One of the most intimidating steps of self-publishing is designing the book that you’ve worked so long and hard to write. Some authors think about the way their finished product might look long before their book is finished, while others will not think about it until it becomes absolutely necessary. Whatever your starting point, this article will give you the resources necessary to get your book noticed, bought, and read.
Book design includes not only the graphic design of the front and back cover, but also the layout and typographic design of every page within your book. So it is the responsibility of your book designer (or you, if you choose to design your book yourself) to ensure that the details of your book lead your future readers to your book, give off a professional impression, and don’t your interrupt readers from enjoying your masterpiece.
To ensure that your book will conform to the industry standards of professional book design, take a look at the articles I have linked below.
How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design?
17 Things Self-Publishers Need to Know about Book Design
Why Self-Published Books Look Self-Published
Self-Publishing Bang for the Buck
The Truth About Word Processors
Book Design Case Study: Two Contemporary Novels
Working with Cover and Interior Designers
5 Book Binding Styles Illustrated
Book Design Quick Tips for Self-Publishers
Self-Publishing Basics: How to Pick the Size of Your Book
Book Cover Design
Seeing your book’s cover is often the first and only chance your audience has of finding and reading your book. So while it is clearly very important for a book’s cover to be striking, it is even more important that the title of your book is legible and the cover’s design conveys to the reader the genre and tone of the book.
Authors who design their own covers often run into trouble because their close connection to their books lead to covers that confuse readers rather than invite them. For this reason, many authors wisely choose to hire a professional book cover designer for their valuable industry experience, their artistic talent, or just to avoid the headache of learning how to design book covers themselves.
Check out the articles I have linked to below to learn:
- the purpose of the book cover
- what information is necessary to include on your book’s cover
- how to ensure that your book will stand up against its professionally-designed competition
Book Cover Design, Fiction and Nonfiction: What’s the Offer?
Book Cover Success and Failure Explained
5 Keys to Book Cover Success
Book Cover Design Behind The Scenes
7 Secrets to Writing Persuasive Back-Cover Sales Copy
Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism
5 Great Fonts for Book Covers
Self-Publishing Basics: Why You Need A Category on the Back Cover of Your Book
Although the cover of your book guide your readers to buy your book, the interior design will make them decide whether they will actually read it. The worst thing your book’s interior design can do is distract your readers from reading your work. It is therefore incredibly important to follow the professional conventions of book design that your readers will expect, rather than choosing fonts and typographic design that may be distracting.
I have linked a variety of articles that will outline the principles of interior design and help you avoid the mistakes that many self-publishing authors make when designing their own books.
The Architecture of the Book Page
Self-Publishing Basics: Book Chapters and Subheads
Book Design: Choosing Your Paragraphing Style
Self-Publishing Basics: Book Pagination For Fun and Profit
How To Design Running Heads for Your Book
Understanding Book Layouts and Page Margins
Prepping Files for Book Layout: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
Self-Publishing Basics: 5 Layout Mistakes that Make You Look Unprofessional
4 Top Book Formatting Mistakes to Avoid
In addition to the pages that have the body text of your book on them, books require certain other pages for readers to gain important information, and to protect your book from copyright infringement. These pages include:
- the book’s interior title page
- copyright page
- dedication page
- table of contents
all of which have specific design rules of their own.
Self-Publishing Basics: An Unabridged List of the Parts of a Book
Self-Publishing Basics: How to Organize Your Book’s Front Matter
Book Title Pages: 500 Years of Inspiration
Self-Publishing Basics: The Copyright Page
Hanging in the Back Matter: Indents are the Rule
How to Create an Index for Your Book in Adobe InDesign
In our digitally-focused world, many readers find themselves doing the majority of their reading through electronic devices. Although most of the conventions of print book design still ring true for designing ebooks, some of the rules become unnecessary while others could be dangerously distracting for your readers. If you expect the majority of your readers to be reading the ebook version of your manuscript, it may be worth your while to design your book with those readers in mind.
I have compiled a list of resources for ebook design that will ensure that your masterpiece will be discovered and read in this futuristic, electronic world.
Putting it All Together
If you have read through this guide, I am sure you are now aware of the huge amount of work that goes into designing a book. Have no fear, though, as you have now been equipped with the resources required to design a beautiful, professional-looking book. If you are looking for some more inspiration for good book design (or even examples of bad book design) you may enjoy looking through our book design tag.
However, if you have decided that you would rather outsource some or all of these tasks, TheBookDesigner.com has a variety of resources available for you as well. For instance, we offer pre-made book templates that are appropriate for a variety of genres and include hand-picked classic fonts that will suit the tone of your book without being intrusive. Also, over on TheBookMakers.com, we provide professional cover and interior book design services.
For now, we are off to the next step in our introductory guide to self-publishing: Author Blogging.