How to battle with book design

Designing a book is a battle. It’s a job for a professional. It requires software that most of us don’t possess as well as knowledge, skill and understanding.

I’ve been learning all of this over for the last few weeks and months, starting with my work to publish my biography of Richard Schirrmann – the man who invented youth hostels.

I read everything I could about book design and reminded myself of everything I already knew from my newspaper and magazine days. Even so, I learned much more.

Now it comes to publishing Open to all, I’ve had to change the software I use for writing. I had to learn to use MS Word once again.

Now the book is nearly designed, all the pages set, checked and proofed.

I wanted to include black and white images but I’ve dropped that idea. The complications grew and grew and the whole thing crashed and burned too many times especially when I got to adding an index.

As well as learning that book design is for professionals I’ve learned when to stop banging my head against a brick wall and when to go round the wall.

I’ve dropped the idea of black and white images. They would have been “very nice to have.” But they are not essential.

The book I am writing is not a picture book. It’s not a coffee table book. It’s a book for people who like reading and who want to know more about youth hostels and the people and ideas behind them.

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