Don’t Let Your Self-Published Book LOOK Self-Published

This tale of two travelers was written by both Joseph De La Cruz and Simon Vandekerckhove and was published by Graham Publishing Group.

You’ve spent countless hours writing your book – or you’ve hired a quality ghostwriter to assist in the process – and now you’ve chosen to independently publish the final product.  Here’s the thing. Most self-published or independently published books LOOK like they’ve been self-published.  This is the worst mistake you want to make, and there is no reason for it.  If you chose the right book designer or book design group, your book will look and feel like it was published by one of the big four publishing houses.

Yes, it begins with a beautiful and well-designed book cover.  This is critical. Most book covers look like they’ve been put together with clip-art. Don’t let this happen to you.  You want to make a great first impression with your book, and it begins with a killer book cover.

Yes, the interior layout of your book is critical. When a reader opens your book, make sure it blows them away with the professional layout of the interior.

Yes, you want the absolute best copy editor to proofread your book so that it is as clean as possible with regard to word usage, punctuation, and spelling. You need a professional to do this, not your 4th grade English teacher.

Now for some commonly missed practices.

Putting the Price or Category on the Back of the Book.

Putting a category on the back of your book is a must.  Putting the price on the book is equally as important.

The Barcode.

This is the age of the electronic scanners, so make sure your book has a scannable barcode on the back.  Sounds obvious, but it very often isn’t.

Be Aware of Orphans and Widow.

These are the tiny pieces of sentences that often appear by themselves at the top of a page or along the bottom.  Amateur book design mistake. Avoid at all costs.

Running Headers.

These are the things that run along the top of each page, such as the title of your book, your name, or the chapter title.  This demonstrates professional book design. Insist on them.

White Space on the Page

This is caused by the unprofessional use of hyphenation and justification of the pages of your book. This takes a professional eye. When it’s done correctly, it will give your book the look and feel that you see with all traditionally-published books, and that is what your book deserves.

This is your book. It came with hundreds of hours and plenty of blood, sweat, and tears.  We have all been there. It is an amazing feeling when your book is complete.  Yes, there are many advantages to independently publishing your own book.  Just make sure that you’re working with a book designer or book design group that respects your blood, sweat, and tears and will create a finish product that rivals anything on the shelves of your local bookstore.

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