“Hands down this is the quickest typesetting in history!”

James Macfarlane

November 2, 2021




Written By
James Macfarlane

James is at the leading edge of software innovation for three decades in Workflow Automation to the Publishing Industry

Global Book Publishing is one of the pandemic’s success stories with book revenues up for all the global publishers with Penguin Random House returning some stellar number in the first six months of 2021 with Publishers Weekly reporting earnings before tax increasing a whopping 55%, producing a 18% margin for the largest global book publisher.

With majority of editorial and publishing Teams continuing to work from home on both sides of the Atlantic. Many publishing businesses are looking to publishing automation to maintain those margins in improved editorial and production workflows.

Easypress has built Atomik ePublisher an end-to-end editorial and production platform to support book publishers in returning the very best performance from their production workflow.

Easypress has been working for three years with Rebecca Souster the COO at LUME Books a SME fiction and non-fiction publisher in London. LUME Books are publishing 50 new-front list titles and 100 back-list POD titles per annum. Their six months sales for 2021 are significantly up on previous years reflecting the trend in the broader publishing market.

LUME Book's team is small and highly focussed. Having a reliable publishing partner who can quickly turn-around book titles with reliable accurately at a very competitive cost is a key driver to LUME Book's recent success.

For their POD titles Easypress receives manuscripts in blocks of 10 to 15 monthly. These POD titles are complete from the manuscript supplied in an MS WORD format of unknown styling.

Easypress has worked with Rebecca Souster and her Team to have pre-created styling in an InDesign template to quickly turnaround each title. This is something Easypress does on LUME Book's behalf. The average pages per POD Title is 284 and the titles don’t have any images, page furniture, graphs, footnotes, or endnotes.

There are three POD InDesign templates and three different fonts which can be selected for each title depending on whether the title is fiction, or non-fiction and the book’s extent.

The Easypress Process

The Easypress publishing process starts with using Atomik eStylist to style the manuscript. Consistent and accurate styling is an important first stage. The best books are very consistently styled, this aid with readability and accessibility and for many publishers their imprints nearly always have a consistent and often recognizable style. Think of the Wiley’s Dummies Series, or Penguin Classics.

Style scan be created to differentiate headings, paragraphs, prose, letters, verse, and more to aid the reader in navigating your story. Atomik eStylist has built into the software a rules engine to manage the hierarchy of how styles flow through the book and a regular basis. The Atomik eStylist software ensures every element in the MS Word manuscript is fully styled to the publishers required styles.

Once the manuscript is styled the MS Word document is ingested into an Adobe InDesign template and the first proof of the book is laid out. There can be as many InDesign Templates as the publisher requires to satisfy every type of Design layout for the imprint.

Easypress’ Atomik ePublisher software then guides the user through a second stage which auto-sets the book layout to a series of typesetting rules which are configurable to the publisher’s needs.

Typesetting issues such as removing Widows and Organs, altering word and character tracking and setting the correct number of sentences at the end of each chapter is automatically applied to provide a clean typeset page for each chapter throughout the book.

User reporting informs the process at each stage in the layout.

Easy to Use
Rebecca Souster from LUMM Books recently forward the next block of 14 manuscripts and the first one was used as an advanced training test for one of our new members of staff.

In a timed live trial, our recent trainee processed a manuscript Herself Surprised, by Joyce Cary. The extent of the book was 254 pages. The manuscript was complete requiring no further corrections just preparing and typesetting to a print-ready format suitable to be printed as a Print on Demand (POD) PDF.

Firstly, Atomik eStylist was used to prepare and style the manuscript on a laptop. The complete styling of the manuscript was completed in just 11 minutes.

Secondly, the styled manuscript was uploaded into a selected Adobe InDesign template in Atomik ePublisher and laid out, this took 4 minutes. This yielded and extent of254 pages for the book.

The POD typesetting option was chosen and Atomik ePublisher autoset the 254 pages removing widows, orphans, loosening tight-lines and ensuring that an end-of-chapter extent of four sentence per chapter was met. Auto-setting the entire book took 12 minutes.

A report was generated that highlighted several warnings, one widow could not be resolved and two instances of word stacking in the text. The operate was guided to each the pages where the issues were highlighted, and the operator adjusted the tracking to resolve each of those issues in Adobe InDesign. The minor adjustments took 41 minutes.

The finished print ready PDF was then returned to Rebecca Souster at LUMM Books 68 minutes later.

As Rebecca Souster exclaimed “Hands down this is the quickest typesetting in history!”


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