InDesign For Self-Publishing

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magazine layout
Magazine Layout Example from Indesign

Writers and publishers interested in creating magazines, interactive content and books should think about using Adobe InDesign CS6.

With each new release the software incorporates more functionality and interactivity for mobile devices. Magazine publishers including WIRED and Martha Stewart have embraced InDesign and are using the program to create magazines for the iPad and Android devices. The creative editor of WIRED, Scott Dadich in a recent YouTube promotion explained how the interactive features of InDesign were incorporated to produce an impressive viewer driven experience on the iPad. The interview is worth watching not only for his comments on the future of publishing  but also as inspiration on using InDesign. To watch the interview go to http://www.youtube.com

Basically the program comes with a set of templates for various documents whether it is magazine, newspaper, text book, flyer, brochure, business cards or interactive pdfs so you don’t have to learn about grid structures and layout. However, to personalise your work I’d suggest researching designs that are appealing and simulate them.

I started to use InDesign in preference to uploading eLearning content to the web because it can be exported as a PDF. I can create steady paced eLearning material by incorporating video and audio as well as structuring my content in either textbook or magazine formats for visual stimulation.

I use Adobe Acrobat to link to PDFs or convert webpages off the internet into a PDF document. I encourage educators to use Acrobat to convert web pages rather than rely on internet access in the classroom as this can be problematic when the internet is slow or drops out. By creating a compact textbook with linking pdfs resolves potential technical issues and ensures all students can access material at the same time. Educators can also use InDesign to collate and record their lessons to upload for students who are absent, want refresher lessons or are completing online courses.

Publishers are looking to InDesign for their magazines and incorporating new features like the inclusion of the pan and zoom tools and 360 degree views whereby users can turn objects around and magnify them.  For further information they might play the video link or listen to the audio that accompanies the image.

Self publishers can export their books straight from InDesign to Epub, Mobi or as PDFs. Content can be reformatted to suit the different publication requirements of Amazon, Apple and ebook distributors.

Whilst InDesign can appear to be a steep learning curve for those unfamiliar with publishing software, it does not take long to grasp the  basics. There are plenty of tutorials available on the web including Adobe TV and Lynda.com that provide excellent instruction.

There has never been more opportunity to self-publish and I recommend starting on this multi functional piece of software at the earliest opportunity.

Related Post:
Tips To Demystify InDesign

Sue Bell

Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

7 thoughts on “InDesign For Self-Publishing

  • September 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm
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    Wow……more to you than meets the eye. How are things in Tassie? Lots to do on the AEL trail. 🙂

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    • September 26, 2012 at 5:32 pm
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      Thanks Gary,
      More than meets the eye hey – now what would quantum physics make of that?

      Reply
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