Should Authors Design Their Own Books

Self-Publishing: Should You Design Your Book?

Self-publishing has opened a new world to those who have always dreamed of publishing a book. You no longer need to invest a lot of money or pray that a publisher will agree to publish your book. Now, you can write a book, format it, edit it and publish it all on your own. The big question however is, does it make sense to design your own book or is it better to hire a professional to do it for you? There are pros and cons to both and ultimately, which option you choose to go with will depend on your individual circumstances.

When You Should Design Your Own Book

Designing a book brings you out of the world of writing and forces you to become a part of the marketing, promotion, advertising and outer image of the book. Though this may become a burden for some writers as it distracts them from the main focus of writing, others may enjoy working on the entire book on their own.

If you want to achieve any of the following things, you should think about designing your own book.

You take the whole credit: For an author, their book usually becomes their baby. If you take on the responsibility of doing every part of the book yourself, including the cover and the entire interior design and formatting, you will get all the credit. This, of course, is as long as it all turns out well.

You have complete control: A lot of book designers will give you several different ideas but you may have something entirely different in mind. The fact is there is no absolute right or wrong but if you have a design in mind and you do not want to get it done by a 3rd person, then you may want to consider doing the book design yourself. If you design the book yourself, you can do it exactly the way you want.

You save money: As with everything else, the better the designer the more you can expect to pay. So unless you manage to find a good designer who charges reasonable rates or you know a good designer who will do it for you without charging too much, you will have to shell out a sizable amount for the book design. On the other hand, doing it yourself will cost almost nothing.

When You Should Hire A Designer

When you don’t have the time to learn: If you have a full-day job or a ton of responsibilites, it is easier to hire a professional designer than spend days on trying to understand book design and formatting.

When you want a professional-looking book: A book designer just gives the book a professional edge that is difficult to achieve for someone who is not a professional book designer. They will give your book design that little something extra that can make a whole lot of difference in audience appeal. What’s more they will also give you ideas on how to make your book appeal to your target audience.

When you want a highly complex design to complement the text of your book: Books that have illustrations, different fonts, pictures or anything besides the usual ‘on-font-format’ often need a designer who will be able to do the layout perfectly. Otherwise you will probably spend weeks trying to figure out how to get an illustration on the correct page in the position you envision!