Book Publishing Software: InDesign versus QuarkXpress

Book Publishing Software allows you to format the pages of your book, so it will look clean, professional and improve readability. If people read your book from start to finish, then they are much more likely to recommend it to others. When you take the time to create a beautiful looking book, this is exactly what readers will do.

When considering which software to purchase to layout your book, whatever you do, do not use Microsoft Word (no matter what anyone else tells you) because it is not a layout program and does not have the settings and controls to make your book look anything but amateurish.

Don't skimp here. Your book's success depends on its content, look and marketing. If you're self-publishing a book, then the presentation is especially important because a professional look allows you to compete with small, medium and big name publishers. I know this for a fact, since my self-published book won a prestigious award, competing against big name authors and New York publishers to win its category. Believe me, this was quite a coup for me. Just to rub elbows with all those well known authors (like Deepak Chopra) was super cool.

book publishing software

That said, let's take a look at the book publishing software that is currently available, so you can make the choice that is best for you. First off, you must understand that this software is expensive, but it is well worth the cost. Consider it an investment that will be amortized over the cost of publishing this book and all those to follow.

In the publishing world, there are two giants: Adobe InDesign and Quark Xpress. Each has loyal followers. While Adobe has been trying to lure Quark users over to their product with new features, Quark concentrates on keeping their customer base happy, which is currently about 3 million users strong.

I own both products. I used Quark Xpress to layout my book, but I also have a copy of InDesign which I've used to layout some other projects. Without getting too heavy into the features and capabilities, here are some factors that may help you decide which book publishing software fits your needs.

Book Publishing Software

Adobe Indesign is:

  • Intuitive, especially for those who are already familiar with software like Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Cutting edge - Adobe is always adding features to their product line.
  • The product is designed to increase productivity and workflow. (This is important for big publishing houses, but may be less important to the indie publisher who does one book at a time.
  • Adobe Indesign integrates well with other products including Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InCopy and Acrobat. Your content can be repurposed and exported in various formats from pdf (for print books and ebooks) to XHMTL and XML (for digital magazines.)
  • Supports various open standards
  • Interactive pages are supported. This means your ebook or digital magazine can contain movie and sound files and interactive pages that play movies or turn pages.
  • Easily automate repetitive publishing tasks. This means you can create running headers and footers, advanced bullets, XML support and more.
  • What you see is what you get. Graphics and color settings look the same across the Adobe line of products and most importantly, after you've taken your book to press.

When purchasing InDesign book publishing software, make sure to buy the version for your platform: Mac or PC. Also pick up a copy of the tutorial I recommend as it contains all the information you need to layout your first book. Remember that this software is complex, so just learn what you need to learn in order to create a pleasing, professional layout for your book. A tutorial will help you focus on what you need to do, instead of exploring features and tools that are irrelevant.

Book Publishing Software: Adobe InDesign for the Mac

InDesign CS6 - complete package

InDesign CS6 - complete package

Adobe InDesign CS6 - Complete package - 1 user - DVD - Win - Universal English


Total Training for Adobe InDesign CS5

Total Training for Adobe InDesign CS5

With Total Training for Adobe InDesign CS5: Essentials you'll learn all the key new features that are packed into this robust design and publishing tool.


Book Publishing Software: Adobe InDesign for the PC

Book Publishing Software: Quark Xpress

Quark Xpress has a huge base of happy users around the world. Although their software has lacked some features in the past, their most recent version has brought Quark Xpress up to date with significant improvements in workflow, features and the ability to define projects and layouts. While Quark Xpress once had most of its controls in dialog boxes, in the new version they are located on a palette for easy access and instant feedback. The software has all the features you'll need to create a professional-looking layout.

If you are a professional designer who collaborates with others on books and magazine, this product has top-notch features allowing for changes to be made across shared documents in real-time with controls in place to manage document specs, color management settings and the like.

Since I'm guessing that most of you will not require advanced features such as this, I will tell you that Quark can import Photoshop files and handle transparencies more effectively than InDesign (allowing you to use real numbers, rather than a slider bar). Quark Xpress will also allow you to add drop shadows to text or graphics and skew those shadows.

Book Publishing Software: Quark Xpress

QuarkXPress 9 - Single User - Full

QuarkXPress 9 - Single User - Full

QuarkXPress is design software that lets anyone create and publish rich compelling materials for print the Web e-readers tablets and other digital media in one easy-to-us


If you'd prefer to focus on writing content and not have to trouble yourself with learning how to use a professional book layout system, then I recommend that you sign up for Amazon's CreateSpace which allows you to easily upload your Word document and cover photo and let Amazon's software create your printed book. In order to properly set up your account, follow this step by step tutorial that I created for signing up with CreateSpace Publishing. Do it now, so you take the next step in getting your work published.

Best of all, if you publish your book through CreateSpace, it will automatically be listed for sale on Amazon, the biggest online book seller in the world. It's the best of both worlds for busy writers who want to focus on creating content.

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Book Publishing Software - Book Publishing

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