Writing Books/book design


Hello Bobbi,

I'm writing what I call a book or at least I hope it'll be one.
It's finished being edited and ready to be printed.
My question, being short on cash, how can I put a nice cover on it as cheaply
as possible? I don't expect it to be on a best seller list. But I do want it to be
more advanced than my first attempt.  

You are wise to be concerned about the cover. The cover often is the only thing that sells a book. If the cover looks bad, few people will buy the book, no matter how well written the contents may be. As in editing, the cover is not a place where you want to scrimp.

I am not a book designer, but I can say this: If you donít want the cover to look cheap, donít go cheap. That is, pay someone, even if it is only a design student, to design a book cover properly and well. Getting the front, back, and spine looking professional takes much more work and knowledge than most non-designers can imagine, plus the file must be compatible with the printerís equipment. Unless you have a design program, know how to use it, and have studied design, I donít recommend designing a book cover yourself. If you want the cover to look professional, hire a professional to do it.

Barring hiring a pro, some of the self-publishing companies offer cover design as part of their printing packages. You can check the Internet for such companies and see if they offer any covers that appeal to you at a price that is satisfactory, or you can surf the Web for cover designers and pick one with the best price. Through the miracle of the Internet your designer can be anywhere in the world and send the files to you electronically. Check out some of the lower priced book design companies in India, for example.  

I hope this information helps.

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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