Typesetting is the process of converting a copy-edited manuscript to a printed book. As typesetting is quite complex, I do not go into detail here, but there is plenty of information on the Web, and some useful books available. Suffice to say, typesetting is a skilled job, generally carried out using desktop publishing software (although word processing software can be manipulated to do it). To gain an understanding of typesetting, pick up a paperback book and study the inside. How does it differ to an A4-size typescript?
How I work
: I used to offer a typesetting service, using the templates available from Kindle Direct Publishing – other self-publishing providers are available! – but rarely do this for new clients. I now contract out typesetting to a colleague who is a professional graphic designer, whose website can be found here
. I pass her the electronic copy-edited version of the typescript; she does her magic, and sends me back an electronic copy of the typeset document. I also recommend her for book cover design. (Examples of her work can be viewed on her website, and on my Portfolio
page: namely, Rupert's Diary
, The Death Certificate
. Look out for the upcoming revision of The Marriage Certificate
How long will it take? In the hand of an experienced typesetter, using the relevant software, it may only take a few days to produce the first proof copy. Once my colleague has sent me an electronic copy of the typeset document, I quickly check through to ensure that certain elements of the text are displayed as they should be. If not, I request that changes are made. As there may be some back and forth between me and the typesetter, I suggest between 1–2 weeks for this stage.
How much will it cost? The fee is generally arranged between client and typesetter, although I may be able to provide a rough estimate at the outset. In general, cover design and typesetting packages (paperback and Kindle e-book) start at £350–£400.
What happens next?
After typesetting, a proof copy of the book is printed and sent to the proofreader. See 3. Proofreading