What is book design, and why do I need it?

What is book design, and why do I need it?

You’ve spent weeks, months – maybe a year – writing your book, and you’re now ready to release it to the world.

Wait.

Is your book professionally designed?

Huh?

Apart from the mechanical book design structure, i.e. Cover, Copyright page, Foreword, etc., are the things like paragraph length, sentence length, white space, etc., done right?

Presuming that you want to be taken seriously as an author, and you want your book to be taken seriously, professional book design can make the difference between success and failure.

Book design can be thought of as the furnishings in a home. Sure, a dull, empty house will still give us cover from the elements, but it’s the furnishings that make it comfortable, attractive, and turns a house into a home.

And that is what professional book design does for your book.

The difference between home furnishings and book design is that a professional book design can affect sales, that is, your income.

As Richard Hendel says in his book, “On Book Design”, “What the author writes in a book is not all that tells what a book is about. The physical shape of the book, as well as its typography, also defines it. Every choice made by a designer has some effect on the reader. The effect may be redical or subtle, but it is usually outside a reader’s ability to describe.”

In reality, professional book design is practically invisible, in that your reader won’t even notice the design elements – they’ll just enjoy your book (and very possibly tell friends about it).

Word-of-mouth is a powerful promotional strategy. If a book is difficult to use/read, there is little chance that the reader will tell anyone else about it – except maybe how bad it is.

Naturally, the content of a book is what really matters, and no amount of book design features can improve a book that poorly written. It should be remembered that a book with good content but poor design can affect sales detrimentally. And if you have a guarantee on your site, you may end up getting a lot of refunds.

Some elements to consider with book design are:

* Suitable headlines (headings).
* Paragraph and sentence length.
* Suitable images that support the text (non-fiction work).
* Language that is easy to read.
* Layout that suits the type of book (e.g. children’s book vs business book).

Book design is made up of many different elements, all working together: font type, white space, headlines, page numbering, just to mention a few.

Don’t leave your success to chance.

If you are a serious author, and want your work taken seriously, and especially if you want people to buy (and keep) your book, then professional book design services could make the difference between success and failure.


Colin Dunbar has more than 30 years experience in book design. He also enjoys writing non-fiction, and is the author of “Invest in yourself” and “How to Get What You Want”. You can check out his book design service at his personal web site. Copyright: you may freely republish this article, provided the text, author credit, the active links and this copyright notice remain intact.


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