Five lessons on book design for print and e-books

Questions to reflect on

  1. Can one get dimensions for a bookcover right, without the correct book interior design? 
  2. Is book design an annoying bump on the smooth road of publishing, or part of a writer’s journey? 
  3. Should I design and layout the interior of my books, or use ready book design templates? 
  4. I used all my $$ to pay the line editor and proof-reader, I cannot afford a book design template. 
  5. When is a book ready for print and e-book publishing? 

In the beginning 

I had picked momentum in writing Book 3 when I received a message from the proofreader for Book 1, The Choices She Must Make, that proofreads were ready. I  was to make the final payment to receive the document. Our agreement was that I paid $100 to confirm my booking, paid 50% including the booking fee for them to start, and the remaining 50% once they finished proofreading. 

TheChoicesshemustmake.jpg

The message from the proof-reader altered my focus from writing Book 3 back to book one. I needed to get the book ready for publishing as a print and e-book.

Book design and interior layout process

In the past I have tried to design and layout the interior of a book, in vain. I have since acknowledged that it is a profession on its own. So, I created more debt in my book publishing endeavours.

I purchased the Spark book templates from BookDesignTemplates.com The template is marketed as popular for the design of novels and general non-fiction, and for formatting print and e-books of different trim-sizes.

The Templates include a PDF and video with step-by-step user instructions.

It is possible to be professional with a limited budget?

I paid 30% less the regular price of the book design templates.

How? I have subscribed to receive email messages from Joel Friedlander of the Book Design Templates. In the past I have received messages on their discounted products, but never gave them much attention.

Now I needed a template to design the interior of my books. I wrote an email and asked when they would have their templates on sale. The response said they had not set any particular date, but they included a 10% discount coupon to use when I purchase any of their products.

I kept the coupon until weeks later when I saw a message that their templates were on a limited sale at 20% discount. I added my coupon and purchased the templates at 30% discount.

Once I started using the templates, I was disappointed with the amount of work I needed to do – cut and paste, define fonts, headings and sub-headings, insert chapter breaks, etc.

By the end of day one I had mastered most of the formatting steps, then did I ask myself what else I expected with universal templates. I contacted their help desk because the contents page was not updating. Their response equipped me to do better next time.

I had contacted my book cover designer when I gave the book to the proofreader. By the time I received the proofs, the artist had the e-book cover ready. I gave them the final page count of the book after I designed the interior of the book. I received the cover for the print book the next day.  

I see my book coming to live.

What is your experience in the design and layout of the interior of a book? Did you design the book from scratch, or did you use ready templates? Which of the two processes saved you time, money?

Stay tuned for details on the final stages of my book publication process.