Checklist which help you to survive in self-publishing world

MIBLART | Book Cover Design

Many websites offer different types of self-published author checklist. Most of them include such things as sending the final manuscript to copy edit, obtain copyright registration and so on. During my work, I faced with the fact that you also need to have a checklist what to do before you order the book cover design and what you need to check after you got the final files. No one pays enough attention to the cover design process, which I think is wrong. The cover is significant for your book, and you need to be prepared to order it.

Everything is easy if you want to have only ebook cover (e. g. Kindle) as for it you need to order only the front cover, and you need to know the size of the front cover only. If you are going to publish at CreateSpace or IngramSpark, you need to order a ready for print cover, which means that you need to have a front cover, back cover and spine designs.

In this short article, I will give you a general list of what you should do before the publishing. In addition to this you will get a self-published author checklist in which we emphasize the creative side of this process e.i. creating of book cover design.

Self-published author checklist

  • Finalize the title and the subtitle of your book
  • Proofread all the content
  • Create interior page layout
  • If you want to place the testimonials on your back cover, please send your manuscript to those people who are ready to leave you such reviews.
  • Obtain and assign an ISBN and a barcode
  • Register your book and obtain copyright registration.

These points are very simple, and you got used to doing it every time you publish your book. In addition to it let’s discuss the other side of the publishing process e.i. the work with the professional designer.

So here are some essential things which you need to know before to order the book cover from the designer.

Self-published author checklist for work with the professional designer

  • First of all, determine the publishing platform or publishing company with which you are going to work. Publishing house is important as all of them have got different requirements for the book cover design and a designer should pay attention to it. Ask them to send you the template for your cover or give you size requirements.
  • Please, find out how many pages your book have, what type of paper are you going to use (for CreateSpace or other online platform) and should it be a softcover or hardcover. All these parameters influence the size of the final file, especially the number of the pages affect the size of the spine.
  • Obtain and assign a barcode. Most designers need to put the barcode on the back of your book, so you need to provide him with it beforehand.
  • Create the summary of the book as well as your bio. Every good writer should have a good blurb on the back cover of his book.
    Prepare an author photo on the back of the cover. It should be of high resolution and should not look like a selfie, unless you want it to look like a selfie.
  • Prepare a short description of what is your book about. If there are main characters in the story, please, prepare the description of their appearance.
  • When you make the order, you should agree with the designer that you will receive the source file. You will need it in case if you want to make the changes on the cover, for example, change the summary, the author picture or just entirely redesign the cover.

What you should get at the end of the work from the designer

Finally, please, check that you received all the files which you may need:

  • ebook cover in jpg format
  • pdf file for ready for print cover
  • full cover in jpg for ready for print cover
  • source file (mostly these are psd or ai files)

MiblArt also sends a free 3D model of your book in png format (with transparent background), which you may use for marketing purposes.

There are more things which you need to do if you want to promote your book. For example, you need to prepare the promotional material like banners for Facebook or your website, bookmarks, flyers, etc. Also, you may hire a PR agency; it depends on you.

I hope that self-published author checklist from MiblArt will be useful and will make the creative process of cover creation easier and faster especially for newbies in self-publishing.