The book design process — what’s involved in publishing your book

The book design and publishing process

Before embarking on your book production project there are four areas that need thinking through:

Editing & proofreading

There are different levels of editing which can be applied to your book, depending on how close your book is to completion:

  • Developmental editing: Recommended if you are still in the process of writing your book. Assistance with structure, narrative arc and purpose, along with detailed feedback and assistance from an objective source.

  • Line editing: As its title suggests, a detailed line-by-line edit, clarifying meaning and correcting grammar & punctuation.

  • Proofreading: The final process, checking for typos and mistakes. The professionalism of your book and the clarity of its message can be undermined if this is not 100% accurate.

Extrabold Books doesn’t offer a full editing and proofreading service, but can recommend trusted partners who provide this specialist support.

Typesetting & cover design

These are separate but related aspects of your book project and are best seen as complementary to each other. They finalise the look and the feel of your book.

The first decision to be made, as this is a key start-point affecting the entire layout, is the finished size of your book. Things to consider include the genre of your book, the economics of production and your preference as the author.

Designing your book’s cover

Each part of your book’s cover needs designing: the front & back covers and spine, plus the inside front & back covers if your print specification allows for that.

Like it or not, your book will be judged by its front cover, before a single word of it has been read. From an initial brief I design the perfect balance of all these elements: your book’s title, your name as author, colours, typography and illustrative design plus any other promotional elements such as testimonial quotes. All ending up with a cover which attracts and intrigues people to find out more.

The back cover needs to provide a concise and impactful summary of your book, to help with that instant buying decision. I also ensure that all relevant details are included, such as testimonial quotes, author info, price and ISBN barcode.

Then there is the spine — a small sliver of the overall design usually, but so important to get right when your book is on the shelf with other books.

In addition, you might want to use the inside front and/or back cover for further promotional, informational or pictorial content, if this option is available to you within your chosen print specification.

Typesetting your book

The first thing to establish is a suitable page spread layout (or perhaps more than one, depending on the nature of your book), including chapter headings, body text styles etc.

Once this has been created and approved, the text of your manuscript can be brought in, formatted and typeset. Some of this can be automated, depending on the file format of your manuscript and the application of text styles within it, but much of this will still involve manual formatting to ensure nothing is ‘lost in translation’.

There may be an additional level of design and layout needed if your book requires illustrations, graphics, tables or graphs. I can design all these elements for you, to ensure that a consistent, satisfying style runs throughout your book.

Publishing your book

Once the final cover and text artwork has been approved by you for print, the final high-resolution files can be produced.

These will be provided to you in the appropriate format for you to print from, normally as a press-ready PDF, with the cover as one piece of flat artwork in one file and the text pages as a separate page-by-page file (with bleed and trim provision as required by your printer).

These final files are yours to use wherever, however and as often as you wish (provided all agreed and invoiced costs are settled within a reasonable time, of course!).

How and where you get your book printed is of course your decision. However, I can point you in the direction of advice on routes to publishing and self-publishing.

Promoting your book

Your book will only sell if people know about it. This is simple and obvious to say, but quite tricky to achieve, particularly on a tight budget.

I can point you in the direction of proven advice and expertise in this area.

For more info on every aspect of bringing your book to publication get in touch today.