Whether the book you’re writing will appear on shelves in a bookstore â€“ and, yes, this still happens quite a bit â€“ or whether you hope to attract web-browsing readers, your cover needs to stand out and the design of your book needs to be attractive
What do I mean by attractive?
That can be a relative term, but I feel that with business books, it’s good to use a lot of white space, to employ lists, to use what are called callouts â€“ that is, quotes or questions or pertinent facts displayed in heavier type in the margins. And lots of visuals.
You don’t want your book to seem too dense. You want the reader not only to follow what you read easily (in terms of its visual style), you want it to be pleasing to the eye.
This seems self-evident, but many people ignore this, especially self-published authors. A cadre of naysayers still belittle self-published books as lesser than those put out by traditional publishers, but this is nonsense. The thing is, however, in a self-published book you have to bear the costs of design and editing. And these are costs you should build in to your book budget. But that’s for another post.
Take a look at the business books that have a visual design that you like. Then, more than simply telling yourself they’re appealing, see what makes them so, in your eyes:
- Do you like how the bullet points are organized?
- Do you like the style of illustration in the book?
- Do you like how certain words or phrases are used in margins?
- Do you like the use of white space â€“ the margin widths, the spacing between paragraphs?
- Do you dislike the art?
- Do you like or dislike the font and typeface?
- What do you like about the cover?
o Is it too bold?
o Not bold enough?
o Does it promise too much?
o Does it leave you unimpressed?
o Does it stand out from the others on the bookshelves in a good way?
o Do you like the colors, the illustration or photograph?
These are all important considerations. Make a list of what you like, and when you get together with your designer, you’ll know what you want for your own book.
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