How Important is Theme?

Is theme important or are we just looking to be entertained?

There are two philosophies about reading and writing when it comes to theme.  Some feel that the point of reading is to be entertained.  Others believe the purpose of writing is to move the reader and, if there is no theme to a story, then it is a waste of time.  


There is something to be said for the writer whose only wish is to entertain.   A good time can be found anywhere.  Movies, television, and Internet memes are all over our devices.  People will buy any type of crime, fantasy, science-fiction, mystery, thriller, horror, and romance series you can come up with, so why not cash in?  It isn’t noise, it’s a living.


Theme is the controlling idea behind a story.  It is more than simply the main idea or the lesson to be learned, theme is the part of a story that makes you feel or moves you emotionally.  The consideration of theme is what separates fiction from literature.  


The main point I would like to raise in this discussion is about who the reader is for a particular work.  Deciding that is the first step any writer needs to make before putting a single word on paper (or processor). Since the weight of theme is based on preference, an educated reader should know the type of book they pick up before they read it and a savvy writer should figure out if their reader is interested in Mario Puzo or Michael Bay.  

Use Adobe InDesign CS6 to Format Your Book Interior

The Price of Self-Publishing

There are many skills an author simply doesn’t have.  I am not a graphic artist, so I pay for book cover design.  I cannot objectively review my own work, so I pay for an editor and abuse my friendships.

When it came to designing my paperback book interior for Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan, however, I found that Adobe InDesign for CS6 was easy to figure out.  There was a time in which I thought that my word processing software had the capabilities to format a book interior.  I was wrong in the way all amateurs and novices are with their first book.

The typical price for a professional to do your book interior ranges from $379-$700, depending on where you look.  The advantages are that you don’t have to do much aside from answer a few questions about the overall theme of the book.  They’ll churn it out and have it back for you in a couple of days.  There are many advantages to this and, if you have the money, I suggest that you pay.


Adobe InDesign for CS6 costs between $350-$400.  It is easy to learn and is cost-effective if you plan on publishing several titles before you expect to make any money.  This is doubly true for me, since 98% of my book sales are digital, not print.  The only reason I want a paperback book is as a business card for future work.

Book Sample

Here is a two-chapter sample of the book as it is now:  Captain James Hook and the Curse of Peter Pan – Sample Formatted.  It includes the front matter, two chapters, an about the authors page, and a call to action.  There are some notable oddities to it when you look at it as a .pdf, though.  For example, blank pages are inserted for spacing so that the writing starts on the appropriately-numbered page.

Get Help

Here are some great sites that tell you how to use Adobe InDesign to create your book interior.  These are the resources that I use after a week of hunting and pecking for the best advice. InDesign Tutorial: Designing the inside pages of a book , Book Layout in InDesign How to Layout a Book in InDesignBook Interior File Formatting.