Three Takeaways from Creating a Book in Pages

I recently recreated a book I had coauthored nearly 7 years ago in Pages. It's published here. Here are three takeaways from my redesign experience.

1. Use the templates with 3-4 modifications

Template picker in Pages
There are so many great templates available in Pages, and someone with much better design sensibilities than me helped to put them there. The layouts, fonts, colors, and relative sizes are all intentionally designed to look good together. That being said, it also feels important to own the feel of the book so I think changing 3-4 things in the chosen template has worked for me. I changed the color of the cover, the font color of one of the heading styles, and the color of the 'Drop Cap' text.

2. Add content first, then work on the design

Format menu on side bar for setting styles
I find it easy to go down a rabbit hole of page flow, image positioning, and text structures. At first I was adding text chapter by chapter to the Pages file, but I found myself spending time working on some design elements, only to change my mind after adding the next chapter's content. Eventually, I just focused on getting all of the content into the file and then started to separate the chapters, add headers, and position the images. This approach was much more efficient and effective for me.

3. Be consistent with visual elements

Example of callout box style used throughout this work
The three main visual elements I used in this book were the chapter heading images, inset images, and callout text boxes. I was trying different, varying styles for the inset images and callout boxes but then found that things were looking too chaotic. So instead I decided on three things: 1) chapter heading images would be full bleed (i.e. no edges visible). 2) inset images would have a light picture frame border and be about the same size as text, and always in between paragraphs. 3) call out boxes would be a little narrower than the main text body, and they would also have a a picture frame border (one that looks like a recessed image).

So those are my three takeaways. I hope you find them helpful!

4 replies

August 27, 2022

These are great suggestions especially the idea of just getting those ideas on paper.

August 27, 2022

Super design suggestions and ways to keep Pages book authoring simple and effective! Thanks for the tips!

July 14, 2023

These are very helpful! I will be embarking on my first pages-to-book adventure and appreciate the tips!

July 16, 2023

I was part of the team for our Apple Distinguished School application in 2019 and renewal in 2022... These tips are spot-on!

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