It's no doubt been a long journey from the point you decided to write a book, to the point where you are today, wanting to consign your book at your favorite local indie book store. We are not editors, we are not publishers, but we are experienced book sellers and ardent readers who are in daily contact with a discerning, traveled and highly educated customer base. We know what our friends read and enjoy and this is what makes our bookstore thrive.
Here are some tips from Joel Friedlander, a book designer and author, mixed in with a few of our own to help as you embark on your quest to become a recognized and celebrated local author.
Become a friend of the store. Learn what sells here and why. Talk to the staff, peruse the book shelves, and figure out where your book might fit in terms of its genre.
Go back to the basics.
Read the book
While reading, check for typographical errors and inconsistencies. Is the text complete? Did a paragraph get left out somewhere along the way? Is it part of a sentence cut off at the bottom of a page? Check to make sure everything that's supposed to be there is there.
You should also have someone read the book who is not a friend (therefore not biased) and who will tell you the truth. Ask their opinion, take their comments to heart.
Look at the Book
Fonts: Are they used consistently throughout the book?
Inch marks versus quotation marks: Are proper curled quotation marks, not straight inch marks being used?
Hyphens: em dashes and en dashes: Are these being used correctly? For instance, numbers or dates in a range are separated by an en dash, not a hyphen.
Line spacing: Is it consistent throughout the book?
Word spacing: Are there lines that are much looser or tighter?
After reading the book, you should ignore the text and concentrate on issues relating to the layout and design.
Orphans and Widows: These are a single line at the bottom of a page or a small part of a line at the top of the page- eliminate them if possible.
Proof the Covers
Spine: Your book must have a spine, and it cannot be spiral bound. The title must be read in the universal north to south orientation. Is the title clearly visible? Is the title clear and straight?
Are the category and the price correct?
Proofread the copy on the back cover. Make certain the barcode matches the ISBN on the copyright page.
It may be hard to believe, but we receive books on a continual basis that we do not feel are ready for “prime time” because these guidelines are not sometimes well-received by an author. We wish you every success in your endeavors, and hope to see you, and your book in our shop in the very near future!