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The Role of Desktop Publishing in Creating Self-Published Documents



Self-publishing can mean books but it's can also mean newsletters, booklets, greeting cards, and more.

Self-published authors may not think of themselves as designers, but that is one hat they wear when creating their books or other publications. And designers who decide to publish may find themselves fearful of losing control of the visual presentation of their offerings and decide that self-publishing is the way to go.

Self publishing (or, self-publishing) is the for-profit publication (hopefully) of books, newsletters, booklets, or other publications by-passing traditional publishing avenues.

You can self-publish just about anything that you can publish through traditional publishing means and anything you normally create using desktop publishing software and techniques. The primary difference is that you are generally self publishing items which you sell, such as a book you wrote or a subscription-based newsletter. Some self publishing may be done to supplement another business. Self-published customer newsletters or a free tips booklet is aimed at increasing business or generating sales of other products or services.

Some self-publishers in turn require the services of graphic designers or prepress specialists to do much of the design and production work for the books and booklets they want to self-publish.

Design Advice for Self-Publishing

Most self-publishers don't come from a design background. To get up and running quickly, I recommend at least become familiar with a few basics:

Software for Self-Publishing

Many self-publishers take that route to save money. Open Source Desktop Publishing is an option to consider.

Because self-publishing can involve so many different types of documents go to the page, below, for the type of document you are publishing to get specific advice on software and design issues.

16 Categories of Design Specialization

Self-publishing covers a wide gamut of potential desktop publishing projects and shares characteristics with and can include designing books, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, greeting cards, ebooks, and Web design.
  1. Annual Reports & Proposals
  2. Business Forms
  3. Catalogs, Menus, & Product Lists
  4. Collaterals (brochures, etc.)
  5. Crafts & Creative Printing
  6. Identity Systems (logo, letterhead)
  7. Marketing Materials (ads, direct mail)
  8. Packaging
  9. Periodicals (newsletters, magazines)
  10. Presentation Graphics
  11. Publication Art
  12. Publications (books, manuals, booklets, etc.)
  13. Self-publishing
  14. Signage
  15. Web, Mobile, and Multimedia Publishing
  16. Word Processing

Pick Your Path to Desktop Publishing
Get Started:Basic Guidelines and Requirements for Desktop Publishing
Choose Software:Desktop Publishing and Design Software
Tips & Tutorials:How to Do Desktop Publishing
Training, Education, Jobs:Careers in Desktop Publishing
In the Classroom: Back to School With Desktop Publishing
Make Something: Things to Make Using Desktop Publishing
Use Templates: Templates for Print and Web Publishing

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