Category: Self-publishing

KDP, CreateSpace, IngramSpark & Payhip: 4 Routes to Readers

Distribution

Distribution is how your work gets to market and the wider your distribution network, the more potential readers you reach. There is not a perfect one-size-fits-all solution out there at the moment but the combined benefits of KDP, CreateSpace, IngramSpark and Payhip come pretty close. We have been working in the self-publishing industry for years and have seen the options available to authors develop and improve. What we have today compared to 5 years ago is astonishing. Distribution reach that was previously  reserved for large trade publishers with huge catalogues of books is now obtainable for an author who has only written one title from their armchair.

In this post we are going to run through the major Print-On-Demand and eBook distribution options for self-publishing authors outlining the pros and cons of each. Unfortunately there isn’t a perfect one size fits all solution and if you have both a physical book and an eBook we would recommend considering all of the below options.

 

KDP

KDP Basics

What is it? KDP stands for Kindle Direct Publishing. KDP is Amazon’s own Kindle publishing platform for self-publishing authors. It enables authors to publish Kindle editions direct to Amazon’s websites all over the world.

How does it work? Once you log in (which you can do with your existing credentials if you have an Amazon account) you have a dashboard where you can provide title and pricing information and upload your Kindle (.mobi) and cover file. Once you have filled in your details and uploaded your files, your Kindle edition becomes available across all of Amazon’s websites (that you select – you can limit by territory if you wish) in around 12 hours if your file passes their quality control test. We provide a 100% file acceptance gaurantee for all of our eBook conversions and will manage the the title set-up and file uploading for you so you can be confident the title will be published as you intend. Find out more about our eBook conversion services here.

kindles

What does it cost? KDP does not have any set up fees.

How much do you get?  KDP offer two royalties: either 70% or 35% of the RRP. Obviously, we would recommend you choose the 70% option.  However, this does come with a few conditions, the main one being that you have to price your book between £1.99 and £9.99. eBooks are also subject to taxes and there is a file download fee (currently £0.10/$0.15 per MB – so keep an eye on the size of your file). For the latest Kindle pricing restrictions, file download fees and taxes click here.KDP

What promotional tools do you get? KDP offer a special service called KDP Select. This is basically where authors can grant Amazon exclusivity for an eBook (i.e. ensure Amazon are the only retailer selling the book) and include that eBook in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (meaning Prime customers can read it for free) in exchange for a promotional toolkit. If you are interested in making your I_AM Self-Publishing title available exclusively to Amazon, you will need to remove your ePub file from sale at Ingram Spark and PayHip. The best feature of KDP Select toolkit is the ability to run countdown deals. These are time-limited price promotions e.g. only £0.99 for this weekend only. You set the price, the timeframe and a little countdown timer magically appears on your Kindle page to show how much longer the deal is on for. See the picture to the right.

Here’s a link to Amazon’s current Kindle Countdown Deals.

KDP Pros and Cons

What’s good about it?

  1. It’s quick – once uploaded, Kindle editions are normally available to buy within 12 hours.
  2. You can set up a pre-order facility if you want to create a bit of buzz before publication.
  3. It runs a spell check on your document to double check everything prior to upload.
  4. Count down price deals via KDP Select.

What’s not so good about it?

  1. It only gets your eBook available on Amazon sites, not any of the other global eBook retailers.

How we use KDP

We help authors to set up their own KDP account (if they already have an Amazon account, they can use the same username and password to log in). We then help authors complete all the account set up, which involves providing address and banking details. Once this is sorted out, we fill in the information about the title, subject, price, metadata, author etc. and upload the Kindle file that the conversion team have made and tested which we guarantee will be approved.

 

CreateSpace-LogoCreate Space Basics

What is it? Create Space is Amazon’s paperback printing and distribution arm for self-published authors. It enables authors to upload book files and have that book available for sale on all Amazon sites all over the world e.g. www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de etc.

How does the process it work? Amazon has set up a very clever system by which an author can upload formatted book files (cover spread and interior text files). Once uploaded the files are assessed by Create Space to make sure they pass all the file tests and will print out properly (we guarantee file approval for all print files that we prepare). Once the files are approved from a technical standpoint, the author can order a proof copy of their paperback. This is a really good idea as it is important to see and hold a proper copy of your book before paying customers start buying it. Then once the physical proof copy is approved, Create Space will start selling the book throughout the Amazon network.

What does it cost? Free to set up (although be careful not to accidentally click any of the add-on options). POD print costs vary depending on the options you chose and the length of your book but for a standard sized paperback (5x8in) with a colour cover and b&w interior that is over 110 pages the current costs are £0.70 plus £0.01 per page, so a 200 page book would be £2.70 per unit to print. For current pricing please visit CreateSpace’s

CreateSpace pricing calculatorHow much do you get?  All books that are sold through retailers are done so at a discount, so that the Amazon can take their piece of the pie. This makes it worth their while stocking and selling your book. The lowest discount you can set on Create Space is 40% i.e. if your book is £10, Create Space will give you £6 for every copy sold. Remember your print costs will be deducted from this too so using the above example of a 200 page paperback a further £2.70 will be deducted leaving you with a royalty of £3.30 per book sold.

Luckily you don’t need to run all the numbers yourself as CreateSpace have created a very handy calculator tool on their website which you can access by clicking here. You just need to fill out the areas I’ve outlined in red below and then hit Calculate. Play around with different RRPs to see what your returnwill be a varying pricepoints. If you deselect the checkbox that says ‘Yes, suggest GBP price based on the U.S. price’ you can independently price the UK edition in GBP.

Create Space Pros and Cons

What’s good about it?

  1. Amazon is the biggest retailer in the publishing industry. In reality, most authors will see most of their sales through Amazon channels, so it’s an important one to get right.
  2. It’s very quick to set up – once you approve the book it normally goes live within a matter of days.
  3. The print quality is really good. Both black and white and colour books print very well via Create Space.

What’s not so good about it?

  1. Create Space only distributes to Amazon websites. Other retailers and physical stores will not be able to access or order your book. (Note Create Space do have an Expanded Distribution option, but we do not recommend this as the publisher of your book will be recorded everywhere as ‘Create Space’ regardless of us registering your ISBN. Physical bookshops and online retailers alike are very reluctant to order in books with the publisher ‘Create Space’ in our experience.)
  2. Create Space is based in the US. Authors ordering copies for themselves based anywhere else in the world will have to order from the US, which can be expensive and slow.
  3. You cannot set up pre-orders i.e. customers are not able to order the book prior to publication.

How we use Create Space

After our typesetters have finished with the interior book file, and our cover designers have finalised the cover artwork, we set up a Create Space account for the author and upload the cover and interior PDF files. When it comes to approving the proof, we help authors check that everything is as it should be, and if any changes are needed (e.g. someone important was omitted from the acknowledgements page) then we can make those tweaks for the author. Once the paperback proof is approved and the book is selling, the author can log in and check their sales at any time. They will also receive monthly sales statements and will get paid directly.

 

IngramSpark-LogoIngram Spark Basics

What is it? Ingram is one of the largest book and eBook distribution companies in the world. They reach thousands of retailers and libraries every single day. IngramSpark is the part of the company set up for self-publishing authors who want to have their physical books available to buy at multiple online retailers such as Waterstones and Barnes & Noble and would like bricks and mortar/high street book stores and libraries to be able to order their book. They also offer a huge eBook distribution service that reaches retailers such as iBooks, Kobo, Nook, Sainsbury’s and many more. Their full distribution reach across eBook and print is in excess of 39,000 retailers and libraries worldwide.

How does it work? You log in to a dashboard where you can upload formatted files (cover spread and interior PDF for print books and cover image and ePub file for eBooks). These files are checked for technical errors and then approved by IngramSpark (any files we have formatted for you come with our file upload guarantee). At this stage you can order one physical proof copy of your paperback/hardback. This is a really good idea as it is important to see and hold a proper copy of your book before paying customers start buying it. Once you approve your proof you can tick a box to have your book and eBook sent out to the whole Ingram network

IngramSpark calculator

What does it cost? £29 if you want to publish a paperback or a paperback AND and eBook or just £15 if you are only publishing an eBook. However, they regularly run offers and deals. For example, they offer discounts to all members of the Alliance of Independent Authors. POD print costs are slightly higher than CreateSpace with a 200 page 5x8in paperback costing you £2.97 (compared to £2.70)

How much do you get? All print books that are sold through retailers are done so at a discount, so that the retailer can take his piece of the pie. This makes it worth his while stocking and selling your book. The lowest retailer discount you can set on IngramSpark is 35% i.e. if your book is £10, Ingram Spark will give you £6.50 for every copy sold. Remember that your POD print cost needs to come off that too – using the 200 page book above as an example again you would receive a royalty of £3.53 per copy.

For all eBooks, IngramSpark give 45% of the RRP to the author.

Like Amazon, Ingram have also provided handy calculators on their website to help you calculate your book cost and potential returns. which you can access here. If you are not sure which trim size to select we use 5x8in for a standard trade paperback size. If you are unsure of how many pages your book will be (if you are planning to print at 5x8in) a good estimation trick is to multiply your final word count by 0.003 e.g. 80,000 words will be roughly 240 pages (80,000 x 0.003 = 240).

Ingram Spark Pros and Cons

What’s good about it?

  1. Ingram’s distribution network is enormous – over 39,000 retailers and libraries are supplied by Ingram. Having your title on their catalogue makes it available to buy at a lot of places all over the world.
  2. The print quality is good.

What’s not so good about it?

  1. Once you have approved a title for distribution, it takes 15 business days to go live on retailer websites.

How we use Ingram Spark (print)

After our typesetters have finished with the interior book file, and our cover designers have finalised the cover artwork, we set up an Ingram Spark account for the author and upload the files. When it comes to approving the proof, we help authors check that everything is as it should be, and if any changes are needed (e.g. someone important was omitted from the acknowledgements page) then we can make those tweaks for the author. Once the paperback proof is approved and the book is selling, the author can log in and check their sales at any time. The will also receive monthly sales statements and will get paid directly by Ingram Spark.

How we use Ingram Spark (eBooks)

Once our conversion team have converted a book/manuscript to an eBook and the author has approved these files, we either set up a new Ingram Spark account for the author, or add the eBook to their existing account. The Ingram team will check the files for any technical glitches then approve them. The eBook is then sold throughout their network. As above, the author can log in to see sales figures and will get paid directly.

 

payhipPayhip Basics

What is it? It’s an eBook retail website that allows authors to sell their work directly to their readers, and receive all email addresses of everyone who has bought the eBook.

How does it work? You set up an account, upload your eBook files and cover file, give Payhip your blurb, eBook category and pricing information and they create a product page just for your book. Below is an example of what one of our Payhip product pages looks like: https://payhip.com/b/HlfO

What does it cost? There are no set up fees.

How much do you get?  Payhip take a 5% transaction fee, passing the remaining 95% on to the author.

What promotional tools do you get? Our favourite thing about Payhip is it allows you to create coupon codes. You can decide how much of a discount you want to give, how many times the coupon can be used and what date the coupon expires. For example, if you wanted to give your eBook out to 20 bloggers in a secure way, you can just send them a link to your Payhip page and a voucher code for them to type in at the checkout to get the book completely free. Then when they download your eBook, you will receive an email notification telling you the email address of the person who has just downloaded your eBook. This is great for follow-up as you will be able to send messages to bloggers such as ‘I see you downloaded my book a few weeks ago, and I just wondered whether you have had a chance to look through it yet.’

You can also create social media discounts. You can set this up on your eBook page e.g. ‘25% off this eBook if you share this link on social media.’ Then as soon as the customer shares that link, the discount is added and they can buy your eBook at a cheaper price. This can be a really useful tool for spreading the word.

Payhip Pros and Cons

What’s good about it?

  1. You can capture email addresses – for me, this is incredible! You have a direct contact with your readers to promote future titles to.
  2. It’s quick – once uploaded, eBooks are normally available to buy straight away.
  3. They only take 5%.
  4. You can use it to create voucher codes – ideal for sending eBook copies to reviewers.
  5. You can use it to create social media discounts.

What’s not so good about it?

  1. Not that many readers have heard of it (yet!), so you will have to direct readers/reviewers/bloggers etc. to this site. It is growing and you should support it as a situation where you were getting a 95% return and contact information for every reader that buys your book would be amazing! If anyone asks you where they can get your eBook.

How we use Payhip

We set up Payhip accounts for authors, upload their eBook files, the blurb and price information and then show authors how they can create voucher codes and run social discounts. All authors need to do is to add their PayPal details so that they get paid directly for sales.

 In Conclusion

All four options have their merits and if you have a paperback and an eBook they are all worth using to provide a really solid network from which your book can be bought. This gives your potential readers the freedom to purchase from whatever channel that they like. I would love to see Payhip getting a bit more popular because they offer such a great deal for you, the self-publishing authors, but that being said you can’t bypass the larger retailers – particularly the KDP. For the time being, if you want to sell in serious quantities then you really can’t afford to not set yourself a place at the big boys’ tables. If you are still not sure on what is best for your project and you would like some advice on distribution as well as the other important areas of self-publishing please book yourself in for a FREE consultation with us below. We look forward to discussing your project!

Get a BESPOKE self-publishing PLAN from our co-founder, Ali

"Ali understood the requirements instantly and often knew my vision for the book better than I did myself." 
~ Stephen Saad, non-fiction author

Goal setting for authors

Author Goals

Goal setting can seem like an extra and optional job when you’re busy, but it is an important exercise if you want to get the most out of your ‘author time’. The fact is that most people talk themselves out of goal setting. Either they are afraid of writing something down and then failing to achieve it or they don’t know how to set proper goals in the first place. But those who do set goals are more successful. So whatever stage of the writing/publication process you are at – whether you want to finish your first draft, whether you want to get published or perhaps you are already published but want to grow your online presence – having a clear, structured goal will help you succeed.

Goal Setting Will Make You Achieve More

There is a famous study in What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School in which graduates were surveyed upon graduation and ten years afterwards; the few graduates who had set clear written goals were earning, on average, 10 times more that their ex-classmates. Why?

  • Goal setting makes you think very specifically about what exactly it is that you want
  • Goal setting keeps you focussed
  • When you achieve it, it will mean more

SMART Goal Setting

Coming up with your goals will require some serious thinking and a long, hard look at where you are today so you can work out where you can get to in a year. There may be some hard truths to face, but these goals will help you look to the future and stay motivated. It’s important to set the right goal. If you set a ridiculous goal, you will be unlikely to achieve it then you will be demotivated and unproductive. Get it right and you will be flying. On our book marketing course, we teach the popular SMART method:

  1. Specific. Vague goals will be impossible to track. You need to think carefully about what precisely you want and why.
  2. Measurable. Something like ‘Be a better writer’ is a noble intention but a useless goal as you can’t measure it. Whereas ‘Write for 2 hours every weekend’ is something that you can easily measure.
  3. Attainable. You have to believe in it, so it needs to be realistic, e.g. most authors would love to be a No.1 New York Times Bestseller, but a goal like ‘Get 10 new reader reviewers on Amazon each month’ is much more realistic.
  4. Relevant. Each goal you set should contribute to your overall objective, e.g. if your overall objective is to be a successful author then make sure all your goals feed back in to that. You may have personal goals about diet or fitness but keep those separate.
  5. Time-based. Of course we are talking about what you want to achieve in 2016, but you might want to break that down into what you want to achieve in 3 months or 6 months’ time too. That will make it seem more manageable.

Still stuck? Here are some good goals for writers, perhaps some might work for you:

  • Write 2,000 words every weekend.
  • Finish a certain project by the end of the year.
  • Start building your author brand and profile – in the next 3 months, set up a website and create and use social media accounts and gain 200 followers.
  • Read 1 book within your genre and 1 successful book outside your genre every month.
  • Pitch to give a talk at 5 literary festivals this year.

6Achieving Your Goals

Now the hard part is out of the way, you need to create a plan for how you are going to achieve your goals and then, crucially, stay on track.

Obstacles

The main reason that people don’t achieve their goals is because things get in the way. Often, this is because people don’t know how to make their goal a reality or haven’t got the time/resources to commit to it. Now that you have a goal, you need to identify what is holding you back from achieving it (Why haven’t you achieved this already?) so you can remove these obstacles. You might find that you need to learn or sharpen a skill or it might be that you need to find more time to practice it.

Actions

Now you have identified what is holding you back, you can create actions to overcome this. If you need to learn a new skill then you can start researching workshops or classes you can attend or books you can read that are going to help you improve. If time is an issue for you then you need to look at how you can shuffle your commitments to free up regular blocks of time to dedicate towards achieving your goal.

There aren’t many goals out there that you don’t have to work hard at to achieve, so whatever the goal you set, you need to be honest with yourself about whether you are able to put in the amount of effort to achieve it. It might be that once you have assessed your obstacles and action points, you may need to revise your goal. After looking at these in detail, you might realise that the initial goal was too ambitious given the obstacles and need to tweak either what will be achieved or the timeframe in which it will be achieved. Now you have thought about your goals, obstacles and actions, it’s time to use that to formulate a master plan.

And finally, commit to itWhat is an

Once you have set your goals, print them out and put them somewhere where you will see them, a lot. This may sound silly, but the more you read your goals and have them in your mind, the more likely you are to achieve them. Put them on the fridge door, your noticeboard, anywhere you are likely to see them. If you are digitally inclined, write your goals in your online/phone calendar for the first of every month and set reminders. That way you cannot forget them! If you have broken your goals down into monthly/quarterly deadlines, put those dates in your diary so you stay focussed.

Tell your friends and family what your goals are and why they are important to you; not only does this make you commit to the goals, but you will also gain the support of those around you. You will be surprised by how many people around are willing to give up some of their time to help, whether that’s volunteering to be a Beta reader for your work, or looking after your children so you can go to a writing conference.

So, be bold, be brave and fill in the box above so we can send you your goal setting worksheet today! We’d love to hear what your goals are, whether they relate to writing, editing, marketing or any other aspect of the process, so please let us know in the comments box below.

Good luck!

Set and achieve your Author Goals

With our free goal setting workbook!

 

Book Covers: Book-A-Likes Exposed

book covers - spot the difference

Book covers are make or break, now more than ever. If there is one industry that relies on looks outside of the cosmetics industry, it’s the publishing industry. We judge a books by their covers every day. The fact that most books are bought online, compounded by our incredibly short attention spans means that our snap decisions are getting, well, even snappier. As we scan through charts on our smart phones or tablets,  we are mentally discounting books as we scroll and swipe. It’s so easy for your book to be overlooked, but you need to make sure that doesn’t happen by having a really strong effective cover design.

This is particularly true for debut authors. Big name authors develop large followings of ready-and-waiting readers (who would probably happily pre-order the book without knowing what it looks like). For example, J.K. Rowling could probably put anything at all on the cover of her next book and still sell really well. And as for The Holy Bible, well three words imprinted across the top cover is all that’s needed to sell millions of copies. For most books, however, design is just as important, if not more, than content. As an author, your first challenge is to get a potential reader to click the thumbnail of your book cover so that they go through to a page where they can read your blurb/product description. Note the order of these challenges.

So, is it any wonder that so many authors (whether self-published/traditionally published) panic and decide to copy what is already out there? Looking at other books in your genre for design ideas is one thing, copying it directly is another.

Some authors, who either use templates, free tools or bad designers are unaware that their book covers are book-a-likes until readers point it out on Goodreads (check out their Same Cover Different Book list here – there are loads of these lists or other sites. It’s really  embarrassing for the author to find out this way, not least because it gives a careless impression to the reader. If you didn’t even bother to make your work look professional, what can I expect from your writing?

A few comments from Goodreads members include:

“I am soooo disappointed! I just saw that “Devoured” by Emily Snow and “Tempt me” by Olivia Cunning have exactly same covers. That just sucks…. :(“
– Tanya

“Wow. this is insane, after pouring hard work into writing a book, they just copy someone else’s cover.”
– Whitney

“Hah! Must have been cheaper for the authors to use already made covers. Cheapskates! :D”
– Alisha

Book-a-likes cloud your brand identity and make it harder to readers to differentiate you from the competition. The examples in the graphics on this page are all genuine, and took very little time for us to find. You would be AMAZED!

book cover 3

5 Ways to Avoid Being A Book-A-Like

1. Do Your Homework

Most principles that apply to writing a book also apply to designing one. The more you put into it, the more your readers will appreciate it. Researching book covers is the best starting point. It is important to be aware of the genre and community when you are drafting a book cover design. Spend some serious time on Amazon – it’s probably the biggest and best free tool available to you. Explore the book covers of the leading authors in your genre. Then find the chart you want to feature in and look at the book covers of your competition. Now you need to start analysing them. Are there recurring themes present in the book covers? Are the fonts typically curly or are they block face? Is the main character/person featured on the book? Or is it the setting what dominates the cover?

After you have thoroughly explored the community and genre it is important to reflect on your own work. What messages are you trying to communicate to this reader? Does your message align with the genre? Have you got an idea for the style of cover design from looking at book covers on Amazon? Can you think of how that sort of style could be adapted to the main message of your book.

While it’s important that your book cover design fits in within in your genre, you don’t want to run the risk of being indistinguishable. Think about what sets you apart. Don’t try and find the same stock image that has been used on a cover that you like. All the images below are manipulations of the same image of a man in a hat by a fence…

Book cover 3

2. Avoid Book Cover Templates

If you want to look professional, these are an absolute “no-no”.  Multiple websites have free or cheap templates/tools where you can create eBook and book covers, but the chances are that your book will be competing for chart position with authors who have invested in proper cover design (and set the benchmark high). You don’t want to look weaker than the competition. Although templates can often be inexpensive and simple, you will not have an original or unique cover. Although some templates are better than others, the chances are that if you find a great design for a low price, you aren’t the only one. Templates result in book-a-likes and you may not own the copyright to your book cover.

3. Think of Your Brand Beyond the Book

Your book cover design will form the cornerstone of your author brand on- and offline. Anywhere your are presenting yourself, you need a consistent professional image: your website, social media, bookmarks, business cards, email newsletters, postcards and more. Your design concept has to be something that can be adapted and moulded for these different purposes e.g. it needs to be something that can be re-sized and reworked according to the specifications of the medium. You need to be thinking about your author brand holistically. Don’t use a font that looks really good printed out on your cover but doesn’t work at all on a website.

Find out more about how we go about designing author brands here. With Amazon being the number one seller of books, it’s vital that book covers work even at thumbnails size. A design that isn’t compatible with a multitude of platforms will be rendered useless. Readers want consistency; no matter the platform they should always be able to identify your brand.

book covers 4

4. Invest in Creative Professionals

Is a piece of automated software as good as an experienced, qualified professional? Is a graphic designer the same as a book cover designer? Is there a difference between a pretty image and an image that generates sales?

I hope you know the answers to the above questions. Having a beautiful photo or image as a starting point is one thing, but knowing how to work that into a commercial book cover that will position your book exactly where you want it, instil buyer confidence and generate sales is another. This is where you need to bring in the experts. Trade publishing houses spend a lot of time and money, and run a lot of focus groups, to perfect the cover that will sell them the most books. The wrong cover can result in a serious loss of cash. You might even have noticed that sometimes they re-issue the book with a new cover, if the old one didn’t give them the sales they expected. This is something you should think about if you already have a book out there that isn’t selling well. If you are serious about your book, you need to be serious about how it is presented to the world.

Having taken the step to work with a professional designer, you need to make sure you brief them correctly. If you give bad instructions, you will probably get a bad result. This is why it’s worth working with someone who has designed book covers in your genre before. They are best placed to tell you if they think your concept will work/need to be adapted etc. and can also show you previous book covers they have designed for similar authors. Their expert guidance is invaluable. Find out more about our book cover design process here.

5. Get Feedback and Take Your Time to Do it Right

Once you have a draft design (or several draft designs) that you feel represent the book, the genre, and the brand messages you are trying to convey, you need to start asking for feedback. Any author can tell you the longer you work with something, the more you get accustomed to it. Get a fresh pair of eyes (friends/family/colleagues) to look at the design and ask them for honest feedback.

Ask questions like:

  • What do you think this book is about based on the cover?
  • Can you see the artwork or does text overpower it?
  • Is all the text easy to read?
  • Where in a bookstore do you think this book belongs? What draws you to that conclusion?
  • Does this design remind you of any others books that you have read?
  • How much would you be prepared to pay for a book that looked like this?
  • Who do you think this book is trying to appeal to?

Feedback is great way to gauge the impact your design has. While it is not possible to please everyone, feedback can give great insight as to how your book cover is perceived. The more people you ask, the better.

Get a BESPOKE self-publishing PLAN from our co-founder, Ali

"Ali understood the requirements instantly and often knew my vision for the book better than I did myself." 
~ Stephen Saad, non-fiction author

It’s vital to allow enough time for valuable feedback. Give others and yourself an opportunity to step away from the design and meditate on it. Don’t rush people who have offered to do you a favour. Collect all the feedback together and write a list of proposed tweaks to discuss with your designer. Then give yourself a break from the design. Lock it in a draw for a week or so and come back to it afresh. Then look at your list of changes again – do they still hold up or have you changed your mind about any of them? Now contact your designer and ask him or her to mock up the revisions.

Book-alikes won’t stand a chance against one-of-a-kind original book covers. Take the time to make sure that outside of your book/eBook is just as good as the inside. If you would like to have a chat with our experts at I_AM Self-Publishing about which design concepts would best suit your book and have a strong commercial appeal with your target readers, please book a consultation.