Need-to-Know Terms for Self-Publishing

Are you considering self-publishing? Many may take the path towards self-publishing, but feeling lost when starting the journey is all too common. At AZ Litho, we’re here to help as much as we can! From design to printing, and even through storage and distribution, we’re here to guide you in helping to make your project successful! Let us start by giving you a rundown of some print terms to help in your education of the process!

1 – Manuscript – A manuscript is a full, completed text version of the book set to be published. It’s often the first finished copy before any print formatting occurs, meaning that often your writing can be finished without thinking of design until you’re ready to consider printing. Bringing us your manuscript when you’re ready to start designing and making decisions on print options can be helpful in determining page numbers, style, and other aspects.

2 – Formatting – Formatting is not only how the manuscript is put into a print design, but also any text effects or page options that come into play. For instance, page breaks, gutters, bolds, italics, and even page number style and placement fall into this category! Our design experts are happy to help you with these crucial decisions, as they’ll decide the aesthetic of your finished project!

3 – Finishing – Finishing refers to the surface texture of your project, both your cover and your pages. The texture is more important than many may think and will affect aesthetic, usage, and even readability. Take this into careful consideration when making your choice, because these things have a huge impact on your project’s success! Our experts are happy to show you our various options when it comes to finishing.

4 – Binding – Binding is how your pages are held together and there are several options to choose from. This will determine aspects of your book’s spine, its appearance, as well as how the pages are turned. This is another crucial aspect, as it’s important to both design and use, so allow us to tell you more about your options and what they would mean for your project.

5 – Proof – A proof is a first printed draft of your project, crucial to testing out how the culmination of all of your design and print choices have come together. Having a proof copy of your work is important in reviewing your work before you commit to a larger quantity print, which will ultimately cost a lot more money and energy to complete. Check your work with a proof to help avoid future hassles!

To learn more printing terms that may be important in your journey, check out our glossary of terms! Or, contact our design experts to personally discuss your individual questions, needs, and concerns! We’re happy to help you along your path to self-publishing, with all of our expertise to serve as guidance.