What do authors want to know? At the 2015 St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA) Vendor’s Showcase, I found out. The room was packed, and authors had many questions. Those who stopped by my table asked …
Q: What do you do? (Authors often ask me this question. I guess it’s an icebreaker.)
A: I design books. Then, I pointed to my poster, which listed the types of things I design—book covers and book interiors—and happily show the book samples at my table.
Q: Can you recommend book-launch ideas?
A: Yes, but I’d like to know more about your book. How you launch your book depends on your audience, your budget, how elaborate you want the event, the venue, or if you’re comfortable with a virtual blog tour.
Q: Do you design children’s books?
A: Yes. One book is in the concept stage, and two others were production jobs—helping authors correct their files for printing. I’ve also designed bookmarks, postcards, and business cards for a children’s book author.
Q: What is production?
A: It’s the technical aspect of getting the files right after the design stage. Example: The border on a recent book cover did not look accurate and needed to be tweaked before it could be sent to the printer.
Q: How much does a book cover cost?
A: Here’s my flier with a special price for attending this SLPA event. I’m offering a discount for a limited time.
Q: Can you design books with glossy paper in the middle for photos?
A: That depends on your printer. If you are going to publish/print with KDP or IngramSpark, the answer is no. I showed this author a memoir I designed with photos in the back of the book on the same paper stock as the rest of the interior. It’s also very important to enhance the images in Photoshop; brighten, color-correct, or sharpen the each photo.
Q: Do you do ebook formatting?
A: Yes, I can help you prepare a file for Kindle or Draft2Digital or explain in detail how to do it. I do not convert your file to .epub or .mobi, because it requires expert in HTML and CSS, which is not my strength.
Q: When does the designer get involved?
A: Generally, when your manuscript has been copyedited. However, you can start marketing your book six months in advance, and your book cover is most important marketing tool you’ll use.
Q: Do I have to have the inside of the book designed if I only want an ebook?
A: No, but you should properly format your Word doc so it will look good on an e-reader.
Q: Why do I need an ebook if I want to print my book?
A: To make your book available to more people who read ebooks on their mobile devices.
Q: Where can I find local resources? (This author’s first book was published out of town, and she did not like the experience of sending her manuscript back and forth.)
A: An event like this Vendor Showcase is a perfect place to find experts. Also, attend monthly SLPA meetings and meetups, and follow SLPA on Facebook, LinkedIn, or our Meetup.
That’s why authors attended the SLPA Vendor’s Showcase—to ask questions and seek assistance with their books. Authors need help with editing, design, and marketing. This was a golden opportunity to meet and connect with professionals in the St. Louis area.
Want to know more? Whether you are a first-time or seasoned author, we understand self-publishing and will guide you through the process.