Self-Publishing Starters

Begin Printing Your Book.

The hardest part of printing your book (after the writing, of course) is knowing where to start.

In our 40 years of creating books, we’ve learned everything there is to know about printing. And we love to share what we’ve learned with our first-time and self-publishing customers. We’re here to answer your questions and help you get started realizing your dream of self-publishing your book. Check out our self-publishing starters tips below.

Designing your cover:

We are often asked if it’s really best to have a professional designer work on your cover. The answer is an overwhelming “yes.” A strong cover can help you sell more books.

Whether it’s our own in-house design team or outside designers we trust, McNaughton & Gunn can help you find the perfect designer for your project.

If you have design skills and are planning on tackling the cover yourself, we recommend using a book layout program such as Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress.

Laying out your book:

We recommend checking out the following PDFs for detailed instructions on how to lay out your book design.

Perfect Bound with Flaps Layout
Perfect Bound Cover Layout
Perfect Bound/Sew Wrap Dust Jacket Layout
Lithocase Cover Layout
Designers Bleed & Margin Sample
Casebound Dust Jacket Layout

Getting your ISBN:

Before your book goes to print, you’ll need to obtain an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This 13-digit number is used worldwide to identify books. A different ISBN is issued for each edition and each binding.

Self-publishers frequently ask us: “Does my eBook need a different ISBN from my printed book?”

The answer is yes!

Click here to find out more about ISBN.


You’ll want to visit the Library of Congress web site to learn about cataloging numbers and copyrights for your new book. It’s a great resource for publishers as well as the general public.