is the dialog box which opens when you choose New from the file menu or type Command+N. Many of the choices found in this dialog box are based on your experience. I’ll use my current choices, just so we can talk about the issues involved.
The first choice is that I always start with print chosen as my intent.
There are many reasons for this. But I can state it simply as I start out. Print has the high quality abilities required to make a printed book. Web and ebook design are much more restricted. It is easy to lower the quality of your book to ebook standards. It is impossible [and often very expensive] to raise many things like graphic quality from ebook quality up to print standards.
A new standard: color
As mentioned, I always start with high resolution, full color graphics. You need that beginning point for graphics to cover all the versions you will be making. Except for the greyscale e-ink Kindles, Kobos, and Nooks, all of our ebooks will be in color. Even there, Kindle Fire & apps on other machines support color. For years printing and color were mutually exclusive when publishing books because printing in color is normally too expensive to be good stewardship.
Even this will likely change radically, in the near future. Last week, the traditional publishers’ choice for on-demand printing, Lightning Source, announced that they are now offering color throughout at a very low price. “Lightning Source will begin manufacturing color books using inkjet technology immediately for publishers worldwide…” The on-demand world has been talking about color at the price of B&W for many years now.
Regardless, in this new publishing paradigm, all documents will be done in print and in color: This is due to the wide variety of formats and media you will be using. BUT, you can severely damage your relationship with your readers if they think you are wasting money on color printing. Color is for the monitor. Print comes first because of the high quality and resolutions required. Designing at that level allows use in the lower levels. Printing in color is commonly a simple squandering of resources and can offend your readers. So you will need to save greyscale versions of the graphics for your print files.
Some of the things are obvious
In the book, Writing In InDesign, we are concerned about book publishing so several of the options are predetermined. Let’s go through these choices quickly:
Facing pages: Yes, we are doing multiple page documents. This gives us a workspace that mimics a book.
Here’s a major change for CS6!
Master text frame (CS5.5): No. It doesn’t do what you want it to do. We never use it here. A procedure for 5.5 is a bit complex.
Primary Text Frame (CS6): Yes! It is essential to check this to enable easy page size and margin conversions.
This is the first portion we see that really impacts us in the massive conversion to more the more fluid layouts necessary for on-demand books and especially ebooks. It actually adds pages as you write! It’s a wholly new capability. In fact, I have made a major change to my choices in the dialog box you saw at the beginning of this post. I now put one page in the number of pages. It causes far fewer problems if I simply let InDesign CS6 add the pages as needed.
Intent: Print. Always. There are three choices under intent: Print, Web, Digital Publishing. Only print uses 300 dpi, full color and grayscale images and supports vector images. Only the Print Intent and PDFs can handle the fonts and styles we need to do excellent typography. Even if you start to sell your book well as a Kindle book, one of the common requests to Amazon will be, “Where is the print version?”
Even when ePUB3 comes fully online, I will still always start with Print. It is easily converted to digital publishing or the Web. It is usually tricky and tedious to convert the other way from ebook to print.
Number of pages: This can range from 12 to 100 pages to start. You’ll be adding more later. You need 24 pages minimum to publish. It should be divisible by 4 to facilitate bindery operations on the printed book. As you can see above, I started with 100 pages in 5.5. Change: In CS6, I start with a single (1) page and Facing pages plus Primary Text Frame checked. It will add pages automatically, as you add content.
Save Preset: You’ll probably end up saving several document presets at various sizes. Just click this button and name your setting. As you can see above, I’m showing the Preset for my 6×9 Book starting point. I almost always start with a 6×9 paperback version to be the companion to my Kindle release for non-fiction. For fiction, I start with 5×8.
If you are going to have images which touch the edge of the paper, you need to click the More Options button. Here you will find the bleed settings (we’ll cover that in a week or two in this series). To make an image go to the edge of the paper you must print it an eighth inch beyond the trimmed edge to cover unavoidable variances in cut locations when the printer trims the books after they are printed.
Next week, I’ll have a major posting on documents sizes: your options and the reasoning behind the various choices.
- Setting up your book to be read: page layout (bergsland.org)