When I finished writing my first manuscript, I had to learn how to use self publishing software. This program allows you to design the look of your pages and convert them into the proper format required by a book printer (PDF, font files and image files) which will ultimately produce a book that you can hold in your hands.
I wanted to learn the software, rather than outsource this task because it was my intention to learn how to do everything myself. After all, this was my baby—my heart and soul—and I wanted to guide its every step from start to finish.
Although I felt a bit intimidated at first, after I learned how to design a page, the rest was pretty easy. Although some of these software packages seem like they're so complex that only professionals can learn them, this is not the case. If I did it, so can you. Best of all, if you get stuck, there are plenty of resources online where you can get help, namely, users groups, forums and tutorials.
I mean, heck, this is your baby, so why not take it all the way? After all, the layout and design of the inner pages are just as important as the content and cover design to the overall perception of your book. If you are committed to taking your work from concept to published book, then you'll need to take the time to learn the right self publishing software to make this happen. I recommend Adobe InDesign self publishing software because it is intuitive and considered the industry standard.
If you are a bit intimidated at the prospect of learning a program like InDesign, consider that you're making an important investment in money, knowledge and time. After all, now that you've finished your first manuscript, you're officially an author. I'm sure the thrill of publishing your first book will lead to a flurry of creative ideas that will give birth to more books. Click on desktop publishing software review for a feature comparison chart for InDesign and QuarkXpress (the top two book design programs).
Learning a complex layout program not your thing? Then consider using the printer that I recommend. They allow you to upload your manuscript and book file to their web site and produce great quality books. Printing your book with them allows you to retain all the rights and also gets your book listed on Amazon. Click on self publishing for step by step instructions to set up your account.
you don't want to learn a book layout program, then consider
outsourcing the book design, so you can concentrate on your writing. To
learn more about outsourcing editing, book layout, cover design and
design of marketing materials, read this article on publishing services.