What happens between the time the manuscript is complete, and the book is published? Pre-publishing! That is the phase of The Authorneer’s Journey I talk about in today’s episode of The Author Switch. This phase is where you get your cover and the interior of your book designed.

Audio for Episode 13: The Authorneer’s Journey, Part 6: Pre-Publishing

Runtime: 20 minutes, 59 seconds

Video for Episode 13: The Authorneer’s Journey, Part 6: Pre-Publishing

Transcript for Episode 13: The Authorneer’s Journey, Part 6: Pre-Publishing

NOTE: Due to some ad-libbing, this may not be an exact transcript.

Hello! And welcome to The Author Switch, the podcast dedicated to helping aspiring and new authors turn on The Author Switch to success in their minds. This is lucky Episode number 13. If you missed any past episodes – especially episodes 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 in October, December, January, February, and March – go to authorswitch.com to find them.

I’m your host Carma Spence, author of five books, including the award-winning and bestselling Public Speaking Super Powers and the now-in-pre-order second edition of Home Sweet Home Page.

You may be wondering why I emphasized catching those odd-numbered episodes of this podcast. Well, in those episodes I talked about the first through fifth steps in the Authorneer’s Journey, and in this episode, I’m going to share step number six. These episodes are part of an eight-episode series on the Authorneer’s journey.

I assure you that each episode can stand on its own and you will gain valuable information about the various parts of the writing, publishing, and marketing-a-book journey from each episode individually. However, they will help you more effectively if you listen to them all because they will give you a more holistic view of what goes into making a living as an author.

Now on to Part six: Pre-Publishing!

So what do I mean by pre-publishing? I’ve talked a bit about this before in earlier episodes of this series, but this is the phase where you really get the work done. This is where you get your cover finalized. Your content edited and designed. Then proofed again. All the pieces of your book come together in a beautiful package ready for your readers to enjoy!

Now, if you were working with a publisher, they would handle all that, but as a self-published indie author … you’re in charge of all this stuff. So what do you do? Well, here’s how I did it for my latest book, Home Sweet Home Page. And if you’re listening to this episode, I recommend you stop and to check out the video version, because I’m going to share some slides because this information is quite visual.

First, let’s talk about the cover. With Public Speaking Super Powers and even the first edition of Home Sweet Home Page, I designed the cover. And I’m happy with the results. However, I was really struggling with coming up with a next-level design for the second edition, so I decided to hire a designer and the easiest way to do that on a budget is with 99Designs.com.

This is not the only way, but it is an easy and affordable way. For a flat fee, you run what is called a design contest and designers compete to design your book cover. Look at some of the amazing designs I got. And these are only some of the ones I liked the best. There were more. It was really tough whittling them down to a few.

While the contest is running, you can get help deciding by running a poll. Share the poll in social media and get feedback on the designs you’re getting. This is a great way to get your following excited about your forthcoming book, as well, by the way.

After your contest is over, you finalize the design with your designer and receive the files. Now there are some potential pitfalls I want you to be aware of when it comes to timing your cover design contest:

  • If you can wait until the interior is done, do so
  • If not, make sure the designer does NOT give you final covers until the interior is done and agrees to this as part of the contest
  • Be very clear on what formats you want the book design for
  • Be willing to pay an extra cost for extra designs
  • Make sure you get all master files, including fonts and images, in case you need to make changes later

Then you can do a special cover reveal event on social media! Your book just got a little more real. Cool, huh?

In a moment, I’ll talk about the interior design. But first, here’s a short commercial break.

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Hello! And welcome back to The Author Switch, the podcast dedicated to helping aspiring and new authors turn on The Author Switch to success in their minds. I’m your host, Carma Spence, author of the bestselling and award-winning book Public Speaking Super Powers as well as the now-in-pre-order second edition of Home Sweet Home Page.

Before the break, I spoke about one-half of the pre-publishing process, and that is getting an awesome design for your book’s cover. The second part of the pre-publishing process is getting an awesome design for your book’s interior.

The first step is to get your manuscript as clean and free of errors as possible. I went into great detail about this in episode 7 in January, but here is the basic flow again:

  1. Edit it yourself
  2. Have an Editor Edit It
  3. Edit it again yourself
  4. Have it Designed
  5. Proof it yourself
  6. Have a Proofreader proof it
  7. Proof it one more time yourself

Now let’s go into a little more detail about step four here, having the interior designed. You have several options:

  1. Design it yourself using a word processor such as Word
  2. Design it yourself using software such as inDesign or Designr
  3. Hire a freelancer or an agency
  4. Use 99Designs.com

For most of my books, I did option 1, designed it myself in Word. For Public Speaking Super Powers, I used an agency that specialized in book design and formatting. And for the second edition of Home Sweet Home Page I used 99Designs. Frankly, all options have their pros and cons. I made the decisions I did based on time and budget. The more time and smaller budget you have, the more likely you will need to do it yourself. However, if you can, I highly recommend hiring this work out. You’ll get higher quality design and much nicer looking book on the shelf.

And that’s it for the pre-publishing phase of The Authorneer’s Journey. We’re coming up on the finishing line. The next step is Publishing. I’ll talk about that in episode 15 of The Author Switch in the second half of May. Between now and then, in episode 14, I’ll be chatting with Andy Cabasso about this really cool tool you can use to find guest blogging and podcast opportunities called Postaga. I hope you’ll tune in!

Until then, this is your host, Carma Spence, signing off. Ciao!

About The Author Switch

The Author Switch is a podcast dedicated to helping experts, entrepreneurs, and small business owners turn on The Author Switch — and keep it on — so that they can leverage the power of books to take their businesses to a whole new dimension. You learn more about the show on its page.