Tag Archives: Resources – Book Publishing

How to Set Up a Front Cover in InDesign: Dimensions

I am super excited!  That’s because I am starting to work on a new book!  It is going to be called “Our Lives, Our Love, Our Memories”.  It will be a fun book with various sections for couples to jot down details that they don’t want to forget.  Since I am starting a new book, I want to record down how I set up different documents in InDesign.  In this entry, I am going to set up the dimensions of the front cover.

How to Set Up a Front Cover in InDesign: Dimensions

This quick entry will record down how I set up the dimensions of the front cover in InDesign.

First of all, you need to determine what size you want your book to be.  For example, do you want your book to be 6″x9″, 8″x10″, etc. For my book, it is 5.5″x8.5″ in size.

Open a brand new document in InDesign, and you will see the following screen.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 01

Under Page Size Width, put in 11.5.  This number is from adding three dimensions, 5.5″ front cover + 5.5″ back cover + 0.5″ for the initial gutter, or the spine width of the book.  Right now, we do not know how wide to make the spine, as we do not know the number of pages we will have in the book yet.  Once we have finished making the book, then we can use a tool to determine the spine width based on the number of pages.  *** MUST remember to update this before sending it to print!!

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 02

For the Page Size Height, we will put in 8.5 because this is the height of the book.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 03

Next, we will put in 0.125 for all the Bleed.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 04

Then 0.375 for all the Margin.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 05

We will enter 0.5 for the gutter, as explained earlier. *** MUST also change this number.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 06

And finally, we’ll change the Columns Number to 2.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 07

Press OK, and we will see something such as this.

How to InDesign Cover: Dimension 08


Very easy and straight forward.

To recap how to set the dimensions of the front cover in InDesign:

  • Determine the size of the book
  • Open a new document
  • Enter Page Width (width of front cover + width of back cover + width of gutter***)
  • Enter Page Height
  • Bleed: 0.125″
  • Margin: 0.375″
  • Enter Gutter: 0.5″ inital (make sure to calculate this after you’ve finished your book!!!***)
  • Column number: 2

I’m mainly documenting this for myself, but I hope that it’s also useful for you.  If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to send me an email and connect with me through any of the social media!

Setting up International Amazon Author Central

Step by step guide: how to sign up for International Amazon Author Central

Recently, about a month ago, I published the first few of my books, and I found them live on Amazon (!!).  Since I knew that other authors have their own author pages, I want to have my own too!  My mentor, Kristen Joy from the Book Ninja, told me about Author Central.  So I went onto it and set up my very own Author Central Page.  I wanted to dig a little deeper about the Author Central, and that’s when I came across a few blog posts about the International Amazon Author Central.  This is a great blog post by Grant W Cook about this topic.

Basically, there are a few Author Central Pages around the world.  They include

authorcentral.amazon.com  for US

authorcentral.amazon.co.uk for UK

authorcentral.amazon.fr for France

authorcentral.amazon.de for Germany

authorcentral.amazon.co.jp for Japan

Unfortunately, these pages are not directly linked to each other, so you have to set up each account and claim your books individually.  It is a lot of work, but if you are interested to sell more books internationally, then you may want to consider setting up all of these Author Central pages!

Important Note:  The login email and password are accepted for the US, UK, France and Germany sites; while a separate profile (you can still use the same email) has to be made for the Japan site.

Signing up for Author Central Pages for US, UK, France and Germany

I am going to show you screenshots of how to sign up for the Germany Author Central page. Continue reading

Book Publishing Ninja Review

In Oct 2015, I enrolled into Kristen Joy’s Book Publishing Ninja Course.  After creating my publishing company, and published a few of my own books (8 in total),  I am writing a review about this course.

Disclaimer: I have purchased this course on my own accord, and do not receive any compensations.  The following is my honest review.

Book Publishing Ninja course

The Book Publishing Ninja course is taught by Kristen Joy, from the Book Ninja.  It teaches you how to setup your own publishing company, so you can create and publish your own books, and/or help others publish their books.


The course has 5 modules. They include Branding, Registrations, Build Your Team, Formats & Distribution, and Self vs. Publisher.

In the Branding module, Kristen goes through why you should create your own brand, and how to go about doing so.  This includes how to create your own logo, website and marketing materials.

In Registrations, she gives detailed information about ISBN setup, Library of Congress registration and copyrights application.  She also compares the two Print On Demand companies, and touches briefly on the business/tax information.

In Build Your Team, Kristen lists out the key players that can help build and expand your company.  She also gives tips on how to find these people, and offers sample contracts for you to customize as needed.

In the Format & Distribution module, she explains the different book formats, and offers suggestions to distribute your books.

In Self vs. Publisher, she offers guidelines and detailed info about what to do if you want to publish other people’s books.


My thoughts:

I am very impressed with the amount of information offered in this course. Kristen is very knowledgeable in this field, and she offers very solid ideas and details.  Even though this is a large topic, she is able to cover a lot of grounds to start a newbie, me, on my journey.  The course is for people who are interested to write/publish their own books, but don’t know how to get it done.  This is definitely a question I have.  I wondered if I should publish through an existing “self-publishing company”, or if I should create my own self-publishing company.  Through this course, I learned that if I go through an existing company, I may risk losing the rights to my book while paying a lot for it.  If I create my own company, even though there will be more work, I maintain full control of my books.  This course is geared toward a US audience.  Since I live in Canada, some of the information is not relevant to me.  But I still learned about what I need to research, i.e. ISBN, copyright, etc.  I especially like Kristen’s point about “Go pro, or go home”.  Basically, there is a lot of competition out there, so you need to do whatever it takes to make everything look professional.  If you are not going to give it your all, then don’t bother.  One thing I want to mention about this course is that it includes information about publishing for others.  Since this does not apply to me (yet), I only skimmed through that portion of the material.  But if I ever embark on this route in the future, I know I will have what I need to get started.

My Verdict:

If you are someone who wants to write and publish your own book, but are unsure how to go about it, then I highly recommend the Book Publishing Ninja course.  Because if you’re writing your own book anyway, why not take the extra step to make everything yours?  It is extremely satisfying to say, yes I own this company, and I published these books ON MY OWN!  I am not going to lie, it is a lot of work.  Since I purchased this course in Oct 2015, I struggled for 2 full months to finally decide on what I want to publish.  But since December 2015, I was able to create my logo (Apr 2016), incorporate my own business (May 2016), setup my HST account (May 2016), setup my Print On Demand account (May 2016), create and publish 7 colour-test reference books (Apr-Jun 2016),  and create and publish 1 colouring trip planner (Dec 2015-July 2016).  That’s a lot of accomplishment within 9 months!  It is not perfect, and I still have a lot to learn and do, but it is extremely satisfying. And guess what? It all started with the Book Publishing Ninja course.  If I can do it, so can you (if you put your mind to it)!


If you have any questions about this course, if you are interested in self-publishing, or if you have any comments/questions about self-publishing, get in contact with me! I want to hear from you!  I don’t know everything, but if you have a question, I will try my best to look up answers, so I can learn along with you!  If you like this post, share it!  And connect with me through Instagram and Facebook, so I can share my self-publishing journey with you!

Why I chose Ingram Spark for My Self-Publish Books (vs. Createspace)

Today, I setup my Ingram Spark account.  I’ll be publishing my books through Ingram, and this is going to be my preferred Print On Demand service.  That is because according to Kristen Joy, Ingram has better quality printing than Amazon’s Createspace.

I had been reading up on various articles, this article by gives a very detailed and in-depth comparison of the two.  I really like it, because it explains a lot about how the distribution between the two company works, how much you will earn if you’re planning to get your book into bookstores, quality of the printing, ease of distribution, etc.

Giammatteo uses both Ingram and Createspace for various purposes.  But I only chose Ingram seems to beat Createspace in various areas, and right now, I just want to keep it simple. Also, Ingram offers discounts to members in the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi).  I would like to join them as a member, but haven’t joined the membership yet.  However, from time to time, ALLi would host these wonderful workshops to help new authors learn about the writing/marketing process, and during those times, Ingram would have offers for new books to be uploaded for free. How awesome is that deal!!  Of course, I will have to work hard to get my book files ready first.

How to setup ISBN account in Canada

For Canadian book publishers, you can get your International Standard Book Number (ISBN) for FREE!  You can register an account on the ISBN Canada online system to manage your account and logbook, and to modify information of your publications.

I used both of the following links to setup my own ISBN.  They’re extremely useful and informative. I hope you will be able to benefit from them too!

How to get ISBNs in Canada

A step by step guide to getting your own ISBN




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