Recommended Templates for Beginner?

Engaged ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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I've been publishing ebooks, but I now want to create a paperback. Since I'm on a Mac, I was going to use Pages, but I also have an Adobe subscription, so I thought I'd try InDesign.

 

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem real intuitive. In fact, I haven't been able to set up a book project yet.

 

Can anyone recommend a good source of templates that are already set up for various book formats? My first experiment is going to be 6" X 9", no bleed.

 

Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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IMHO, it is difficult to find a template that one doesn't want to "tweak" somewhat. I would suggest taking some long-documentation tutorials or classes. 

Here is a link to LinkedIn training: 

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/indesign-creating-long-documents-13887227

(I have not watched it, so you may need other classes too. You can get 30 days for free.)

 

Classes/online, custom instruction options from Adobe Certified Instructions:

https://learning.adobe.com/partner-finder.html?products=InDesign&learningOptions=Web-based&partnerTy...

(I filtered it to the USA, but you can adjust the regions. Look for long-documentation expertice.) 

 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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This. Templates are often crutches that end up slowing you down or hampering your efforts more than they help. If you don't understand how to lay out book pages—which, honest, is not very hard although it's worth looking at examples and tutorials to gain some judgment about the esthetic aspects of layout—a template is going to be hard to work with anyway.

 

Learn the basics. They are basics and worth knowing. And ID is very much the right tool for the job; Word and Pages and so forth are past their abilities for anything more than formatted reports.

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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Just a tip. Do not bother using InDesign's Book feature unless you're working with a remote design team. If you're doing all the work yourself, keep it simple and only create one InDesign file. If you need help let me know. I've designed many books and pubs with InDesign over the past 20 years.

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Engaged ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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Are you saying 1) don't use InDesign for designing books, or 2) you can use InDesign to design books without using the "book feature"?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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The Book feature combines multiple ID files into one document for printing, export and (limited) management. Its only real use is when separate chapter or section files need to be maintained at different times or by different authors.

 

It has no good use in a one-person (at a time) "book" project, despite the name.

 

Definitely use InDesign for books. 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Engaged ,
Jun 05, 2022 Jun 05, 2022

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Ah, THAT book feature. That's exactly what I was getting ready to tackle next. Thanks for the timely tip. 😉

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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I like the book feature for very long documents. Granted a text-only paperback wouldn't be much of an issue, but "putting one's eggs in one basket" has the potential to cause grief with complex documents. Less processing per document can be handy sometimes too. 

David Creamer
Adobe Certified Instructor, Adobe Certified Professional, and Adobe Certified Expert (since 1995)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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> It has no good use in a one-person (at a time) "book" project, despite the name.

Wellll....

I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. When you get over a hundred pages or so it's kind of nice not to have all of it open at one time, plus dividing a project into multiple files provides a bit of flexibility in the layout (easy re-ordering chapters, for example) and it prevents losing everything at once in case of some disaster. It's a lot easier to recreate 50 pages than 500.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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@James Gifford—NitroPress wrote:

 Its only real use is when separate chapter or section files need to be maintained at different times or by different authors.


 

I have to disagree. While it may not be of any use for the paperback being discussed here, I found it invaluable for catalogs. The smaller catagory sections are easier to manage, and keeping Book unchecked in the index panel until I am ready to geneate the index keeps the thousands of index markers in the catalog from bogging down the program each time I need to open that panel.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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Okay, okay, the Book feature has other uses. 🙂

 

Single-document works best for most of my projects, including large ones, but I've used Book structure almost as much. All advantages conceded.

 

As for catalogs, yep yep — but I'd include that under my caveat of "need to be maintained separately" since different product lines and categories often are updated asynchronously from the others, and sometimes by different teams.

 

But I'd still advise against using Book unless there is a specific advantage — don't break up simple docs, even long ones, into chapters or sections "just because."

 

And save-save-save, backup-backup-backup. Reconstructing a lost doc is a PITA whether it's 50 pages or 500! 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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> And save-save-save, backup-backup-backup. Reconstructing a lost doc is a PITA whether it's 50 pages or 500!

 

Amen to that. There is no better advice anyone can give to a beginner. I also advocate saving a new "version" of most files after each editing session. I use a simple version number appendeds to the file name. This allows you to go back to a recent uncorrupted version if necessary, or even more important (since you've been diligent and done the backups) you can go back and branch off in a new direction from a previous version when the client says "remember how we had..." and wants to move in a new direction.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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The best places to find templates are with printers running paperback books. They know what works, and if you book business with them, they'll have a rat-hole file somewhere with quality templates that are compatible with their production systems.

 

The next-best places are with custom publishers/vanity press operations which have templates they use for their own production work and may be willing to share if you're working with them.

 

In both of these instances, you're dealing with people who want to make money from you and know that customer satisfaction means return customers. Their templates are the best because their bottom line depends on it.

 

Following these superior options, this is a good place to start:

 

https://redokun.com/blog/indesign-book-templates#free-indesign-book-templates

 

Hope this helps,

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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I am not sure why, but this suggestion troubles me.

 

Maybe it's an acquired distrust of the WePrintYerBook 'publishers.'

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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I'm sorry you've had unfortunate experiences. I work with a couple of custom publishers regularly that turn out quality work and have satisfied customers.

 

Methinks you're painting an entire industry with a pretty broad brush.

 

Randy

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2022 Jun 07, 2022

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None of the above. But this isn't the place to unpeel that onion. 🙂

 

|| Word & InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): a Professional Guide (Amazon)

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Engaged ,
Jun 06, 2022 Jun 06, 2022

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Thanks for all the tips. Lots to think about!

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