5 Grammar Lessons from TedEd

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TedEd Grammar Lesson

Throughout this year, we’ve found “The Writer’s Workshop” videos series over at TedEd particularly useful for writers. The series has a number of entries, ranging from a refresher on Edgar Allan Poe to instructions on how to become a slam poet.

But perhaps most intriguing to independent authors are the entries on grammar. The videos offer straightforward, simple ways of looking at complex grammar issues.  We’ve collected five of the videos we’ve found most useful here. To see more, also click over to the TedEd Writer’s Workshop page.

How to use a semicolon

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How to Add Page Numbers to Your Microsoft Word Document

In a recent article we discussed the importance page number layout plays in creating a professional look for your self-published book. Here we’ve created a step-by-step guide to edit and add page numbers to your Microsoft Word document.

Actually adding the page numbers – also known as folios – is a fairly straightforward process. The more complex part comes when editing the numbers to ensure they follow best practices for page layout and contribute to the overall aesthetic you are attempting to create for your book.

Adding page numbers to your Microsoft Word Document

 

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Colorwise Printing Review – Caleb Manci

colorwise-printing-review-caleb-manci

So glad we got the chance to work with Caleb!


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Common Paper Sizes Chart and Conversion Table

by David Rogers

Letter. A4. ANSI A. Legal.

Is this some secret message or an alien transmission from a galaxy beyond? No, it’s just a random assortment of paper sizes. Since the different types of paper size can easily become nearly as confusing as paper weight, we wanted to gather all the sizes in one place.

In our book printing world we express paper dimensions in inches because we work with both non-standard and standard size books. 5.5 x 8, 7 x 10, 8.5 x 11 are all common book printing sizes, but since we can produce books of any size, it’s easier to stick with inches rather than only working with standard paper sizes. However, since many customers are already familiar with those standard sizes, we hope this chart will serve as a reference point for those deciding the best size for their book.

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How to Set the Margins in Word for Your Book Printing Project

by David Rogers

While Word’s standard one-inch margins are great for many writing applications, they are not usually the best choice for book printing projects since you will need to use mirror margins. Which brings us immediately to our first question:

What are Mirror Margins?

If you open most any novel to a random page, you’ll notice that the outer margins are a different measurement than the inner margins. You’ll also notice that the margins of both the left and right pages mirror each other, having the same inner and outer margin measurements. Hence the term mirror margins.

In a Word document, however, the margin sizes must be adjusted accordingly for even and odd pages to achieve the mirrored look in the final book layout. Fortunately, all versions of Word allow you to easily set mirrored margins.

The margins are different  because the margin closest to the binding of the book (the inner margins) must to be larger than the outer so that the text doesn’t get cut off from being too close to the binding. These inner margins are called gutter margins, based on the gutter-like shape they create in the middle of the book.

Below the following instructions on how to change the margins in your Word Document to mirrored margins, we’ll provide some examples of suitable margin sizes for different size books. We’ve also written a separate article on how to change the paper size in your Word document to match the size of your final book.

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Bleed in Printing – A Guide to the Basics

What is Bleed in Printing?

Bleed occurs any time the area of an image extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet. That is to say, the image will extend all the way to the edge of your final printed page instead of including an outer margin that is left with no printed material. This can be true of all or just part of the page.

Does your document require bleed?

Whenever an image or object touches an edge of the page it is necessary to extend that object slightly beyond the edge. If nothing comes close to touching any edge then your document doesn’t require bleed.

Why is understanding bleed important?

Small amounts of paper movement during production or minor inconsistencies in design can result in unintended white space appearing at the edge of the page on your finished product. By extending images beyond the trim edge, you are assured that the image will end at the edge after the final trim.

How do you add bleed to your printed document?

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Paper Weight Conversion Chart

by David Rogers

There’s no beating around the bush: The different measurements of paper weight can get confusing very quickly.

This stems from the way different types of paper are measured, as well as different measurement types being used for different applications. We’ve put together a paper weight conversion chart to represent popular paper weights used in book printing, as well as a few common reference points.

Paper Weight Conversion Chart

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Printing a Children’s Book – A Guide

printing-childrens-book

Children’s books are one of the most common types of self-published books. Authors vary from parents that want to print a personalized book for their children to those looking to become the next Doctor Seuss without going the traditional publishing route.

We’ve printed a large number of children’s books here at Colorwise, and printing a children’s book is pretty simple as long as you go in knowing a few basics. We put together this guide for printing books for kids that will have you on your way to printing your own children’s books in no time.

Knowing Your Options for Printing a Children’s Book

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Pantone Before Pantone

pantone-color-guide

The Pantone Matching System didn’t come about until the early 1960s, but it turns out there was a similar guide created some 270 years before that.

An artist only known as “A. Boogert” wrote a book in Dutch back in 1692 that sought to explain how to mix watercolors. While that may sound like a simple task, Mister or Misses Boogert was incredibly thorough.

After spending the beginning of the book writing about mixing watercolors, the majority of the nearly 800 page book is painstakingly painted with different tints of nearly every color you can imagine. Also as you can imagine, the results look remarkably similar to today’s Pantone Color Guide.

The process to paint each color by hand would be extremely tedious and time consuming, and it’s hard to believe this was produced at the time it was. The book was discovered by Medieval book historian Erik Kwakkel, who notes the irony inherent in the book on his blog.

“It makes sense, then, that the author explains in the introduction that he wrote the book for educational purposes,” he writes. “Remarkably, because the manual is written by hand and therefore literally one of a kind, it did not get the ‘reach’ among painters – or attention among modern art historians – it deserves.”

You can see scans of the entire book here.

Pantone Matching System

Pantone has become known for its color matching system, which provides a standardization of color for a variety of industries. We use the Pantone matching system extensively in the printing industry, and through the years the company has expanded its systems to be adaptable for other materials like fabric and plastic.

Today, there also is a Pantone standardization series for digital RGB color as well, which is often used by graphic designers.


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How Old Were Your Favorite Authors When They Published Their Breakout Book? [INFOGRAPHIC]

author-age-first-book-featured

Ever feel like it’s too late to start writing your first book? Unfortunately, this type of thinking is all-too-common and causes too many would-be authors to never start the books they want to write.

This infographic put together by blinkbox books shows the ages of a slew of famous authors when they published their breakthrough books. The graphic can serve as something of an inspiration for those who may think too much time has already passed them by.

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