Book cover design for Indie Publishing Authors
This step-by-step guide explains what your book cover design includes, how we'll be working together and what you can expect in each stage of your book cover design and production.
Your book cover will receive as much careful attention as it needs to become the best it can be. I'll make sure you're completely happy with your book cover before it goes to press. That's a promise.
Step 1: Free initial consultation
Call or email me to discuss your book cover ideas and to get to know each other a bit before deciding whether to work together. There is no obligation.
Step 2: I'll give you a firm quote
We'll discuss the "look" you want for your cover and how it can be achieved cost-effectively. Then I'll provide you with a firm quote.
Step 3: Getting started
When you're ready, just fax me your signed quote. You can mail a check for your 50% deposit or, if you prefer, pay by any major credit/debit card via PayPal on the Internet. We'll also sign a simple contract stating that I agree to do the work, you agree to pay for the work, and we both agree that you'll own the copyright to your book cover design. Send me any photos, artwork or rough sketches you may already have for your book cover.
Step 4: Your first rough cover designs
Within a week you'll receive your first rough designs by email. Initially we'll be concentrating on the front cover only, and looking for an interesting direction to follow. We'll play with ideas, test out different images, and experiment with typefaces and colors. Once we get excited about an idea, we'll start to focus in that direction.
Step 5: Choosing your images
If you haven't provided a photo or artwork for your book cover, you'll still see photos and artwork in your rough designs. These are comps (free tryouts we can use to develop ideas). Sometimes I find lots of choices on the Internet, and can email you a light box (imagine looking at slides on a light table), so we can weigh the pros and cons of different images. Or an illustrator or photographer can create the images used on your final book cover specifically for you. We'll also experiment with images you may already have for the interior of your book.
Step 6: Fine-tuning your cover design
As you focus on what you like and don't like about your cover designs, your book cover will evolve and become more polished. I'll create a back cover and spine as an extension of your front cover, then add your back cover text and bar code.
Step 7: Communicating with your printer
I'll contact your printer early in the design process for technical specifications. Your book cover will be designed in Photoshop and/or InDesign, and you can leave all the details to me.
Step 8: Finishing your book cover
I'll go over each element in your final book cover design carefully to double-check everything is perfect. Then I'll send you a color proof, trimmed and folded. You'll see exactly what your book will look like when it's published, and be completely confident that it's perfect before going to press.
Step 9: Going to press
I'll package your digital files, upload them to your printer, and make sure your printing is trouble-free. I'll also send you, your digital files for safekeeping.
Step 10: You're a published author
Congratulations, you're a published author. You'll soon receive the first copies of your published book. When you do, please send me a copy for my records—preferably a signed copy!
Book Interior design for Self-Publishing Authors
A successful design matches the book’s subject matter and tone, appeals to the intended readers, and fits within the publisher’s budget and production constraints.
Traditionally, design and typesetting are separate steps: the designer creates the design and the typesetter implements it. (Typesetting, also called page composition or page layout, is setting the book’s text into a form suitable for final production, whether for print or e-book.)
The designer selects the typeface, its size, and the leading; decides how to indicate section breaks and the various levels of headings and how to treat illustrations; designs the most appropriate format for tables and figures; and more.
The typesetter, or compositor, takes the designer’s specifications, applies them to the manuscript, and reviews each page for poor hyphenation, large gaps between words, and other issues that affect the page’s beauty and readability.
During typesetting, any illustrations, photographs, or other artwork will also need to be prepared and placed at the appropriate spot in the book.
I combine design, typesetting, and image preparation into one process. My primary tools are Adobe InDesign to lay out books and Adobe Photoshop to edit images.
Manuscript PreparationThe manuscript must be prepared before it is imported into the layout software. Headings, block quotations, and all other text have to be marked with the correct style. (The formatting is irrelevant; the style name is what matters. All styles will be fine-tuned after the manuscript is placed, or imported, into the page layout software.) Extra spaces and carriage returns, unneeded tabs, and manual page breaks all have to be removed.
Although this cleanup is best handled when the manuscript is being copyedited, when I’m doing the layout I prepare the manuscript as needed.
WHAT YOUR BOOK
COVER DESIGN INCLUDES
Your book cover design includes prompt personal attention, together with the following: