Custom Book Covers Vs Premade Book Cover Designs

It is an unfortunate fact that readers do judge a book by its cover. Having the right cover will catch the eye of potential buyers and make them check out what your book is about. Equally, having the wrong cover on a book can lose potential sales. There are a variety of choices in book covers for self-published authors and making the right choice can be the difference between success or failure.

A custom book cover design created for a self-publishing author.

What is a Premade Book Cover?

A premade book cover is a generic book cover sold by graphic designers to which the title and author name will be added. Typically, a designer will have a gallery of covers to select from. There will be tabs on the gallery page with pricing, customization offers, rights, and delivery information.

Pros:

  • The author can see the cover before they buy it.
  • The cover can be purchased immediately and is usually received within 48 hours.
  • Cheaper than a custom book cover.
  • Good at displaying the genre of the book.

Cons: 

  • Not personalized for a specific book.
  • The cover may not be a perfect fit for the book contents.
  • Alterations to the cover can be costly.
  • Premade covers may or may not be sold exclusively to one author. This means there is a risk of another book having an almost identical cover on the market depending on the terms of sale.

What is a Custom Book Cover?

A custom book cover is a cover that is ordered from a graphic designer personalized to the book. Typically, an author seeks out a graphic designer and explains what they are looking for. Designers can be found on freelance sites as well as online art platforms.

The designer gives the author a quote and draws up a contract that explains the fees, rights, revisions, and timeframe for delivery.

Pros:

  • They are customized to individual book.
  • Alterations are usually part of the purchase package.
  • Authors are able to provide input about the cover at every step of the process.

Cons:

  • Custom book covers often cost more.
  • The author’s vision for the cover may not represent the genre of the book as well as a generic premade cover.
  • Authors have to manage a relationship with the designer over the course of the project.
  • Finding the right graphic designer can be tricky.
  • It can take a long time for the cover to be made.
  • The cover may not turn out how the author envisioned and, depending on the contract, the author may still owe the designer for their time.

Image Rights

The creator of an image owns the rights to its use so authors must be sure to get clarification on whether the cover can be used for promotional material and who holds the rights to the images. If the designer created the cover from scratch, such as an illustration, they typically own the rights to the image and may or may not be willing to sell the author those rights. If they do not sell the rights, they can use the image for other covers and the author’s usage of the image may have a limited scope.

Some designers buy the rights to use an image from a stock image company. The rights they buy may affect the author’s use of the image and may specify the number of physical copies of a book that can be printed or otherwise limit the way those images can be used.

Need a Cover?

InstantPublisher offers a variety of inexpensive premade book covers for self-publishing authors who use their print service. InstantPublisher can also work with the author to make a custom book cover to suit the needs of any book genre.

If you would like more information on InstantPublisher’s personalized book printing services call 1-800-259-2592, fill out our online contact form,  or email questions@instantpublisher.com.

How to Prepare Your Book Manuscript Format for Self-Publishing Companies

Proper book manuscript format assures that a book looks professional and is easy to read. Each book printing company will have certain rules about the format they want your manuscript submitted in. The manuscript may need to be submitted as an RTF, DOC file, or printable PDF. The book printing company will have specifications about page size and margins. Digital printing services will have different requirements than softcover book printing services. Such specifics can be provided by your selected book printing company.

The interior book design suggestions below are universal and should be followed regardless of what book printing company you use.

Title Page

Every book should have a distinct title page which should include the title, author name, and publisher, where applicable.

The title page should always appear on the right side of the finished book. This is the side where the odd-numbered pages should be.

An open book to show proper interior book design.

Typically, the copyright page should appear after the title page and include the written ISBN number, the name of the intellectual property holder, and the year. Often, there is also a note about the limitations of use such as a notice that no one may copy any part of it without permission. Additionally, any other notices such as the work being fictional and any similarities to real entities being unintentional and coincidental can also be on this page.

Chapter Breaks

Most books are broken into chapters. Every chapter should start on its own page. The chapter header and any chapter numbers should be capitalized along with the chapter title. These should appear approximately 1/3 of the way down the page. Like the title page, new chapters should appear on the right-side page of an opened book. The title headers should also be in a larger font and/or set in bold to be easily recognizable to readers.

Scene Breaks

In works of fiction, scene breaks should be clearly indicated. These can be one to three centered symbols on a page. Most commonly these are asterisks or hashtags but some people use decorative symbols that are book-specific such as a sword in a fantasy novel. In a printed book, a scene division can also be three entries of the return key to create a three-line gap.

If the goal is eBook publishing, you should use a visible symbol because line breaks can be harder for readers to see on an e-reader than they are in a print book.

Miscellaneous

Paragraphs should be indented in a fiction book. In non-fiction, paragraphs may be indented or line breaks can be used to divide paragraphs. All books should be printed using a standard, easy-to-read font.

Typically, books should be printed in 12-point font. Large print books should have between 16- and 18-point font sizes, and may need to follow different guidelines for spacing, contrast, and images within the book depending on the target community.

InstantPublisher Can Help

InstantPublisher is a book printing company that is easy to work with and eager to help with all your book printing needs.

We offer a wide range of services for self-publishing authors including layout and typesetting services. Our expert staff is available to assist you at 1-800-259-2592. Call today, fill out our online contact form, or send an email to questions@instantpublisher.com.

5 Services That Every Self-Publishing Book Company Should Offer

If you need to use a self-publishing book company whether, for a personal or corporate project, you may not be sure what to expect. You may wonder what services such companies offer. While every company is different there are five services that should be on offer no matter what book printing company you use.

1. Ghostwriting or Editing

All self-publishing book companies should offer a service that helps you put your words on the page in the best and most readable way possible. This can be through a ghostwriter who is hired to put your ideas into words or an editing team to polish your prose. While both of these services are available at a number of freelance sites, it can be difficult to be sure you are working with a professional. Going through the self-publishing company’s staff assures quality and experience.

2. Art

Book printing services should offer book covers for self-published authors as well as book illustrations when applicable. Like editing and ghostwriting, there are many freelancers that offer these services but their quality may vary. Working with a book printing company’s illustrator guarantees quality as well as assuring that the images will be formatted properly for printing. Ordering covers and art elsewhere risks paying for a product that is improperly sized or formatted for your printing needs.

An artist sketching a custom book cover for a self-published author.

3. Digital Printing Services

The world has moved into the digital age and many readers prefer to hold thousands of books on their e-readers as opposed to having shelves of paper books cluttering their home. Self-publishing book printing companies should offer options to convert your physical book into an ebook as well. This adds additional options for consumption and distribution.

4. Print Run Options

Every self-publishing book company should offer a variety of print run options. You should be able to order as many or as few copies of your book as you need at a time. They should be able to accommodate large or short-run book printing orders.

5. Binding Options

A self-publishing book company should offer you a variety of bookbinding options. You should be able to print hardcover and paperback books. If you want leather-bound bookbinding it should be on offer.  Self-publishers may have evolving needs as their careers change. Most self-publishers will have a wide consumer base and may need different bindings to meet different needs. The more binding options the book printing company has, the more options the author will be able to offer their reader base.

Ready to Connect with a Book Printing Company?

InstantPublisher offers a wide variety of options and services to meet the printing needs of individuals and companies. For more information on how you can get your book printed, contact InstantPublisher today by calling 1800 259 2592 or filling out this online contact form.

5 Ways to Save Money by Outsourcing Your Company’s Printing Needs

Many people have access to computer programs and printers. Some business owners may think that they can save money by taking a DIY approach to printing. They don’t think they need to outsource to an annual report printing service or to calendar publishers’ for their company’s printed materials.

Unfortunately, this is usually a misguided idea and the company would save significantly more by outsourcing their printing needs.

Company reports using InstantPublisher’s annual report printing service

1. Quality

Businesses have niches. Most people realize they shouldn’t take their grandmother to the same doctor who cares for their beloved poodle because one doctor specializes in animals and the other in people.

Businesses are the same. Outsourcing to a printing company allows professionals to get the job done right. The printed materials professionals produce will always be superior to what a builder, car salesman, or baker can create.

2. Skillset

As above, a printing company has people who are trained in custom printing. They know how to format a document for the desired layout, how to adjust image coloring, and what margins are appropriate for what page size.

A business owner or their employees may be able to learn these skills but it will take long hours of education to understand what is already part of the printing company’s skillset. Time is money and a business owner will lose more than he will gain by spending six months to learn the ins and outs of printing when he could easily and cost-efficiently hire a printing company.

3. Software

Quality software costs money. A printing company will already have the software needed for an excellent print job at their fingertips. A business owner would need to research the software needed for their print job, purchase it, and learn to use it. This is a huge investment when the companies printing needs are only occasional.

4. Hardware

Professional quality printing can’t be done on a home printer. High-quality printers cost money. They take up space. They need maintenance. In short, for occasional printing needs, the high-quality printer needed for professional-looking brochures, pamphlets, etc. is a poor investment.

5. Additional Services

Many printing companies offer additional services. Not only will they print your material but they can help you put it together too. Some companies offer the services of a ghostwriter to make sure that your message is professional, succinct, clear, and error-free. Many printing companies offer low-cost custom illustrations. Their staff artists can get images unique to the business that perfectly meets their needs instead of the company being forced to use stock images or amateur illustrations in their professional printed materials.

Another service that many printing companies offer is bulk mailing. Companies can save time and manpower by purchasing bulk mailing service from their printing company.

Ready to Outsource?

InstantPublisher helps companies print high-quality low-cost materials. Call 1-800-259-2592 to speak to a printing expert. You can also email questions@instantpublisher.com or fill out this online contact form.

Differences Between Traditional Book Publishing and Self-Publishing

Self-Publishing isn’t new. The Bronte sisters Emily, Charlotte, and Anne self-published their first book, a collection of poetry, in 1846.

Advances in technology and the internet have made self-publishing faster, easier, and cheaper than ever before. Many new authors are choosing self-publishing instead of traditional publishing.

Self-published books printed by book publishing company

Traditional versus self-publishing can be a divisive topic in author groups but neither answer is right for every author. Sometimes one author may choose to traditionally publish one book while self-publishing the next.

What is Traditional Publishing?

In traditional publishing, an author submits their work to a publishing house. If their work is accepted, and only a small percentage are, the author signs a contract giving the publishing house permission to print, distribute, and sell their books. In return, the author gets a small percentage of profits from the book sales.

Authors typically have no say in the number of books printed, cover art, book size, and other important decisions about their book. In essence, the author hands over their book and entrusts the publishing house to do what they do best.

What is Self-publishing?

In self-publishing, the author takes the reigns in book production. They choose every aspect of how their book will be printed including size, binding, and cover art. The author makes choices about distribution, pricing, and print size. The author finances the production of the book and earns all the profits from book sales.

Which Should I Choose?

Choosing whether or not to self-publish is a choice that depends on the author and the book. Often, publishers will only choose to publish books they believe have wide commercial appeal.
Publishers are in business to make money. An author might have an amazing book that publishers don’t pick up because they don’t believe it will have the sales numbers they require. They may base this decision on the subject matter, author name recognition, and market research about genre popularity cycles.

If your book doesn’t look to publishers like the next big thing, they might choose to pass it up. Publishers can only publish a limited number of books so they choose those they believe will sell best.

Even if your book has commercial appeal, that doesn’t mean traditional publishing is the right choice for you. Many authors like having control over all the aspects of their book. No publisher will ever be as invested in the outcomes of a book as the author is.

Additionally, some authors choose to self-publish because the money is better. They don’t have to share profits from sales with the publishing company and agents.

Every author should weigh the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing for each book and in each circumstance to decide what the best choice is for their needs.

Ready to Self-Publish?

Instant Publisher can help you self-publish your book. Contact us today for more information. You can reach us by phone at 1-800-259-2592.

How to Organize Your Writing Project

The idea of starting a writing project can be daunting. Many people plan to write and print their own book a book but never do it because the task before them seemed too great. Organizing a writing project significantly increases the odds that the project will be finished.

When most people think of organizing a writing project, they think of creating an outline. Outlines are valuable tools but they aren’t the only thing to consider as you organize your project.

Writing in a notebook to plan a writing project for publication

Understand Your End Goal

The first step to organizing a writing project is to understand what the end goal of that project is. Is the project a genealogical history meant to be passed on within the family? Is the project an informational brochure sharing knowledge on an important topic? Is it a fictional story meant to entertain? Is it a parable meant to entice others to change their opinions or actions? Each of these writing projects will have different processes so understanding the end goal is vital.

Once you know your end goal, you can decide what needs to be included in the writing project and how that project will be used. A fictional novel will need different things than a nonfiction brochure. Everything from the writing tone to the binding of the projects will be vastly different depending on your end goal.

Outline Your Manuscript

Whether the writing is fiction or nonfiction, an outline is useful for organizing any writing project.

A fictional outline should consist of characters, setting, and plot. It should indicate important points about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

A nonfiction outline should include the main topic of the project, important points, research needed, and, where applicable, the expected conclusion that the reader is supposed to reach after their reading is complete.

Plan for Publishing

Once the actual writing is finished, what is the plan to take the written work from a file on the computer to something that can be shared? Planning for publishing should be done while you are still organizing your project because it will influence how the project is written. Your publishing plan may change your word count. Your publishing plan may influence whether you add illustrations or use detailed text to explain a concept instead. Understanding the medium you plan to publish in will help you make decisions about your project. For instance, a project where the word count runs into millions will be difficult to put into a physical book. On the other hand, a nonfiction book where worksheets are included may be easier for readers to use within the physical form. Choices about the publishing medium can change choices about the writing of the project.

Is the goal to sell digital books or to engage an on-demand publishing service for easy self-publishing? The latter is an excellent choice for books that will be sold at events or for projects, such as brochures and pamphlets, that aren’t meant for sale but to be handed out as complimentary copies.

Will pictures or drawings be needed for the book? Will you buy or create the cover? What bookbinding is best for your project? Should you enlist the services of a ghostwriter to present your ideas in the most organized and professional way?

Once you have organized your writing project, you can sit down and put your plan in motion. Write chapter one, hire a ghostwriter, or contact self-publishing book company publisher such as InstantPublisher.

Contact InstantPublisher Today

InstantPublisher offers a wide range of services from low volume book printing to full-color book printing. We can help you get a book made today. Email us today at questions@instantpublisher.com, or call 1-800-259-2592, for more information.

How to Select a Christian Book Publishing Company

Jesus told Peter, “if you love me, feed my sheep” (John 21:17). As believers, it is a message that all of us should take to heart. One way to feed our Master’s sheep is through the written word. Whether that word comes in the form of devotionals or the sharing of how becoming a Christian has changed our lives, the written word has the power to share God’s message with all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people.

Finding the right book publishing company can help you as you share Christ’s message of love.

What Do You Need?

What are your goals? Is your book a collection of devotionals you want to give as gifts to family and friends? Is it a collection of sermons to share with your congregation? Is it a book of your personal journey of faith that you wish to sell at conferences where you have been called to speak? Understanding what you need from a book publisher will give you a clearer picture of what things to ask for and how to decide if that publisher can meet your needs.

Self-published book from a Christian Publisher.

How Many Copies?

How many copies do you need? Having an idea of how many books you want to print is important when you approach a publisher. Look for publishers who can cater to your individual needs whether you are printing twenty devotionals to give as Christmas gifts or one thousand books to take to conferences.

The book publisher you choose should be able to provide as many or as few copies as you need, all at a reasonable rate.

Do You Need Help Writing Your Book?

When God called Moses to speak to Pharaoh on behalf of the enslaved Hebrews, Moses was worried he wouldn’t have the skills to relay the Lord’s message. God appointed Aaron to help Moses share his message with the Egyptians.

If you, like Moses, have a message God has put in your heart to share but are worried about your skills as a wordsmith, some publishers offer ghostwriting services. These services allow you to work with a qualified professional who can help you put your message on paper in a clear and readable way.

Do You Need a Custom Book Cover?

In Romans, chapter 12, we are reminded that God gives different gifts to different people. If art isn’t your gift, you may need help designing your book cover. As you look for a Christian book publisher make sure they offer services such as custom book cover design and book manuscript formatting if those are not talents you have been blessed with.

E-book Distribution

If your goal is to feed Jesus’ sheep outside of your local area, then you should consider choosing a book publisher who can convert your manuscript into an e-book and set it up for distribution. The internet has made it easier than ever to spread the message of God’s Grace globally. By turning your book into an e-book and distributing it through online sellers you are able to share the words of God more widely than ever before.

For all your Christian Book Publishing Needs InstantPublisher is here to help. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.

What is Short Run Book Printing?

Short-run book printing, also called low volume book printing, is when you print under one thousand copies of a book at a time. There are many reasons one might wish to print fewer copies of a book, including the investment costs of a large print run and the storage requirements for the final products.

Is Short-Run Book Printing New?

While short-run printing isn’t exactly new, it has never been cheaper and easier to do than right now with today’s available technology.

Historically, printing was done using metal plates that were covered in ink and pressed to paper. This process is still used by some in the publishing industry today.

A man using a press for short-run book printing.

The large amount of time involved in setting up those plates meant that, once they were ready, printers often created large quantities of pages at a time. If another printing was needed, the plates would be set up again. To save took time and money, publishers try to print just the right number of books though estimating demand is difficult even today.

When companies save book templates digitally instead of using metal plates, they can access the templates quickly and easily. This allows the printing of smaller numbers of books without the added costs.

Saves Storage Space

The size and thickness of books vary but storing large quantities of them is something few people have space for.

In traditional print runs, the books would be sent off to a warehouse to await distribution to different stores which would each hold only a few copies apiece.

If the person ordering books is storing them in a garage or spare bedroom, instead of a warehouse, space can quickly become an issue.

Short-run book printing allows the individual the option to only order the books they can easily store and then to reorder a manageable number when their stock dwindles.

Smaller Initial Investment

Predicting book sales is tricky. Even companies that have been in the book industry for years can’t always accurately predict how well or poorly a book will sell.

Printing too many books may result in an inability to turn a profit because the initial print order, and its associated costs, is larger than the demand for printed books.

Short-run book printing allows for production in alignment with demand. More books can be printed cheaply and easily as needed without the risk of unsold copies tying up funds and taking up space.

Short-run book printing has become the solution for many smaller presses and independent authors. It makes short-run book printing more affordable and allows printing in line with demand for the book.

Get Help with Your Short-Run Book Printing Needs

InstantPublisher is available to help you with your short-run printing needs. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.

Tip Sheet on Reasons to Write and Print Your Own Book Now

There has never been a better time for self-publishing authors to get their books out in the marketplace. Widely available high-speed internet access has made the rise of the independent or “indy” author, as well as the emergence of online passive income businesses, a mainstay of the 21st century economy. Both of these create value through the writing and self-publishing of books.

New books from book printing service

So, what are some of the other motivations to write and print your own book today? Consider these:

1. Learn a New Skill

According to a recent report from CollegeBoard, a panel established by the National Commission on Writing, businesses are spending $3.1 billion each year on remedial writing training. Good writing takes practice and what better way to practice writing than writing a book? Developing advanced writing skills through this process can open doors to many career opportunities.

2. There Are More Available Tools Than Ever Before

Anyone with access to an internet capable device can use powerful word processing tools that can create a professional quality manuscript with little time and effort. And tools such as Canva, Jing and (if you are particularly skilled) Photoshop can help create custom book covers that are as good as–or better than–those produced by commercial publishers.

3. Writing Skills Resources Are Readily Available

There are numerous online courses and YouTube videos devoted to teaching writing craft. Online forums connect authors together in communities that offer feedback and help in ways that weren’t possible before the rise of the internet.

Also, if you are struggling to bring your stories to life, hire a writing coach or ghostwriter to help organize the thoughts on the page and edit the manuscript for publication and distribution.

4.  Selling Books is Easier than Ever

Where great authors of the past got their start from selling books out of the trunks of their cars, the internet allows “indy” authors to sell books globally with a click of the mouse.

5.  Make Money

Whether using a book to promote a product–or the book is the product–there is money to be made in books. Earn money from book and product sales, as well as through increased business opportunities that arise from the publication of a book. Books are also great sources of passive income because they do not require a brick-and-mortar store and can be sold 24/7/365.

6.  Increases Credibility & Visibility

Writing a book is an excellent way to build credibility for yourself or your company. It establishes thought leadership and is a fantastic means of self-promotion. A book about your business or an emerging trend can actually attract business to your company. Using a high-quality self-published book as a “leave behind” at a business presentation or job interview is almost guaranteed to create buzz about you and your company.

7.  Personalized Book Printing is Cost-Effective and Simple

Printing a book has never been easier, or less expensive. With current digital publishing tools and techniques, self-publishing book companies can deliver short-run book printing at a fraction of the cost of printing in previous years.

In short, if you are capable of writing words you are capable of creating a book. And why not take advantage of the tools, knowledge and technology to print your own book today?

Ready to Publish? InstantPublisher Can Help.

Whether you need help with the book manuscript format, the specific details of book printing and binding process or custom printing services for promotional collateral such as bookmarks, brochures or flyers, InstantPublisher can help. Let us help you print your own book today. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form now.

5 Non-Printing Related Self- Publishing Costs You Should Know About

When most people imagine self-publishing costs, they are focused on things such as paper, ink, and binding. While those things are part of the self-publishing book printing process, they are not all that is needed for a successful book. Here are five non-printing costs related to self-publishing.

Custom Book Covers

Compelling custom book covers can be the difference between success and failure. You need a book cover that makes a promise to the reader. A cover should hint at the contents inside and compel the potential reader to hungrily pick up the book.

A professional and appealing cover isn’t something you can do for yourself unless you already have training as a graphic designer.

Illustrations

Your book may require illustrations within the pages depending on what type of book you are printing.

Children’s picture books need images to keep a child’s attention. Middle-grade books benefit from occasional illustrations as the readers make the transition from picture books to chapter books.

Fan illustrations from a vanity publisher book

Nonfiction books can benefit from visual aids or illustrations that help clarify the concepts discussed.

Illustrations must look professional as well as fit properly on the pages of your book.

Editing

Even the most careful and meticulous author sometimes makes mistakes. There are subtle nuances in punctuation and grammar that most laymen miss. That is why it is important to have your manuscript looked over by a professional before you offer up the book to the self-publishing company for printing. Failure to do so could create a book riddled with errors. This may lead to the need for a reprint.

Save yourself time and money by being sure your book has had a solid polish by an editor before printing your own book.

ISBN

Most published books need an International Standard Book Number (ISBN). These indicate the edition of the book and are used as a unique identifier.

Bookstores and libraries won’t carry books that lack an ISBN. This means that, if you are looking to sell your books anywhere other than your personal website or shop, an ISBN is a necessity.

InstantPublisher can help you get an ISBN number for your book and create a matching barcode.

Book Manuscript Formatting

Assuring that a book is pleasing to look at ensures customer satisfaction. This is largely handled through the book manuscript formatting part of the self-publishing process. A book with margins too large or small, seemingly random blank pages, and other inconsistent formatting can interfere with reader enjoyment as well as make your book look unprofessional.

As you can clearly see from this article, paper, ink, and binding isn’t all that is involved in printing a book.

InstantPublisher is available to help you with all the production steps necessary to bring your dream of a published book to fruition. Connect with our knowledgeable and experienced staff by calling 1-800-259-2592 or complete our simple online contact form today.