How to create a book on 24bookprint
Looking to create a book, either for personal or commercial purposes? It can probably seem quite complicated; after all, just writing one is quite an undertaking. We’re here to make the rest of the book-making, printing, and binding process as easy as possible, however. Your book is made up of two main components: the manuscript and the cover. We’ll cover exactly what you need (and what you don’t) to get started below. If you’ve already got a finished manuscript, you can skip all of this and get straight to uploading your files!
Creating your manuscript
The manuscript is what makes up the contents of your book. Essentially, it is your book, just without the cover. When printing your book on 24bookprint, you’ll need to upload a finished manuscript. You can upload your manuscript as a PDF or a Word file (the former being the better option). After uploading, your file will be converted to a print-ready PDF, which we urge you to check thoroughly before continuing. You can upload a new version of your manuscript as often as you like.
Writing your manuscript
Still need to finish writing your book? We recommend starting with an outline. Map out where you want to tell your readers what? Whether you’re planning on writing fiction or nonfiction, a cookbook or a photo album, it’s important that you guide the reader through the experience. There should always be a red thread throughout your book. Once you’ve created your outline, you can start filling it in, chapter by chapter. While you work on your manuscript, make sure to let friends, family, colleagues, or even internet strangers have a look at it and give you feedback. For more detailed tips, you can always log in to your account and go to the ‘Manuscript’ step.
Formatting your manuscript
We expect the manuscript that the manuscript you upload to our platform is complete, as we’ll be printing your files as they are. Depending on the complexity of your manuscript, you might need a specialised program to format it. If your manuscript contains a lot of photos, tables, or other visual elements, for example, you may want to consider something like InDesign. If your manuscript is mostly composed of text, however, you can easily format it directly in Word or Pages.
Once you’re done with your manuscript, you can get with creating your book by uploading your file to our platform. This is done in the ‘Manuscript’ step (surprisingly). In this step you’ll also find a bunch of tips and guidelines with regards to margins, page numbering, tables of contents, colophon pages, and more. You’ll also be able to download Word templates to make the job of formatting your manuscript easier. A well-formatted manuscript is absolutely essential, not just for your own satisfaction but also for the experience of anyone who’s going to be reading or flipping through your book.
Download our Word templates
If you still need to write your manuscript and were planning on doing so in Word, you should try saving yourself some time by using one of our Word templates! There’s a template for each of the book formats we print, so just pick the one that corresponds to your chosen format. These templates are already set up with a title page, colophon, page numbers and margins.
Manuscript templates for paperbacks
Manuscript templates for hardbacks
Creating a book cover
Whether or not you’re planning on selling or distributing your book, thesis, or magazine to other people, the cover is like your book’s headshot. It’s going to be the main way for you to grab people’s attention and create a good first impression. Not to mention the fact that spending so much time creating a book only to slap an ugly cover on it would be doing yourself a disservice!
So how would you go about creating a cover for your book? Well, you’ve got two options at 24bookprint. The first option is to create your cover independently, either by making it yourself or hiring someone to do it, and then upload it like you did the manuscript. The second option is to use our Cover Designer, which will let you design a professional-looking cover with ease. When using the Cover Designer, we’ll automatically scale it to your book format, allowing you to focus on the design.
Need inspiration? The simplest way to get ideas is to simply browse a bookshop, either online or offline. Check for books in the same genre as yours to get an idea of what the current trends are, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use design elements from other types of books as well!
Creating a book cover yourself
If you’re planning on making your own cover from scratch, then be sure to use a program that is suited to it, like Canva or InDesign. Do not attempt to make a book cover using Word or Pages; it won’t work. It’s important that you use the right measurements for your cover, so that it fits the book format you’ve chosen. In addition to the format itself, the dimensions of your book cover are determined by things like paper type, page numbers, and whether you’re making a paperback or a hardback. This also means that if you upload a new version of your manuscript with a different page count, you’ll need to adapt your cover to this as well. You’ll be able to see the specifications needed for your cover in the ‘Cover Design’ step. Alternatively, you can make use of the cover calculator:
Create a book cover with our Cover Designer
We’ve been in the business of book-making for quite a while now, and we’ve used this experience to build our Cover Designer. While it doesn’t have as many features as Canva or InDesign, it’s free and simpler to use, allowing you to create professional-looking covers directly in your browser.
Time needed: 45 minutes.
Simply put, the over Designer works something like this:
The first step is choosing a template, which will primarily determine the layout of your cover. There are loads to choose from, and clicking on the same template twice will generate a new example.
Once you’ve chosen a template, it’s time to choose a set of fonts. We’ve taken the liberty of creating a few font combinations that work well together. Don’t like them, or want to edit a particular font set? No worries, you can customise everything in the last step.
Next up is colour. Pick a colour scheme to round off your cover design. Again, don’t worry if you don’t see the exact combination you like, these first three steps are just to help you get started. You’ll be able to edit your whole cover in the next step.
Your cover probably looks pretty good already, and if you’re happy with it, feel free to skip this step and roll with it. Otherwise, this is the step where you can really unleash your creativity. You can click on any part of your cover and edit it. When clicking on a cover element, a sidebar will appear on the right-hand side of the screen highlighting the customisation options available for that particular element. You’ll be able to select new fonts, resize those fonts, changing the colour the selected element, uploading photos or images, and more. You can also drag text boxes around if you like. Use the eye icon on the left to toggle the selected element on or off.
Support and services
Are you stuck? We’re always ready to help you out with tips, advice and explanations. You can reach our support team via email, and they’ll be getting back to you in no time. The only thing we can’t do is create your book for you. We can put you in touch with people who can do it for you, however. We offer a variety of professional services to help you make your book the best it can be:
- Editing: you can get your manuscript professionally edited in order to get rid of any stylistic or technical issues. We also offer a so-called ‘quick scan’, in which we’ll analyse a set number of pages and give you feedback on your style.
- Formatting: it’s important that your manuscript is well-formatted. If you’re used to working in Word or other word processors, you can probably manage this yourself. If you’re unsure or simply don’t want to spend time on it, we have people who can do it for you.
- Cover design: we’ve already talked about the importance of a good cover, but we understand that cover design isn’t for everyone. We can take care of it for you and make sure you get a gorgeous, professional-looking cover.
Want to know more about our editing and design services? Get in touch with us!
Order a proof copy
While we are of course overjoyed when people place large print orders, we think it’s more important that you’re happy with what you get. That’s why we always recommend ordering a proof copy or two once you’ve finished your book. In our experience, there’s always a spelling mistake or two that slips under the radar, and it’s generally easier to spot them on paper. Your book will also look different on a screen than in real life, so it’s always good to make sure that the final product actually looks the way you imagined it would. Once you have the proof copy, you can determine whether you’re happy with the result, or whether you need to make a few tweaks. In case it’s the latter, simply go back through the book creation process and upload updated versions of your files where necessary.