After writing (ghostwriting) and copy editing comes the next step in the book publishing process: professional graphic design. This is a critical part of the process, and it is as important to an ebook as it is to a paperback or hardcover.
Not All Designs are Equal
No matter how engaging your story might be, people are going to “judge your book by its cover” before they ever decide to read it. Yet, it won’t stop there. They’ll not only judge it by the cover design; they’ll also judge it by the interior design. Just as not all editors are equal, a noticeable difference is apparent between a book designed by a human or mechanical “template builder” and one designed by a professional graphic artist. As such, the graphic design of your book—both inside and out—should receive the same professional attention as the content itself.
When deciding how you would like your book’s cover and interior to appear, it is best to browse a bookstore (whether in person or online) and view the many different examples there first. What designs, colours, and fonts draw your attention the most? Write down the book titles and author names, so you can use this as a handy reference when it comes time to provide a description to your graphic designer. This will help the process run much more smoothly for both of you.
Put Some Thought Into It
It is very important to put a lot of thought into the design of your book rather than just leaving it to chance. Graphic designers can only take what is given to them and create the book from there. It’s downright dangerous to give someone a simple instruction such as “You choose the font for me” or “You choose the colour for me” because that’s exactly what the designer will do—choose it for you depending on his or her own personal preferences. What if that designer didn’t fully understand what you were after? What if you end up not liking it at all because of that? As a result, you might end up paying extra for a complete redo down the road. So, it’s best to do your homework ahead of time and provide as much detail to the designer as possible.
Author Photos Say It All
Author photos make as powerful a statement about the author as a book cover makes about the story inside. As such, this photo should be given as much care and consideration as the rest of the book. When it comes to author photos, “attractive” can come in all kinds of forms.
The back cover of a book is a great place to put an author photo, but sometimes it’s just as well to put it on the front. It can be a simple headshot or full-length portrait, depending on the writer’s preference. It can be done in black and white or color.
Visit the section of your local bookstore or favorite e-commerce site where your book will sell. Browse the covers and authors photos in there. Which one jumps out at you most? That’s your starting point. Run with it.
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