~Photos in the public domain


A photograph may be in the public domain if it was published between January 1, 1923 and March 1, 1989 and does not have a copyright notice. However, don’t assume that you can use public domain photographs for free. You may have to pay a fee to obtain a copy.





Charts, diagrams, and other geometric drawings


If your book needs these, you can create them right in your word processor or page layout program. If not, your best choice is a "draw program" like Microsoft Visio or Adobe Illustrator.


Resolution issues


Avoid using gifs or jpegs, which tend to have degraded graphics and low resolution. Instead, work with .tiff or .eps files and a lossless compression method like lzw or zip.


Image sizing and resizing


The recommended size for Kindle is at least 600 by 800 pixels in size. iPad and Android tablets have bigger screens, many of which are high-density. Use images that are 768 pixels by 768 at a resolution of at least 300 ppi. This will ensure images fit the minimum width of the iPad screen and that the images will be sharp.


Scan and adjust the size of your art before you put it in your page-layout program. If you adjust the size later, you will distort the pixels. A 300-ppi photo scanned at 2 inches wide, then enlarged to 4 inches wide, will end up being 150 ppi. If you are scanning your own photos or graphics, you'll need a good-quality scanner.


If you have any borders


Increase the frame of the object so that it is slightly larger than the image object itself. This will prevent ebook reading devices from cutting off any borders you might have. These devices usually crop images by one or two pixels when rendering on-screen.


Legality of resizing another’s photo


Unless your agreement prohibits it, you can make minor modifications to the photograph, such as changing its size or resolution. However, major modifications—for example, colorizing a black-and-white image or digitally removing elements of a photo—require permission under copyright law and usually under the license agreement. If the image bank or photographer discovers that you have made a major change without permission, you might be sued for copyright infringement. To avoid this, notify the rights holder of your intent to modify the photo when you seek permission.


ppi / dpi issues


Supply artwork to the printer in a format of at least 300 pixels per inch (ppi). 600 ppi is ideal however. A low-resolution photo (72 ppi) is usually suitable only for use on websites or for non-professional uses. DPI stands for “dots per inch” and is synonymous with ppi.


Fees may be affected by the resolution. The denser the dots are, the higher the ppi, the better the resolution, and the more expensive the photo. In some cases, the quality of the reproduction is expressed as a combination of the ppi and the size of the image. For example, a 4”x5” image with 72 ppi will be of lower quality than the same image at 8”x10” and 72 ppi. Some stock houses will furnish bundles of low-resolution images as royalty-free or copyright-free. Other image banks may charge on a sliding scale.



Layout / placement


Depending on your book’s trim size, you may want to allocate at least a half-page per photograph, chart, or graphic. Give charts or graphs a full page if they have a lot of detailed information. Don't cluster too much artwork together or else the text will look messy.





Before you worry about an index, are you sure your book or ebook needs one? If the book will not be judged quickly by scholarly readers searching for an index, you may want to skip it. For reference, see the indexing chapter of the latest Chicago Manual of Style and that book’s index.


Software vs. the human indexer


A good index directs you to important information and excludes irrelevant references containing the keyword or phrase. While indexing software aids the human indexer, it by no means creates indices automatically, any more than spell-checking software can edit a text on its own. Only a person can see if a passage has useful information worthy of being extracted and referenced.


An indexer must analyze the information that he is referencing and determine the precise wording to most rapidly point the user towards. He must consider the synonyms (double-posting) and think of the other entries each one relates to and make cross-references to them.


Finding an indexer


Does your book cover a very esoteric subject? Do you feel that your indexer must know your field? These are important questions. If you're looking for an indexer in a special field, go to www.asindexing.org, the website for the American Society of Indexers. You can search by type of material indexed, location, or field of expertise. It's comprehensive and free.


You might also know of a book that has a great index. Maybe it is one in your field. Look in the book for the indexer’s name. If he's not listed, contact the press and ask who wrote the index.


Most print-on-demand companies provide an indexer for an extra fee.




The best time to schedule an indexer is when you have finished substantive changes to the text. Then allow three to four weeks before the assignment. That’s soon enough that slippage will be unlikely and far away enough to let the indexer re-schedule some of his other commitments. The amount of time he will need with your manuscript depends on your book type.


Type of book                                       Pages                                                   Business days

Academic/Scholarly                            < 300                                                   10-15

Academic/Scholarly                            300+                                                    15-20

Trade books (Light)                            < 300                                                   5-7

Trade books (Light)                            300+                                                    7-10

Trade books (Dense)                           < 300                                                   7-10

Trade books (Dense)                           300+                                                    10-15

Technical/Business                              < 300                                                   10-15

Technical/Business                              300+                                                    15-20


Expect to pay a premium for requests that deviate substantially from this outline. Rush rates vary between 25 and 50 percent more than standard rates.


Deliver your manuscript to the indexer via email as a .pdf file, whose “search” and “find” features allow the indexer to find all sorts of information. This includes bibliographic information for an “authors cited” index. The indexer will return the index via email attachment as an .rtf (rich text format) document, which maintains the structural integrity of the index's style, keeping typographic specs and indents in the appropriate places.  


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