Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Consider Developing These Skills as an Indie Author - Part I: Simple Interior Design

Being an indie, or self-published, author has meant learning skills I never thought were a necessary component of an author's skill set. Like the vast majority of self-publishing authors, my budget to produce my books is very limited. In fact, once my books began to gain traction on Amazon and sell, I needed the money to pay bills for the family. 

Lesson learned. This is not a hobby, at least for me. There are skills authors today need that extend beyond craft. Without a doubt, the most important element of any book's success is a well written manuscript. Without a topnotch manuscript, no book will succeed despite all the other bells and whistles being topnotch.

Traditional publishing provides skills most authors don't have. Skills such as editing, interior design, cover design and for some lucky authors, marketing. Editing your manuscript yourself is not wise, thought it can be done.

Designing your interior is another skill that is best left to creative professionals. Having said that, there is an easy way to go about producing the files necessary to have your finished manuscript published in paperback and ebook formats. You don't have to learn the first thing about coding for ebooks or actual design elements for paper and ebook interiors.

Joel Friedlander, The Book Designer, and his partners at Book Design Templates have done the hard work for you. You simply have to select, and yes, pay for the template that features the interior design you believe best fits your manuscript. 

I have used these for multiple editions of my non-fiction books and successfully saved hundreds of dollars while producing quality book interiors! Yes, there is a learning curve. But, the good folks at Book Design Templates have provided the means to teach yourself how to use these Microsoft Word based templates.

You select the type of license you want to purchase, single or multi-edition. A commercial option is available as well. When finished, hit save and make a duplicate copy. I have found there are a few things I want to change for the two versions, one for paper and one for ebook. When finished, you are ready to upload your interiors for publication.

Once you master the process, you can format a 60,000 word book in a couple of hours. Books with images, graphs, etc, take longer.

If you hit a snag, for a reasonable fee, you can pay for help to either tutor you in the process or actually fix the problem for you. In one of my first efforts, I managed to mess things up so badly it took them awhile to repair the damage I had done. They did it with a smile and sent me my finished file ready to upload.

Please note! If you use these templates correctly, there is NO NEED to have your interior file converted to upload to Amazon's KDP or Nook's ePub. Your book, minus the cover, is ready to go! I have successfully used my files for Kindle, Nook and Draft2Digital who distributed my ebooks to iBook, Kobo and other ebook retailers.

Yes, this approach does cost some money and you have to invest the time to learn to use the templates. The positive is your book file is ready much quicker than if you paid someone else to do the work. Purchasing a multi-use license is still cheaper than paying to have a professional to design and produce your interior file and it is a one time fixed cost. You also do not have to pay for having the files converted for either POD or ebook editions.

I'm sold on this product/service produced and sold by Joel Friedlander and his partners. It is a skill indie/self-publishing authors should consider mastering.


For More Information