Book design & typesetting + creative and technical support for CreateSpace® & Kindle KDP® self-publishing
Book jacket (cover) design
I've been designing book jackets for over 40 years now, from novels to children's books, technical manuals to research treatises and academic and educational textbooks. This work, whilst initially for publishing houses, has now expanded to cover self-publishing, where my jacket designs have contributed to the work of both established and first-time authors.
Topics the books I've designed for have been delightfully varied – from social history, aviation, humorous fiction and medicine, to singing and acting tuition, personal development, apiculture (bee keeping), food and poetry to name just a few.
Book design & typesetting
The majority of my work on books since the evolution of digital design and typesetting has involved working with publishing houses. More recently however I have become increasingly involved in helping individual authors achieve high standards of design and typography when self-publishing.
My services include selecting appropriate book sizes and content templates, the application of advanced formatting to word-processed documents, right through to creating entire books from basic manuscript stage using industry-standard, professional typesetting and page-layout applications, all ready to upload to e-publishing and print-on-demand platforms.
Industry-standard design & typesetting software
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
Supported self-publishing & print-on-demand platforms
- Amazon CreateSpace
- Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
- Ingrams Lightning Source
Whilst Amazon’s market-leading CreateSpace® and Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)® self-publishing platforms offer previously unheard off opportunities to aspiring authors, and likewise appear to simplify the entire book production, sales and marketing process, creating a book to a standard that can compete with a professionally designed and published product often requires design, software and IT skills which exceed those of the average computer user. Understanding how the various platforms work and their individual requirements is also an advantage.
Social Media is a key asset when marketing and promoting a newly self-published book. I can offer comprehensive social-media development and support, including Facebook and Twitter product page creation and administration.
If my 40 years of experience in the design and preparation books for publication, plus my professional experience of social media and the CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Ingrams Lightning Source platforms would be of assistance in helping you self-publish your new book, please get in touch… my contact details are at the foot of this page.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How much does self-publishing cost?
If you have all the necessary literary and computing skills, and are prepared to publicise your book yourself then, theoretically, self-publishing could cost you very little. Apart, that is, from the sales commission charged by your chosen publishing platform and the cost of any printed copies you may order for proofing purposes or resale. You will however incur costs if you engage professional help with say, cover design, page layout or typography, or managing your chosen self-publishing platform.
How much do you charge for your services?
For the first 10 hours of any commission my rates are £35/hour. After that I may offer to discount my hourly rate, but this will depend on the nature of the commission and the extent of the work involved.
Would you work on a percentage of sales?
I'm afraid not. A traditional publishing company is more likely to be able to help you if you're looking for a deal which works on a percentage basis.
I've self-published my book to Kindle book from a Word document but I'm not happy with the page and type layout – can you help?
Yes, I almost certainly can. Advanced though they are, both Amazon's CreateSpace and, Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platforms have known issues when it comes to converting Word documents to eBook format. The consequences of these can sometimes be minimised by the application of advanced formatting techniques. However Word itself has limitations, it is after all word-processing software not a professional typesetting or page make-up application.
I've self-published my book to Kindle from a Word document but I'm having problems with the index (or 'table of contents') – can you help?
Again, I almost certainly can. The techniques involved in creating an e-reader-friendly table of contents tend to be more advanced than most people would come across in their day-to-day use of word-processing software, plus there are limitations imposed by the HTML code used to generate Kindle pages.
I've been told that there are issues with the index (or 'table of contents') of my book on some hand-held devices – can you help?
In this case, unfortunately not. With so many devices and operating systems and only limited standardisation some compromises are inevitable.
Do you offer 'editing' services?
Yes, I can offer a modest level of editing advice based on experience. However I do not have the literary or gramatical skills of a professional editor.
If geographical location is important to you I'm based in Monmouth at the head of the Wye Valley in south-east Wales and therefore my regional work covers website and online media design, graphic design, printing, marketing, publicity and training for clients in Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, the Wye Valley and South Wales. I also work with clients based in London, the Home Counties and South-East, Bath, Bristol, and the West Country. If you've got a project you'd like to discuss please get in touch, I'd be very pleased to help.