There is a love and a passion that is formulated and helped along….
Okay, so we are on a role here. Remember, this is called “publishing victims.” Today’s victim is the writer or self-published author who either doesn’t want to spend adequate money to get their book professional done or believes they can do it themselves. We know, we know, we are going to get our throats cut for this one, but hey, we tell the truth here and we aren’t the only ones saying it. This blog is for those who are ready for the truth. If not, you are free to go look at the blog of someone else.
This blog post was written by our Book Designer Elisa Rivera
So it comes to the point where you’re ready to make your book look pretty. The question pops up, “Should I lay out my book myself?” Seems the easiest thing to do. You have MS Word. You know how to set the margins and you just picked and choose a font from the selection they provided you. You’ve even read the books that tell you how to do it by folks not trained in typeset. So, you decide you have all the tools and you decide to typeset your own book. Even better, you decide to pay people who have the same mindset as you to typeset your book.
Your book is then typeset and it comes out looking like crap or at least semi-professional. What happened? Interior book design is best left up to those who do it for a living. Why? There is more to page composition than picking fonts and setting margins.
Word processing software DOES NOThave the sophisticated justification and hyphenation controls that professional page layout software does. Word processing software limits you to default settings. Professional page layout software allows us to adjust the setting for better results, sometimes paragraph by paragraph, line by line and even word by word. Why? We are trained to see the difference.
This isn’t about the difference between word processing software versus professional typesetting software. Quality typesetting has never been about the tools. There are a dozen conventions to be followed in book design that may not be perceptible to the reader, but when followed, they give your book a professional appearance. It’s not only about knowing the rules, it’s knowing how and when to bend or break them on a case-by-case basis that makes the difference between an amateur layout and a professional one. These decisions must be made quite often when the words in the text don’t cooperate with the page geometry.
There’s the old saying, “you get what you pay for.” This is a true statement when it comes to typography. Only new self-published authors and even book publishing companies make the mistake in either typesetting the book themselves or paying someone money who has the same mindset as they do. Experienced self-publishers and book publishers wouldn’t think of producing the book in this way. They know that experienced book designers bring real value to the table, offering creativity and aesthetic judgment that only comes with training and experience.
It’s been clinically proven that quality typography improves reading comprehension. More importantly, an amateur job won’t satisfy the distributors, reviewers, and book retailers, the “gatekeepers” of the book industry, who will immediately spot a beginner’s efforts and reject your book as “self-published.” Many people think that converting a word-processed file to a PDF is all the printer needs. That’s true. But it’s not all that YOU need. Printers won’t turn away a PDF that was made from a word-processed document. They’ll print your book because that’s what they’re in business to do. They don’t care what the inside of it looks like. Their success is measured in how many books they print. Your success is measured in the number of books you sell.
Your book design, inside and out, establishes your credibility in the eyes of the buyer. Buyers may not be able to know exactly what is wrong, but without a professional interior design, your book will not measure up to those that are professionally prepared. Don’t underestimate your buyer, they know something is wrong and will not buy your book as soon as their eyes and brain register something is wrong with your book.
For the success of your new publishing career, please give this issue some serious thought, and choose an experienced book designer to give your book the professional look it deserves. Someone with a different mentality than you, experience and passion for making sure your book will look great.
Until next time!
It’s been a little while since we’ve written a blog over here. We’re sorry if you’ve missed us. With that said, today’s publishing victim of the day is Self-Published authors. There are a lot of mistakes that self-published authors make when deciding to publish their books. If it doesn’t apply, let it fly.
1. Not realizing you’re going into business, you’re not just writing
2. Not having enough money to actually do it right (examine the basic costs, $5-10K)
3. Not knowing the last 10% is 90% of the job
4. Failure to market early and get advanced orders
5. Using small artsy cover text instead of a large and easily readable title
6. Using a local printer like Staples, Office Max, instead of a book manufacturer
7. Not identifying your audience carefully in advance
8. Going after general audiences instead of target-rich ones
9. Designing the cover by yourself instead of working with a pro
10. Picking the wrong cover price (too much or too little)
11. Keeping acknowledgments short instead of recognizing all supporters
12. Forgetting to overrun the covers for promo use
13. Putting out literature, instead of handing out literature (big difference)
14. Failure to give away books like they are the last thing on earth
15. Failure to get Kremer’s book, 1,001 Ways to Market Your Books
16. Failure to have books and promotional items with you at all times
17. Failure to put your book out where people can see it everywhere you go (wearing it)
18. Failure to inform any interviewer of your one-liner bio (elevator speech) and website
19. Failure to write and issue “White Papers” that establish your expertise
20. Referring to your book without using its title
21. Waving your book or failing to hold it next to your face during video interviews
22. Running out of business cards
23. Not having appropriate business cards
24. Not having a ready-to-go bag for appearances
25. Not having extra books, promo and biz cards in your trunk or in your bag always
26. Having no name badge made from your book cover
27. Having to fumble to get to a business card (should have one in your book at all times)
28. Not having an elevator speech
29. Fumbling over your elevator speech
30. Not marketing their own books everyday
31. Getting on social media to talk about stuff not book related
32. Thinking they know it all and refusing to listen to those who know more than they do.
33. Arguing with the pros
34. Going cheap on important stuff-Editing, typesetting, cover design
35. Not doing important stuff-Editing, typesetting, cover design
36. Not getting book reviews anywhere-Amazon, local book club, famous book club, etc. (Reviews sell books)
37. Not having a “drug-dealers” mentality-Hustle, hustle, hustle, each and everyday.
38. Not having an author business plan.
39. Not having their own website.
40. Not being on social media: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
41. Not realizing you’re not writing for yourself, you’re writing for those who will read your book.
A hard head makes a soft behind, or in this case, a hard head makes poor sales.
Until next time