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Frequently Asked Questions

 
 

Manuscript Formatting FAQ

General Book Formatting

While formatting my manuscript, does Inspiring Voices have any suggestions to help create a clean and professional layout?
How do I format and submit my manuscript to Inspiring Voices?
Should I include my cover in the manuscript?
How should I set up my title page within the manuscript?
What kinds of pages and information are typically included in a book?
What is the proper order for the beginning of my book, or front matter?
What is the proper order for the end of my book, or back matter?
Do I need a table of contents?
Where should credits and information regarding such items as permissions, editor names, illustrators, etc., be located in the book? 
What are the About the Book guidelines, and why are they so important?
How do I properly cite the Bible in my book?

ISBN

What is an ISBN?
Do the numbers in an ISBN have any meaning?
Will my E-book have an ISBN?
Can I use an ISBN that I previously purchased for my manuscript?
How can I obtain the ISBN for my Inspiring Voices published book?

More Detailed Book Formatting Information

What are the technical book specs for each book size Inspiring Voices offers? 
How do I merge my manuscript files into one document?
Should I use footnotes or endnotes?
What type of paper do you use to print your books?
What fonts can I use in the book?
Can I publish a book in languages other than English?
What is an index?
Do I need an index in the back of the book?
Can Inspiring Voices create an index for my book?

Images

Can I put images in my book?
How do I label and submit images so they appear properly in my book?
Can I include links to images and files in my manuscript?
Can I have color pictures in my book?
What is resolution? What does it really mean?
How do I determine the resolution of an image?
What resolution should the images be?
Can you print images "full-bleed" (images that go all the way to the edge of a page) in my book?
Can I use an image from another book or from the Internet?

General Book Formatting

While formatting my manuscript, does Inspiring Voices have any suggestions to help create a clean and professional layout?

Yes, there are a few things to keep in mind when preparing your manuscript that will greatly increase the overall professional appearance of the book.

Consistency throughout the book goes a long way to adding to the professional appearance of your book. Consistency applies to various levels including the font throughout the body, line spacing and justification, paragraph indents, spacing after a period, chapter starts, dashes and other kinds of punctuation. The line spacing, font size and style should be consistent throughout the main body of the text, although bold or italics can vary. (However, it is best not to overuse bold, italics, or underlines, which can be very distracting to the reader). To ensure that paragraph indentation is consistent, use the same spacing each time using the tab key (not by pressing the space bar, which can cause inconsistent spacing). Or, some authors prefer to have a space in between each paragraph instead of an indentation.

Bottom line, just make sure you are consistent each time. If you incorporate scene breaks in your book, use a consistent number of spaces or a glyph for each break, whether it is one or two lines, or three or four asterisks. Some authors use one space after a period, and others prefer to use two spaces. Decide what you like better and keep it consistent. The same rule applies for punctuation styles, like an em or en dash, smart quotes or straight quotes, ellipses, etc. You can use the "find/replace" function in Microsoft Word to assist you in locating and changing these details so they are consistent.

The readability of a book is extremely important since it is the means through which you will reach your audience. The main aspects that affect readability are font style, font size and line spacing. While your chapter-start titles, title pages, etc., can use more decorative and ornate fonts, the main body text should be something standard and easy to read.

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How do I format and submit my manuscript to Inspiring Voices?

For step by step instructions on how to format and submit your manuscript to Inspiring Voices, you can watch our Manuscript Submission video. 

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Should I include my cover in my manuscript?

No. The cover will be designed separately from the body of the manuscript during a different stage in the production process.

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How should I set up my title page within the manuscript?

The title page, which typically includes your book's title, subtitle (if it has one) and author/pen name, can be located in two different positions depending on your personal tastes: The very first page when you open the cover of your book, or the third page in your book (which is the second right-facing page).

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What kinds of pages and information are typically included in a book?

When you begin formatting your manuscript, there are a few basics all books should have, plus there might be items you wish to include in your book that you previously had not considered when writing the work.

First, every book should have a title page, listing the title of your book and author name. Second, every book must have a U.S. Copyright page.

Next, there are a few optional items to consider. The first optional page is a dedication page, which many writers choose to include. This is usually a simple sentence on a page by itself, such as "For my wife," or "This book is dedicated to my mother, who always believed in me." The dedication is different from an acknowledgements page, the second option, which is usually longer and lists people who you would like to thank for their input, support, or assistance while writing your book. Decide for yourself if you wish to include one or both of these pages.

A table of contents is another optional feature, which lists the chapter names and/or page numbers on which the chapter can be found. It is common in non-fiction books, but is often left out of fiction novels or shorter works because it may not be necessary.

Last, many authors choose to include an "about the author" page. If you wish to include one, a great place for it is after the main body of text in your manuscript, or one of the last pages in the book. Some authors also include a photograph of themselves along with the text.

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What is the proper order for the beginning of my book, or front matter?

The beginning of your book, or "front matter," consists of the pages of information typically found before the main body text begins. You can decide what is necessary or unnecessary to include in your book; most books do not have all of the following front matter. Here is the general order of front matter according to the Chicago Manual of Style: 1) Half title page (just the title), 2) series title, list of contributors, frontispiece or blank page, 3) Title page, 4) U.S. Copyright page, 5) Dedication page or epigraph, 6) Table of Contents, 7) List of Illustrations, 8) List of Tables, 9) Foreword, 10) Preface, 11) Acknowledgements (if not part of the preface), 12) Introduction (if not part of the text), 13) List of abbreviations or chronology.

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What is the proper order for the end of my book, or back matter?

"Back matter" consists of the pages and materials that generally fall after the main body of the text. You can decide what is necessary or unnecessary to include in your book. Here is the general order of back matter according to the Chicago Manual of Style: 1) Appendix, 2) Notes, 3) Glossary, 4) Bibliography, 5) List of Contributors, 6) Index, 7) Author biography and/or photo.

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Do I need a table of contents?

A table of contents is the listing of chapters and/or sections and the pages they begin on typically found in the front of the book. Table of contents are useful and commonly found in non-fiction books, reference books or any other lengthy book.

Accordingly, it is unnecessary for novels to have a table of contents, because the reader will not be skipping around through the chapters, or referencing back later – they will just read the book from beginning to end with a bookmark holding their place. Be cautioned that if a novel lists named chapter titles, the plot could be revealed. Therefore, if you do have a novel and want a table of contents, you may want to consider listing the chapter titles only as "chapter 1, chapter 2 …" instead of named titles.

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Where should credits and information regarding such items as permissions, editor names, illustrators, etc., be located in the book?

Where the credit is located depends on your preference, the service provider's demands and your relationship with the service provider. The most common place to find credit information is on the lower section of the U.S. Copyright page, below the publisher information. However, many people wish to give more visible credit, especially if they have a closer relationship with the service provider, such as a friend or relative, or if the individual is famous or well known.

Another factor is the degree of visibility the provider's work is in the book. For example, in a book with illustrations throughout the book on nearly every page, the illustrator credit should probably be more visible, like on the title page or cover, while if there are only four illustrations in a 200 page book, a less-visible credit on the U.S. Copyright page should be adequate.

For a cover design, you could put the credit on the front cover, back cover or copyright page. Illustrations inside the book only are typically posted on the title page or U.S. Copyright page. Editor credit can be given on the front cover, title page or U.S. Copyright page. Credits for photos throughout the book usually depend on the U.S. Copyright holder (the person who provided permission for the photos), but credit is usually given directly under the photo in a small caption, and/or on the U.S. Copyright page. Authors who had a lot of people contribute to the book and have a long list of credits can make a specific page just for credits, usually found in the front of the book (see FAQ about front matter sequence).

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What are the About the Book guidelines, and why are they so important? 

Retail websites, such as Apple’s iBooks Store, have the right to refuse to list your title on their website if your book description does not meet their requirements. You must follow the guidelines listed here in order to avoid any issues. 

Book Description Guidelines:

  1. No more than 2,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation
  2. No mention of competing websites or bookstores
  3. No reference to pricing
  4. No reference to print version add-ons (e.g., CD-ROM inside the book, etc.)
  5. Should describe the book, NOT the author or irrelevant topics
  6. Should be written in the book’s primary language (e.g., if the book is written in Spanish, then the description must be in Spanish too)
  7. Should be well edited and free of typos, spelling mistakes and grammar errors

Example of Incorrect Description:

Arnold Author is a retired professor and television writer who lived through the turbulent political drama detailed in this work of nonfiction. This is his sixth novel. Look for more titles by Author on Amazon.com starting at $9.99.

What’s Wrong in This Example 

  • Describes the author, not the book
  • Reference to pricing
  • Mention of competing website or bookstore

Example of Correct Description:

Award-winning writer Arnold Author recounts the turbulent political climate of 1960s Greentown in this gripping novel based on a true story. During this frightening period, two politically opposed individuals come together to stop an underground plot to overthrow the local government. There are two sides to every story; find out which side comes out on top in Love Liberated

We work hard to make sure your book can be made available for purchase through as many channels as possible.  If you have already published your book and wish to edit your About the Book section, simply log in to your Inspiring Voices account and click on the “Book Status” tab. Please contact your production team if you have any questions.

* Updating your book description does not guarantee that your book will be listed on any retail partner’s website.

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How do I properly cite the Bible in my book?

Knowing how to give credit where credit is due in your book can be tricky, especially when it comes to the Bible. It is very important that you understand how to properly cite the Bible because incorrect citation can be a copyright violation. Copyright violations are serious and will add more time onto your publishing process because of how they need to be fixed.

If you need more information on how copyrights work, please see the Inspiring Voices FAQ about Copyright.

Copyright Page:

Even if you only use one Bible verse in your book, the Bible you took that verse from must be credited on your copyright page. Because the Bible is a sacred text, it is not included in with other resources you may have referenced during research. Other resources are typically listed at the back of your book. Each Bible publisher has different regulations on how the copyright for their Bible is to be listed on your copyright page. For information about how your version of the Bible should be cited on your copyright page visit Bible Gateway and select the Bible version you are using.

In-Text Citation:

All of the Inspiring Voices editors use Chicago citation style, so it will work to your benefit to also use Chicago style when you are citing Bible verses within your book. Here are some specifics taken from the Chicago Manual of Style to help you properly cite Biblical references.

General Guidelines

  • Names of the books of the Bible are not italicized. 
  • Names and versions of the Hebrew and Christian bibles are capitalized but not italicized.  
  • Do not abbreviate books of the Bible in the text of your paper. It is appropriate to abbreviate books of the Bible in footnotes or endnotes.
    • Example:  2 Samuel 12 records the prophet Nathan’s confrontation of King David.
    • Example:  The identity of the author of the book of Hebrews is not certain.
     
  • Cite the Bible in footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical notes. You do not need to include the Bible in your bibliography.
  • When you are citing a particular passage of Scripture, include the abbreviated name of the book, the chapter number, and the verse number—never a page number.  Chapter and verse are separated by a colon.
    • Example:  1 Cor. 13:4, 15:12-19.
    • Example:  Gn 1:1-2, 2:1-3; Jn 1:1-14
     
  • Chicago Style includes two lists of abbreviations for books of the Bible: a traditional abbreviation list and a shorter abbreviation list. Click here to see the lists of abbreviations.  You may use either list, but be consistent throughout your book. 
  • Include the name of the version of the Bible you are citing the first time you mention it. You may either spell out the name of the version, at least in the first reference, or you may use abbreviations without preceding or internal punctuation. After the first citation you need to indicate the version only if you quote from another version. 
    • Example of parenthetical reference:
      • First reference: (Gen. 12:1-3 Revised Standard Version)
      • Second reference: (Jn 3:16-17 RSV)
       
    • Examples of footnote or endnote:
      • First reference: Ps. 139:13-16 NAB
      • Second reference: Eph 6:10-17
       
     

Information taken from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., 2003, sections 15.48 – 15.54 and 8.111 – 8.115.

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ISBN

What is an ISBN?

"ISBN" stands for "International Standard Book Number." It is a unique, 13-digit number assigned to each book published internationally. (ISBNs before January 1, 2007 were 10-digit numbers, but they switched to 13-digit numbers to allow more new ISBNs). The purpose of the ISBN is to establish and identify a title or edition of that title from a specific publisher. This allows for a more efficient mode of marketing and purchasing for retailers, libraries, universities, distributors and individual consumers.

Note: Receiving just your ISBN does not guarantee title listings. To ensure your titles get in the Books in Print database you must submit your title information to the official ISBN website.  

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Do the numbers in an ISBN have any meaning?

Yes, the numbers are specific to and identify four things: 1) Group identifier code, which groups nations and countries geographically that often share the same language, 2) Specific publisher identifier, 3) Title or specific edition of the title identifier, 4) Check number, which proves that the ISBN is authentic.

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Will my E-book have an ISBN?

Yes, it will have a unique ISBN; however, the E-book will have the same ISBN, regardless of the channel of the format it is sold in. For more information about E-books, click here.

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Can I use an ISBN that I previously purchased for my manuscript?

No. The ISBN is specific to the publisher. If you have an ISBN for your manuscript, it is still valid for the manuscript in an unpublished form; however, once the book is published through Inspiring Voices, it will need a new ISBN.

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How can I obtain the ISBN for my Inspiring Voices published book?

An ISBN is included with each Inspiring Voices publishing package. The ISBN will be inserted on the U.S. Copyright page and on the back cover of the book with the bar code. The bar code is a digital image sellers can scan to identify the ISBN. Visit www.isbn.org for more detailed information about ISBNs.

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More Detailed Book Formatting Information

What are the technical book specs for each book size Inspiring Voices offers?

Inspiring Voices titles are printed using only high-quality paper and materials. We will help guide you through our publishing process to meet the technical requirements for a published book. But if you're curious, below are the general technical requirements for each book.

Page Count:

Softcover Black and White Interior:

5" x 8" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 740 pages

6" x 9" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 740 pages

8.25" x 11" book

  • minimum page requirement: 48 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 828 pages

Hardcover Black and White Interior:

5.5" x 8.5" book

  • minimum page requirement: 108 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 750 pages

6" x 9" book

  • minimum page requirement: 108 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 740 pages

(NOTE: By upgrading to the hardcover option, your quality hardcover will be in the 5.5x8.5" or 6x9" format. The softcover version of your book must also be in the 5.5x8.5" or 6x9" format and must meet the 108 page minimum.)

Softcover Color Interior:

8.5" x 8.5" book

  • minimum page requirement: 24 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 480 pages

8.5" x 11" book

  • minimum page requirement: 24 pages
  • maximum page requirement: 480 pages

The total page count of all books must be divisible by four. Moreover, the last page of all books must be a blank, left facing page. We will add blank pages to the end of the book if necessary to meet these requirements.

Binding:

Our black and white and color books are perfect bound, which is the standard binding style for most books. The pages are cut evenly and bound into the spine, which has a flat surface upon which text may be placed if the width is sufficient.

Margins:

All books must be formatted within the margins required for the book size of your choice. We will layout your manuscript to fit the margins during the production process. But if you happen to be formatting your own book, you can adjust the page lay out on a standard Microsoft® Word 8.5" x 11" document page. The margin requirements in Microsoft® Word are as follows:

5" x 8" and 5.5" x 8.5" book

  • Page size: 5" x 8" or 5.5" x 8.5"
  • Top margin: .75"
  • Bottom margin: .75"
  • Outside left and right margin: .5"
  • Gutter: .125"
  • Header/Footer: .5"

6" x 9" and 7.5" x 9.25" book

  • Page size: 6" x 9" or 7.5" x 9.25"
  • Top margin: .75"
  • Bottom margin: .75"
  • Outside left and right margin: .5"
  • Gutter: .125"
  • Header/Footer: .5"

8.25" x 11" book

  • Page size: 8.25" x 11"
  • Top margin: .75"
  • Bottom margin: .75"
  • Outside left and right margin: .5"
  • Gutter: .125"
  • Header/Footer: .5

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How do I merge my manuscript files into one document?

For more detailed information on how to merge your manuscript files, click here to watch a step by step video.

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Should I use footnotes or endnotes?

We suggest using endnotes if you are setting up the formatting yourself, because they are much simpler to set up and keep consistent. Endnotes are placed at the end of chapters or at the end of the book. Footnotes are placed at the bottom of the page of the reference and can cause a lot of hassle later on after your manuscript is transferred into the book size template.

Although footnotes might appear correct in your version of the manuscript, they will shift after your manuscript is put into our template because the margins will change. The result is a reference number in the text may move and no longer be associated with the proper footnote at the bottom of the page.

There is nothing wrong with using footnotes, but be aware of the extra work involved. If you choose to use footnotes at the bottom of a page, you will need to review the referenced notes as changes are made to make sure the footnote has stayed on the same page as the reference number after the manuscript is upload and transferred into the new book size, or if you make substantial changes to the text. This, many times, will require that you review every footnote on every page. If you only have a few footnotes, it will not be a large task, but if you have many, you may want to consider endnotes instead.

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What type of paper do you use to print your books?

We source our book printing from a wide variety of book printers worldwide. We seek to print and ship as locally as possible to help minimize the timelines for receiving books while minimizing the shipping cost for your readers. Some of our paper specifications may vary based on the printing partner assigned to print your order. For Black and White books, our paper weight ranges from 50 to 55 lb. For Color books, our paper weight ranges from 60 to 70 lb. Cover stock used is typically 10 pt C1S.

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What fonts can I use in the book?

We have access to thousands of font and will find the one that works best for your book. 

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Can I publish my book in a language other than English?

Yes, you can publish your book in English or Spanish.

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What is an index?

An index is most commonly found in reference books or a detailed non-fiction book that would benefit from a detailed list of topics and subjects. An index is not the same as a table of contents, which lists only chapter and sections starts. An index is found in the back of the book and can include any word, topic or term that you wish along with the page number on which it is found.

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Do I need an index in the back of the book?

If your book is a complex reference, historical or educational book then an index might be beneficial. A standard novel or memoir does not typically need an index. When considering an index, be aware that they can be very time consuming and difficult to construct and update. If something changes in the manuscript, the index must be updated each time to insure the page numbers are still correct. If indexes are set up correctly, this updating process is simple and automatic. However, creating a "manual" index, or physically typing out the index cannot be updated automatically and is not recommended.

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Can Inspiring Voices create an index for my book?

Yes, we can create a custom index for your book for an additional fee.

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Images

Can I put images in my book?

Yes, you can place images in your book. We suggest using a high resolution image of 300 dpi (dots per inch) or higher at the size you would like for it to appear in the book. (We cannot accept a book with any images less than 150 dpi.) It is in your best interests to use high resolution images in your book in order to achieve a professional appearance.

Also, make sure that you have the permission to use the image if you personally did not take the picture or create the image. See our FAQ about U.S. Copyright and permissions for more details. If you do not have permission to use an image, you should not place it in the book.

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How do I label and submit images so they appear properly in my book?

Our book designers will place the images for you in your book. We request that authors do not submit images embedded in their manuscripts because the text of your book and the images will be imported into the design program separately. Embedded images are automatically reduced in size and resolution and must be extracted and resized before they can be replaced separately back into your book. Image extraction incurs a fee for you and will lengthen the completion time for your book.

Therefore, we request that our authors submit each image in a separate, individual file by e-mail in a JPEG, TIFF or PDF format with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher. If your files are too large or you have too many, you are encouraged to send them on a CD or flash drive. Submitting original hard copy photographs or illustrations is not encouraged, unless it is an absolute last resort. Due to the high volume of materials we receive and process in our headquarters, we cannot assume responsiblity for lost or damaged physical materials.

In order for our book designers to know which image is which, you must use a labeling system that is clear and signifies the order and placement of images within your book. For example, the first image to appear in your book should be labeled "01.jpg" "01.PDF" or A.tiff"; the second image in your book should be labeled "02.jpg" "02.PDF" or "B.tiff", and so on. Following this method ensures your images are placed by the book designer in the order you want them to appear and you can easily refer to each image by its label.

Placeholders are used instead of embedded images to signal where each image should be placed within your manuscript. When writing your manuscript, simply include a placeholder like [PLACE IMAGE HERE filename.jpg] in red font so your book designer can easily identify and know to replace that text with the image you submitted separately following the instructions above. If you would like to include a caption or other instuctions for your image, type them in within your image placeholder. Example: [PLACE IMAGE HERE 08.jpg CAPTION: Our wedding day, July 28, 2007.]

Watch a video about how to properly format and submit your images.

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Can I include links to images and files in my manuscript?

No, you cannot include linked images in your manuscript.

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Can I have color pictures in my book?

We currently only offer color pictures in our Color publishing packages. These are excellent packages for cookbooks, photography books, children's books, etc. Unfortunately at this time we do not offer color pictures inside books printed with our other packages. You can submit a color photo with your manuscript, but be aware it will be printed in grayscale within your book.

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Can you print images "full-bleed" (images that go all the way to the edge of a page) in my book?

We can only print images full-bleed in books printed with our Color publishing Packages. Unfortunately, at this time we cannot print images full-bleed in books printed with other packages. This is because all text and images must fit within the margins of your selected book size.

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What is resolution? What does it really mean?

The resolution basically means the clarity and crispness of an image, which is measured in points or pixels per metric unit (inch, centimeter, etc.) Pixels are units of a single color and value that make up an image. The more pixels or dots in a set area, the smaller the dots are, the finer the detail and the higher the resolution. You can see an example of pixel resolution on Wikipedia.
If the resolution is low, that means there are fewer pixels per inch, which means each pixel is larger. When the resolution is very low, you can actually see the blocky pixels - that's where the term "pixilated" originates.

A pixel's size is dependent on the size of the image and in relation to the density of pixels. Consider this scenario: two images of the exact same size are divided into squares. Each square can only represent one color and value and together they will be used to display the image. The first image is divided into 300 squares, and the second into 150 squares. As a result, the 300 squares in the first image are smaller than the 150 squares in the second image. Comparing this to resolution, the first image has a higher resolution than the second image because it has a greater number of smaller pixels.

But, resolution is not set. It changes when the image size changes. Imagine taking the first, high resolution image and enlarging the entire image to twice its original size. The number of squares, or pixels, remains the same (300), but the pixels themselves become larger to fill the larger area. It terms of resolution, this new larger format has lowered the resolution of the image. So what this means to you is that a high resolution image at one size can become a low resolution image at a larger size. Make sure that your images are high resolution at the size you want them to appear in your book.

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How do I determine the resolution of an image?

There are a variety of ways to determine an image's resolution and size. The best and most accurate way to check is by using an image viewing program. The steps to determine and adjust the resolution and size vary from program to program. For instance, in Adobe Photoshop, you can open an image in the program, then click on the "Image" dropdown menu, and select "Image size." When using Microsoft Office Picture Manager, you can look under "file" then "properties," or you can right-click the image and open "properties". You can typically use the "help" function within a program to learn how to check the resolution and size of an image.

Another basic measure is the overall file size of your image. Not the physical size of the picture, but the size of the actual file. If your picture is around 500 KB or more, then your image is most likely high resolution. 1 MB or higher is preferred. But if the file is small, 10, 50 or 100 KB, then the resolution is most likely too low.

If you're still not sure, try printing your image on paper. If it looks fuzzy or grainy, then it's probably low resolution.
If you really want to use an image and you're not sure about the resolution, you can always add it to your book.

What resolution should the images be?

We suggest using a high resolution image of 300 dpi (dots per inch) or higher at the size you want it to appear in the book. Any image less than 300 dpi will not look as clear as it could, but it can still be included in your book as long as the resolution is no less than 150. Depending on the degree of quality, an image less than 300 dpi will look grainy or blocky when printed, instead of crisp and clear. So, it's in your best interest to use high resolution images in your book in order to achieve a professional appearance.

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Can I use an image from another book or from the Internet?

Most images from the Internet, another book, magazine or newspaper are U.S. Copyright protected. You are required to get permission from the U.S. Copyright owner to use the image in your book. If you have permission to use the image from a book or the Internet, then yes, you can use it in your book. For more detailed information about U.S. Copyright protection and obtaining permission for images, see our FAQ section about U.S. Copyright laws.


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