The path winds and twists through the Dark Woods of Design… inexperienced book designers leap out at you to entice you into their lair of cut-price and low-quality work.
Watch out! The Swamp of Major Hassles and the Lake of Won’t-Print-Properly will suck you deep into their turbulent depths if you’re not careful!
The question is… how do you stay out of trouble when you’re wanting to have your book professionally designed?
There are a few simple questions that you can ask to avoid these headaches on your book journey.
1. How experienced is your book designer?
Ask your designer how many years’ experience they have in book design. Have they ever worked for a publishing firm in-house? Have they ever worked for a commercial printing firm in-house? These types of experience give invaluable skills to a professional book designer. You will reap the benefits if you pick a designer with that level of experience.
2. Do they have a good range of samples of their previous work to show you?
If the designer’s portfolio (or samples of work) is sketchy and insubstantial, this can show inexperience. A good sampling of work will also show you the different types of design of which they are capable e.g. do they have experience with novels, with shareholder reports, with catalogues, with children’s pop-up books? They may have already worked on a similar book type as yours. Again, you will reap the dividends here if this is the case.
3. How approachable and communicative is your designer?
Do you struggle to talk to them or get a response to your email or phone call within a reasonable time frame? Designing a book is a major project and it’s a WHOLE lot more pleasant if your designer is friendly, pleasant and communicative. Also, if you have questions during the process, you need to know that your designer will respond promptly.
4. Uh-oh! Has your designer given you an “estimate” and not a “quotation”?
Your quotation should be a quotation – set in stone and unalterable. Your designer should be 100% upfront about the total costs that will be involved. If you see the word “estimate” on your proposal, this is a real red flag. It can leave you open to extra or unexpected costs and cause you a real headache when your book is complete and payment is due.
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Is it your dream to create a business book? A coaching workbook? A memoir? A cookbook with your family’s treasured recipes? A children’s picture book? I’d love to hear ALL about your book!
Let’s connect. I’d sincerely enjoy chatting with you one-on-one about your book.