Alexander Becker

Production Notes

I provide ideation services, conceptual and technical consulting, from visionary design to professional execution and presentation. I am an experienced designer, the creative mind behind alter ego Lyrois and author of "None of This is Real."

A Guide On How To Self Publish Your Book

Use this guide to determine the required information and decisions on your way to self-publishing your own book. I'll gladly help you along the way and in the crucial process between writing and marketing, i.e. making your text look like a professional book. See my professional services.

  1. You wrote a book or have a loosely organized and structured collection of texts.
  2. Is it a memoir, an autobiography, essays around a specific topic, blog posts that are too good to vanish, or something technical, a dissertation which deserves some exposure?
  3. Decide whether you want to have a printed book or an e-book to distribute on the Kindle or similar screen readers.
  4. Choose a platform, for example Createspace, to completely self-publish in print and/or as an e-book, or Kindle Direct Publishing for the e-book only option. Companies such as Createspace take care of (print) production, distribution, shipping, and payments. They also provide the distribution of your e-book for readers on Kindle or similar devices. This way, your book is available via Amazon and the various other retailers. You don't have to do anything between writing and marketing.
  5. Print-on-Demand? Having your book online with one of the "print-on-demand" publishers, you don't print nor pay for printing upfront, instead, basically every book that is ordered is printed at a time, through their system, without any hassle for you as an author.
  6. Page count: For a 5.5 x 8.5 size book, estimate approximately 300 words per page; in a 6 x 9 size book, approximately 350 words fit on a page.
  7. Format and trim sizes:
    • Fiction titles should aim for smaller trim sizes. 5 x 8, 5.25 x 8, 5.5 x 8.5 (for full color), and 6 x 9 are popular formats that work well.
    • Non-fiction titles such as (auto)biographies lend themselves to midrange trim sizes. These would be around 6 x 9 but no larger than 7 x 10. The larger 7 x 10 size would be more appropriate if you're looking to run a big photo on the front cover.
    • Technical Manuals and Workbooks should go for the larger sizes. 7 x 10 and 8 x 10 work well here, since the reader is likely to have the book open on a table, and the larger size helps the book to lie flat. These trim sizes also work well for technical drawings and cookbooks because it is much easier to fit drawings and pictures to scale and include the required level of detail.
  8. Imagery: Only use images or photos for which you own the appropriate copyrights to publish. Regarding the quality, go for as large a resolution as you can, generally, pictures that are prepared for the Web, or coming from the Internet, are not suitable for printing. As a rough rule of thumb, full-color image files, which are less than 100KB in file size, are too small. Also, please note that on a standard Kindle, images are displayed in a dithered black-and-white, which looks similar to newspaper pictures.

How Can I Help You?

What I can do for you is professional layout and formatting, as well as a cover/title design and provide you with all the files to upload to e.g. Createspace, where you simply have to point people in order to buy your book (internationally).

For a printed book, the layout is fixed and this is where the design, layout, typesetting, and typography make all the difference between amateur and professional publishing. In an e-book format, text and graphics flow dynamically and the fonts are chosen by the reader application or are selected by the user. If you're looking for a handcrafted e-book, where the details ARE important, like including e.g. chapter illustrations, I'll do that for you.

It's all about the details that I and probably you see and appreciate and obsess over, but the average reader doesn't really notice -- as long as everything is in place.

I can provide you with two distinct versions, one dynamically layouted e-book for the Kindle version and/or a fixed layout version for the PDF or print edition as well as the respective cover art and wrap-around imagery.

  1. E-book, the deliverables being .EPUB or .MOBI files in order to sell via Amazon (or similar) for Kindle (or similar) readers. [You'll need a different ISBN for the e-book or alternatively, can sell an e-book without an ISBN]
  2. Print files, the deliverables being PDF files to upload and sell via online bookstores like Amazon.

Please provide as much information as you can and contact me at ab [at] for a calculation/quote.

If you need a book project done really fast, you can fly me in and we'll do the back-and-forth of edits and corrections, drafts and proofs in realtime and without delays.


More references upon request.

This guide is a living document and will be updated from time to time. [Last update: 2015-11-04] See also: Book Publication & Production Services