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 Mango Tree Media's Book Design Process for the Self Published Writer

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A Guide to the Book Design Process for the Self Published Writer

Planning and implementing a book cover and layout design is a complex process but if it is done well, it can be the diffrence between success and failure in the marketplace.

The following is a basic step by step guide to the book design process for the self published Writer.

Please download the guide here for more information on approximate timeline management and checklist.

The Basic Steps to Design Success For Your Self Published Book.

So you have poured your heart and soul into writing an amazing book and now you’re ready to get it made into something that looks professional and stands out on the bookshelf. Great! The best way to do this, is to find an artistic designer that understands book publishing. Here are the basic steps toward book design success!

1. Prepare and Organise.

As in most complex tasks in life, the more organised you can be with your book design, the smoother the process will run. Here’s a breakdown of things to prepare.

Write the book
I know, obvious right! Having your book to completion stage is a very good start and then...

Edit and organise the copy
It’s best to have your book already edited and proof read BEFORE it goes to the design stage, this will save you money and time. For example: If you are writing a cookbook, you could have all recipes tested, all measurements and spelling mistakes edited and all recipe pictures filed and named correctly.

Research other books/genres and collate
Time to enjoy and get creative. Before contacting your designer it’s great to have a rough idea of what’s out there already and how your book will fit into the market you are looking to sell within. You can do this by the following:

  • Go to the book shop and note the books that really stand out to you. Look within your genre.
  • Look online for examples of great book covers, layouts or even general imagery and typography. A great way to collate your ideas is by using pinterest and creating a board or collating links and imagery in a word document to later brief your designer.
  • Note things like use of color, imagery, typography, white space, book dimension, style (is your book contemporary, fairy tale like, image based, heavy on text? etc)
2. Find your Designer

Have a Brief idea ready
Even before you contact your designer its a pretty good idea to know your product (step1). You can also complete the questionnaire in this document for guidance.

Find a designer, contact them and share your ideas
Search online or ask other writer’s who they have partnered with in terms of design. There are a lot of varied services out there and recommendations certainly help. Search the designers portfolio online and see if there style matches yours! Contact them and discuss, you’ll get a pretty good impression if they are the right ones to work with!

Have a deadline in mind!
Nothing hinders a design process more than a/ not having your copy prepared and b/ underestimating the time it will take to complete your project for your projected distribution deadline.
See design timeline on the next page for a rough guide to how long the design process will take.

3. Plan

Review Deadline and timeline
Review the timeline example on the next page and decide on a start date, its usually best to allow a few more weeks or more if you haven’t got everything prepared yet. Its also a good idea to establish a relationship with a designer well before the start date, a good designer will usually need to be booked in advance!

Have a good editor and proof readers on your side!
It’s crucial to have a great editor and proof readers on hand, in the end this will save you money!

4. Let’s go!

Stay organised and communicate during the process
To manage the self publishing timeline well you will need to stay in check and keep communicating with your designer. If you don’t like something, especially in the initial stages of briefing and concept design, don’t be afraid to say, this will help steer the design process to your liking. Also, trust that your designer, they will have an eye for detail and an understanding of what generally works and what doesn’t.

Find a good printer and get ready for print
Ask your designer or other writer’s who they use, contact them and get quotes, start this ball rolling early!

Please download the complete guide here for more comprehensive guide to the design process timeline.


Tags: Tools, Client, Design, Branding, Brief, Book Design, Guide, Writer, Self Publishing

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