DESKTOP PUBLISHING SOFTWARE ARTICLE
What is the best Desktop Publishing Software to Lay Out My Book?
Most book printers prefer professional page layout and desktop publishing programs such as Adobe PageMaker ($499), InDesign ($700), and Quark Xpress ($835). These programs are designed for creating documents for commercial printing. They have the capability to handle fonts, graphics, color separations, indexing, master page formats and other essential pre-press operations.
Book printers usually do NOT accept the following programs: Ventura, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or Excel, Corel Draw, Publisher and Word Perfect. These programs are designed to perform in the office setting and fall short in providing the crucial pre-press operations and page layout features. However, you can use Adobe Acrobat software to convert these files into pre-press compatible PDF files, providing that your book will print in one color (usually black). Or, you may submit camera-ready laser prints. Please note that this process is being phased out, and many printers no longer accept laser prints.
To create a PDF file of your document you will need to purchase the Adobe Acrobat software program that includes the "Distiller" module for approximately $220. Note: The plug-in called "PDF Writer," included in Microsoft Word 2000 for Windows program is a limited version of Acrobat Distiller. Do not use this to make a PDF file for your printer.
Cover designs or interior layouts using 4-color process inks or PMS color inks will need to be done in one of the professional page layout programs or Adobe Photoshop ($600), Illustrator ($385) or Macromedia Freehand ($360). You will not be able to use any of the other programs because they will not output color separations properly. Use Photoshop to scan and retouch your photos and use Illustrator and Freehand to create graphics. To save money, you can purchase the entire "Adobe Design Collection" that includes InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat for $1200.
If you are uncomfortable learning and using these high-end design programs, you may use Microsoft Word or WordPerfect to type up your manuscript and give your file to a designer to lay it out. A good designer will create attractive book "packaging" with trouble-free files for your printer. A professional-looking cover and interior layout will grab attention and give your book a higher perceived value.
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You are welcome to "reprint" this article on the best desktop publishing software as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including my "about the author" section at the end).
About the Author
Karen Saunders is the author of Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling, persuasive sales tools! Hundreds of business owners have used her simple do-it-yourself design system to create stunning marketing materials that really SELL their products and services! Pick up FREE articles, audio classes, eCourse and ezines at http://www.macgraphics.net
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