May 2015 Magazine – Design Tuesday, May 19 2015 

Consider using artwork and graphic elements to enhance your overall book design. This can be done in black and white or color. Please note the example found here of A Witch With No Name, by Rachel Harrison (Harper Voyager, multiple editions). This photo shown as design example – no Copyright infringement intended. The page image to the back is the title page which carries the color graphic and display font through the chapter headers (front) – note the drop cap is not display font for readability.

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January 2013 E-Zine (V12#1): Design Thursday, Jan 17 2013 

Content ideas for electronic content include:

  • Cross reference links

  • Interactive table of contents and/or index

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October 2012 E-Zine (V11#10): Design Thursday, Nov 1 2012 

Content ideas for electronic content include:

  1. More design elements like full color spread including backgrounds, watermarks, etc.
  2. Direct links to additional information not included in original or electronic text layout.

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October 2012 E-Zine (V11#10): Define Thursday, Nov 1 2012 

Notch/Notching (may be used in perfect binding): Parallel grooves cut into the spine perpendicular to the binding edge. The depth and the distance between the grooves can be adjusted to suit the size and weight of the text block. Notching (vs. not notching) increases the amount of surface area on the spine that comes in contact with the adhesive and increases the strength of some type bindings.

For other writing, printing, publishing, marketing lingo, check our glossaries at and

Run across a word that you don’t understand?  Try us – email us your word, term or phrase and we will see if we can shed some light on the matter!

March 2009, V8#3: Design Monday, Mar 2 2009 

There is no “silver bullet” for proper publication design or format. However, there are some very basic rules to get you ready to go:

Basic design elements to consider

  • header

  • footer

  • page numbers

  • font style(s)

  • font size(s)

  • chapter/section treatments

  • general page layout

  • foot/end note treatment

  • index treatment and layout

  • title

  • reverse of title (verso)

  • binding

  • Electronic?

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July 2006, V5#7: Design Tuesday, Feb 24 2009 

Some interesting items we has seen go into genealogy and family history books include: WWII Ration book and what was left of the family stamps, photos of boot camp (including the bugler), military unit photos, listing of cemeteries (and locations) in the book, advertisements from family business, Railroad Card, etc.  Anything that someone may have (or currently do today) kept in/for a scrapbook should be considered.

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January 2006, V5#1: Design Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Pep up your end papers: Lower cost alternative to custom printed end sheets:

  • Free form one of a kind end papers – freehand design or made with an inked rubber stamp

  • Photo (or other item) plates

July 2005, V4#7: Production Thursday, Jan 29 2009 

Paper opacity is the lack of transparency that allows a sheet to conceal print on the opposite side.  weight, brightness, type of fiber and filler in testing can all greatly influence opacity.  Reflectance of paper is measured when backed successfully by a white body and a black body.  The ratio of these two measurements determines the opacity reading.  Typical opacity of 50# white offset is 88-90; 20# business paper is 84-88.  A quick and very basic “home” test is to print something large and black (black and white clip art and or various sized of bolded text) on a sheet of paper, place a blank sheet of the paper to be tested over this printed sheet.  Any print that happens to show through, will show a bit more if actually printed on the currently black paper.  For book printing, take your darkest page and try this test.  Many manuscript designers will change their manuscript elements to decrease the opacity needed for a nice book rather than pay the difference for higher opacity.

May 2005, V4#5: Design Wednesday, Jan 28 2009 

Too many choices to decide?  Consider choosing a color (scheme) that matches a favorite color, allow the publisher to select something, or take the color (scheme) from family crest or tartan.

This section is drawn from information online at

March 2005, V4#3: Marketing Wednesday, Jan 28 2009 

Marketing is promotion!  To promote a book, good things about the book contents, yourself, your family (if genealogy) or area (if research tool), and history, as well at the physical form the book takes will be pointed out. These are all selling points.  Don’t overlook something that is positive because it wasn’t the main publishing focus.  For instance, archival quality is becoming a much talked about and sought after element in reference book publishing.  Whether this was of high priority for the author personally, it may contribute to sales if it is publicized.

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