I’ve recently gone through the book cover design process for my new novel, and it has made me more aware than ever of just how much information the cover has to communicate in a very short time. Although this is my second novel, it’s my first as an indie author, so it was the first chance I’d had to see the process the whole way through.
Even before you are ready to publish your book, you have likely thought about how you want your front cover to look. However, before you can decide on the right book cover design you should have a complete and polished manuscript in front of you. Whether you design the cover and select a binding type yourself or work with a professional, you might want to become familiar with industry standards and guidelines, and take advantage of free tips offered by the experts. After all, the ultimate goal is to get your book into the hands of receptive readers who will be watching and waiting for your next book!
Your interior book design is critical when it comes to making your book presentable and, even more important, readable. Some of the most common mistakes authors and publishers make when it comes to interior book design include omitting hyphens, incorrect margin size, imperfect justification, and allowing widow/orphan lines of text. Designing a book's interior might not seem like as much fun as choosing a book cover design, but it can be if you approach it in steps and follow a few practical guidelines.
It’s nice to think that the most well-written books are the most popular, but we all know that has never been true. And self-publishing has changed the game further; currently, over one million books are being published every year. With that many books available, readers are never going to find your masterpiece unless you find a way to break through the clutter, get people’s attention, and convince them to crack open your book and start reading.
Authors unfamiliar with the book publishing industry can sometimes stumble on the path to publication by not understanding the definitions and roles of people in editing, production, distribution, and sales. By having clarity on the function and purpose of service companies and freelancers, authors can be smarter about hiring the right help.
As an author, your book is your baby. Just like a real child, you spend years putting work into it, crafting it into all it can be, and then you’re ready to send it out into the world. But as with your child, you wouldn’t send them out in just any old outfit. You’d send them out dressed for success.
“Interior bleed” probably sounds like what happens on your favorite medical program when someone has an internal injury, however, bleeding is not something that only concerns the medical profession. Interior bleed gives your book a much more professional look and increases overall sales, and you can set it up yourself.
The decision to ask a professional book designer to typeset your book versus typesetting it yourself is driven largely by a limited budget. However, once you realize the astonishing number of details designers must attend to in book layout, you may conclude that it’s best to spend your time marketing your professionally designed book rather than attempting to become a book designer yourself.
Design 101 is a book in its own right, not a blog, but to encapsulate its importance in one paragraph...
by Porter Anderson (@Porter_Anderson), The Hot Sheet
One of the things we like to remind authors at The Hot Sheet is that self-publishing does not always mean doing it yourself. And—next to genuinely professional editing—cover design can be one of the hardest things for an author to tackle. Not your fault! You’re the writer, you’re not supposed to be a commercial graphic artist.