One of the biggest advantages of self-publishing is that the author retains complete control. The potential downside is that the market is currently flooded with unprofessionally produced self-published books, which languish online and which bookstores will not carry. Manifest Identity’s self-publishing services offers the same professional support and services that major publishing houses can offer authors, so that your book is professionally presented and taken just as seriously by readers and bookstores. And you still retain control. Here are some ways I do that:
Book cover design
Your book’s cover is really your one chance to sell it, whether online or on the bookstore shelf, so it has to be good. I have been designing beautiful book covers for all kinds of books for many years. I am really good at it and I still love it. I will bring my professional graphic design experience, my understanding of the industry, and what I have learned about you and your vision for your book together to create a truly striking cover.
A beautiful book cover is your most important marketing tool. I have designed dozens of book covers like these, over the past twenty years. I know what works and I will make sure your cover shines.
The importance of having your book professionally edited cannot be overemphasized. All too often I have seen the lack of it sabotage what should have been a successful book. I don’t want that to happen to your book, so I work with some of the best editors in the industry and I can match you with the most appropriate editor for your book. If you have already had your book edited, I and my editors can assess your manuscript and let you know whether the editing is of high-enough quality for your book to be successful and, if not, what your options are for getting it there.
Book pages design
Most people don’t think much about the design of the pages of a book—until they try to read a badly designed book. Book design is a very specialized art. Even many graphic designers, if they don’t know books, break some of the largely unspoken rules of book design, most of which exist for good reason. As a professional book designer, I have worked on every kind of book imaginable. I know the importance of simple, clear, readable, beautiful page design and how it differs for each type of book. Bookstore buyers also recognize good design and know its importance for sales and a good reader experience. Nothing makes a book scream “self-published” like amateur design—or makes it harder to sell to bookstores. Your book also needs to be professionally proofread after it has been designed and laid out, so that it doesn’t go to press with embarrassing errors.
Attractive, readable page design is also vitally important. I have designed the pages of everything from poetry and novels to coffee-table art books, children’s literature, and technical manuals.
I will work with you to decide the best way to get your book printed. Print-on-demand is certainly a good option, but Amazon is not the only (or necessarily the best) print-on-demand outlet. Short-run digital printers can also sometimes be a good choice. Depending on the book and your plans for it, a longer print run at an offset press may in fact be the most cost-effective way to go. In some cases, a combination of more than one of these methods will best fill an author’s needs. I have worked with all kinds of printing companies and can help you choose the best way (or ways) to go. I will also make sure that your book files are prepared to the correct specifications for your chosen supplier, whether print-on-demand or a conventional printer—or both. I can also upload the files and work with the printer throughout the process, including checking proofs for any potential issues. If you choose, I can also take on production management and deal directly with the printer for you.
I will prepare your book’s files for the printer. It is especially important that the cover files—including the back cover, barcode, spine, and bleeds—are to industry standards, so that they print correctly.
Getting your book up on Amazon is not enough to sell books. Most authors also want their books in bookstores, yet they may not realize that most bookstores will not order books from Amazon and may not accept what they perceive as a self-published book at all. Even if an author is able to talk a bookstore into carrying their book, it often languishes on the shelves—only to be returned, worn and dog-eared, a few months later. Manifest Identity can get your book on Amazon and into the bookstores and give you realistic advice on how to get it noticed.
The best person to market your book is always you. There are marketing consultants for hire, but most are expensive, and authors I’ve heard from who used them have not always felt that they got their money’s worth. I do not claim to be a marketing consultant, but I can advise you on strategies I have learned from personal and professional experience—and I’ll always have in mind who you are and what your goals are for your book. People talk a lot about the importance of social media. If you know your way around Facebook and Instagram, there is a lot you can do and I can offer some suggestions. In addition to social media—or if that’s simply not your style—I can help you with other simple, more personal approaches to getting your book into the hands of your readers.
I will be honest, my experience and my love are with traditional publishing. Not long ago, people were saying that printed books would die out and we all would be reading on e-book readers. Well that hasn’t happened and real books, as well as brick-and-mortar bookstores, are now making a comeback. I can help you decide if your book will work best as an e-book, a traditional book, or both. If you decide you want to publish an e-book, I can prepare those files and upload them as well. If you want to publish your book as an e-book only, I can still design an appropriate and eye-catching cover (see estimates below).
Anyone who has published a book should have a website. If you don’t have one yet, Manifest Identity can also help you with that. Read more about Manifest Identity Websites.
How Manifest Identity’s Book Publishing Works
Contact Lindy to set up a free, no-obligation phone consult. If we both decide we want to work together, we will proceed with one of two next steps:
If you do not yet have a manuscript, we can set up a schedule of phone or Zoom consulting at $65/hr on an agreed-upon schedule, to help get you there.
If you are ready to publish, the next step is a no-obligation, $300 assessment of your book. You send me your table of contents, three sample chapters, sample art (if any), and a page estimate and I provide a professional assessment and suggested next steps. In a follow-up call, we will decide together if it would be best for you to move forward on your own or to continue working with me.
If we decide to continue working together, we will start either:
• Publishing Consulting at $65/hr, on an agreed-upon schedule or
• Self-Publishing Services if you decide to publish your book yourself. Based on your book’s assessment, I will provide an estimate which we can discuss before proceeding.
Self-Publishing Services typical price ranges:
• Cover design only:
$600 – $1,000, depending on complexity and whether art is provided.
• Complete book design:
$1,000 – $5,000, depending on length and complexity of book.
• The editor will provide an estimate for editing and proofreading.
Non-profit discounts available.