Jump to content
Alan's Forums

Book Layout + Design - Self-Publishing


Tara Rethore

Recommended Posts

Tara Rethore

All -

With a co-author, I've completed the manuscript for a book. It's not a typical business book; rather it is a toolbox comprised of both a prose overview and a collection of tools the reader can use to put the guidance into action. (Think: The Simplicity Handbook or Value Proposition Canvas in terms of format, although minus the whimsy). Target audience is CEOs/Presidents/GMs of established middle-market businesses (~$10-500MM revenue). While there are zillions of strategy books, few (if any) lay out the nuts and bolts of strategy or how to align strategy and operations along the entire strategy journey in a pragmatic way. 

The tools make this a heavy lift for graphic design. We've received a quote from StyleMatters to shepherd the book from its current state into a book which we will self publish. The graphics will be usable in print, digital, or on our website (as downloads) should we opt to sell or offer the tools that way. I'll share his proposal below, as we'd like to pressure-test the proposal with you. We like the idea of taking an integrated approach to the various elements, vs. getting independent experts to handle each of graphics, editing, layout, etc. We can be persuaded otherwise, particularly since we know there are pieces of this proposal which we can do ourselves (e.g. choose a self-publishing site). My questions for you:

1. Has anyone worked with Bob Murray or StyleMatters?

2. Does this proposal seem to be in the ballpark of cost, timing, and tasks?

3. Is there someone else you'd suggest we talk to? 

PS: I also read the "Publishing" thread started by @LisaLarter . Helpful; thank you.

StyleMatters proposal is $13,500 to do the following over 13 weeks:

Weeks 1-3. Phase 1 – StyleMatters provides publishing analysis and strategy for production, distribution and retail considerations, including on-demand vs. traditional printing. Client approves publishing path forward. Final proofing of manuscript prose conducted to eliminate errors prior to design/layout. Formal publishing entity decided upon. Concurrently, book designer initiates work with Client to streamline graphic design elements for iconography, frameworks and illustrations to be presented in the book. Project task list and schedule prepared. 
 
Weeks 4-8. Phase 2 – StyleMatters executes book design and layout. Interior: Common structures identified. Initial “print-ready” chapter layout presented, iterated on, and approved; subsequent chapters designed based on approved structures, layout and Client-provided graphical elements. Front matter finalized. Cover: Front design approved. Back cover copy and design elements finalized. Price determined, bar code acquired. ISBN acquired. Registration with Library of Congress completed and Number acquired. Final galleys proofing completed by Client and StyleMatters. 
 
Weeks 9-13. Phase 3 – StyleMatters establishes production/printing/distribution/retail relationships with Client and helps prepare book for sale. Accounts created by Client and/or printing and publishing contracts signed (if applicable). Specific tasks TBD based on decisions from Phase 1. 
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
popky

Hi Tara. I work with many authors (including some on the Forums) to help edit and produce business books. I don't know anything about StyleMatters specifically, but I'm happy to chat with you about your project to understand if this proposal makes sense.

Contact me at linda@popky.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
Alan Weiss

Tara, I don't know this company, but my feedback is to ask them for a variety of books they've published, then privately contact the authors to ask about their experiences. 

I am inferring something else: If this is a "heavy lift" with a lot of graphics, tools, lists, steps, etc., I doubt it will be read by owners and CEOs. Your premise about few books providing such details is false. I know you feel great about your own work, good for you, but you need to honestly assess if it's something that will be read (as opposed to how accurate you think it is). You're in the marketing business with this, not the content business or the strategy business. Be careful about how you spend your money. The book isn't the point, acquiring business is the point.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffreyScott

If all you really end up with is a good looking book (nice cover, good layout) then you may be paying too much. So the question in my mind is, how well do they implement the distribution...and what other hidden costs are there e.g. we can get you into airport books stores, but you will have to pay separately for placement there. or e.g. we will get it distributed and we get 50% of the royalties.

On my self published books, I worked with a specialist (book layout and cover design only.) He made my books "look" professional, the rest is up to me.

Good luck.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Alan Weiss

No publishers, let alone self-publishers and vanity press, invest anything is individual authors unless they're already best-sellers.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Linda Henman

Tara, I don't know the company you're referring to, but I can say I won't do another self-published book, unless it's a small e-book for a target audience.

I self-published my first book and spent about $15,000 on it.  It looks good but hasn't sold well. More importantly, it didn't get me any business to speak of.

I also realized the  audience is really those who aspire to have the C-suite roles. They read more than those already in the executive chair. 

You have the beginnings of a book proposal already. Why not send it to agents to see if you can find a commercial publisher before you put any more money into this?

I am working on my 8th book and can say I haven't made money on any of them. But my income is 4 times what it was when I wrote the self-published book.

Edited by Linda Henman
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Tara Rethore
On 4/25/2020 at 9:19 AM, JeffreyScott said:

If all you really end up with is a good looking book (nice cover, good layout) then you may be paying too much. So the question in my mind is, how well do they implement the distribution...and what other hidden costs are there e.g. we can get you into airport books stores, but you will have to pay separately for placement there. or e.g. we will get it distributed and we get 50% of the royalties.

On my self published books, I worked with a specialist (book layout and cover design only.) He made my books "look" professional, the rest is up to me.

Good luck.

@JeffreyScott Would you share the name of your specialist, assuming you would work with them again?

Link to post
Share on other sites
GeneMoran

Tara, Anna David is a member of the community, but not often on the forum. I met her at Alan's 627 at exactly the time I was finishing a manuscript. I recommend her highly for exactly what you've described. Her process worked for me. Less time and less money than you've outlined above, and she's a lot of fun to work with. Find her at Launchpad publishing, www.launchpad.com. If you'd like to message me with your email, I'll make an introduction.

Gene

Link to post
Share on other sites
JeffreyScott

I sent it to you via DM on the forum

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...