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  • Writer's pictureEricka McIntyre

Why Professional Book Design Matters

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

Hello dear readers! It's Wednesday, so that means I'm over on my YouTube channel, talking about books! This week, I'm explaining why you absolutely cannot skimp on good book design when you self-publish.

As I wrote a couple of months ago in my blog for Gotham Ghostwriters, "7 Steps you Can't Skip When Publishing a Book":

"Your book’s interior design should make it easy to read, and look professional. Your book’s cover design is critical. It has to convey what your book is about and draw readers in, and it generally only has seconds on an Amazon page or in a bookstore to do so.

A good book designer will produce a cover and interior that will show your content to its best advantage. You may be tempted to save some dough and throw it into a layout program yourself, throw some type on a stock image and call it a cover, and throw it up onto Amazon. If you do this, you may as well make one last throw of it—into the trash. If it looks cheaply or unprofessionally done, you won’t get it into bookstores, and Amazon shoppers are increasingly more savvy about buying self-published books. Done right, a self-published book is indiscernible from a traditionally published one—this is worth the investment in your work."

And there you have it. You simply cannot skimp on this part as a self-publisher.

But let's look at that word for a second, shall we? "Self-publisher"—In a traditional publishing house, the "publisher" is the one overseeing the entire operation—a team of people who acquire books, edit, design, and sell those books—they don't do all of these functions themselves. It is very unlikely that you, as self-publisher, can successfully perform all the functions, either. Yes, you wrote the book, but you will need help with its production and sale. This is where your best friends, freelancers, come in.

Some good places to find freelance design help (bookmark these!):

SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators)

As usual, if you have questions about this, email me, Tweet me, or leave me a comment on YouTube!

Happy reading, keep writing, and stay tuned!



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