Publishing 101-Phase 2
[Your Manuscript] Tips for Graphic Elements
Everything you need to know about Indie Publishing
in a Step-by-Step Plan
Does Your Book Have Graphics?
Photos, graphics and illustrations are an important part of your manuscript. They add detail and visuals to your book.
When you are gathering your photos, graphics and illustrations for your book, there are a few things you need to think about.
This means “dots per inch” and its the printing term for qualifying the quality of a photo. Generally, photos you use (or get from) the internet are at 72 DPI (unless you purchase very high quality photos from stock photo distributors). These will look very good on a screen, but horrible on a printed book. The photos you use in your book must be at a 300 DPI. This is the highest quality and it will look the best when printed.
Sometimes, you may purchase and download a photograph in 300 DPI but when you email it to your book designer, you might neglect to tell your email to send the photo in full resolution. Learn how to make sure your email sends your photos in full resolution so you don’t end up with quality problems.
Color or Black and White
You need to decide if your book will be printed in color or black and white, and make sure that all of your graphic elements match your color choice. If a photo is in color, but the interior of your book will be printed in black and white, you will either incur extra charges to convert your photos, or your photos will not be as crisp as they could be.
Make sure your graphic elements are the right size for your book. If you are using a graph or table that is 8.5 x 11”, but your printed page is only 5.5 x 8.5” your graphic will downsize and perhaps lose its clarity.
I won’t lie to you. Preparing illustrations to fit correctly in a children’s book is not an easy job. When you are working with your artist, be sure to accurately convey the page size, including orientation, borders, and bleeds, to your illustrator so your art does not distort when it is fitted into the book. If you are using spreads (where the illustration crosses two pages, through the gutter), be sure to have your artist break the picture in a way that the gutter (inside spine) of the book doesn’t interfere with the intent of the illustration.
Make the graphic element fit the medium you are printing in; are you only doing eBooks, or will you also be printing your books? If you are doing both, make sure your graphic elements are locked into position so you don’t have floating graphics when you convert your book to an eBook. Also, for your eBooks, make sure that your graphics will work on a small phone screen as well as an iPad screen. Unlike a printed book, an eBook has to adapt to fit any size screen. (Don’t worry, know some tricks to make sure your eBook flows no matter what size screen it is on!).
This was just a short list of things you need to consider if you are using photos, graphics or illustrations in your book. Although the list is short, don’t disregard any of the points as they are all quite important in creating a high-quality book.
Learn how to email photos in their full resolution and make sure you consider all of the above tips for the graphic elements in your book.
Your turn: If you have any questions about graphic elements in your book, please comment below and we can have a conversation about it!