The final steps, cover design and publishing your shiny new book…
1) Format and publish your book as an ebook and a paperback book using PressBooks.com (making the inside of the book look good).
2) Copy and paste your final book draft into PressBooks.
3) Design your book’s cover—start a 7-day design contest at 99designs.com (making the outside of the book look good).
Now you’re going to review the final content one more time, make any minor changes that you need to make and then begin formatting it. I use and recommend PressBooks to publish an entire book. You’ll be able to export the book in multiple formats for ebooks and printed books. There are no technical skills required to use this service. In one word, it’s… AMAZING. To get up to speed on setting up your book visit PressBooks.com/Help
Now it’s time to get the outside of your book looking like a million bucks! The best way to do this is to launch a design contest on 99designs, where dozens of top designers will compete to create your ebook and printed book covers. In fact, the 5-Hour Author artwork was all done through 99designs.
The key to making sure your design contest is a huge success is to explain clearly what you want AND what you don’t want on your cover. Remember, the designers are not marketing experts, they are design experts.
The first thing you will do when you start a design contest on 99designs is write a design brief. This is a list of questions that you’ll answer with as much detail as possible. An effective design brief gives designers everything they need to know to exceed your expectations. Of course, you’ll want to refer to my cover design recommendations in Chapter 8, Step 1 for help completing your design brief.
It’s important to know that you’ll need two separate versions of your cover design: one for your ebook and one for your paperback (printed book). Yes, the professional designers will already know how to do this for you…
But you will need to provide them with a little information to get started. You will need to let them know the cover size and your book’s total number of pages so that they can calculate the total dimensions of your cover and the spine for your paperback book. For this reason, it’s important that you publish your book in PressBooks prior to launching a design contest at 99designs. This way you will know the size and the length of your book. For example, I recommend using the cover size of 5 inches by 8 inches (5″x8″) in PressBooks. I also recommend a cover design with the title of your book and your name displayed on the spine (Amazon’s CreateSpace requires your book to be at least 101 pages to have any writing on the spine).
Once you have your book nicely formatted and you’ve selected your cover design, there’s a special feeling you’ll have that you simply can’t ignore. I can tell you from experience that you’ll be bursting with excitement and enthusiasm (I remember the feeling while I write this… aaah). It’s the kind of feeling that makes you want to run outside and just scream as loud as you can… YEAH!!! Or, in proper terms, this is the point in the authoring process when you realize it was freakin’ worth it.
More About PressBooks //
PressBooks is a simple book publishing platform for ebooks and print books. Think of it as your online book manager where your finished book can be created and managed from one simple web-based platform—no technical skills required. PressBooks is the future of book publishing because it empowers individual authors to control the book publishing process while avoiding the high cost and time-consuming nature of book production.
Simply put, PressBooks creates the files you need to publish your books and ebooks: PDF for print and print-on-demand, including Amazon’s CreateSpace; ebooks including MOBI for Kindle book publishing; and EPUB for Apple’s iBooks, Nook, Kobo and others.
PressBooks solves the typical production problems that come with the publishing of books. And it’s built on top of the world’s largest (and most trusted) web platform—WordPress. With over 50 themes available, you’ll be sure to find the perfect one that makes the inside of your book look great.
PressBooks does not create book covers—you’ll need to source those separately—but it does include your ebook cover in ebook file exports. PressBooks also includes an easy way for your ideal clients to read your book online and/or where they can buy your book. The easy web interface will also allow you to make unlimited changes and exports of the print-ready and digital formats of your book.
Get started at www.PressBooks.com
More about 99designs //
99designs is your one stop shop for anything graphic design related. Their community of nearly 1 million designers will create dozens of designs for you. Then you pick the winner. Plus they guarantee you’ll find a design that you love or your money back.
Get started at 99designs.com
Alternate Cover Design Options //
I realize there are lots of other cover design options available to you. I have worked with many designers over the years. I have also used several Photoshop-like design tools. In the end, the crowdsourced book covers at 99designs.com is an excellent choice. But I’ll share a few more options that I give a thumbs up.
Another company I recommend for designing your book cover is OctagonLab.com. The neat thing about OctagonLab is they only do book covers. And more important, they know we all judge a book by its cover. So they will design a book cover based on what will attract your ideal clients.
My favorite do it yourself nontechnical design tools are Snappa, MyeCoverMaker.com and Canva.com. If you do plan to go the DIY route with your book’s cover design, the webpage to calculate the size of your paperback book cover and download your cover design template is Createspace.com/Help/Book/Artwork.do.