Many authors who want to self-publish, or publish with and independent publisher want to know why they can't just do the interior design of their book themselves. It seems easy enough. The simplest answer is: if you are a trained professional, who can layout a book while meeting the standards and conventions of book design, then you can do your own interior. However, if you think that you can just save your Word document as a PDF and submit that to a printer, then you are very wrong. The truth is that I have seen many poorly designed books. The margins were wrong, or the page numbers were off. And, I thought to myself, “Who published this? It is so amateur looking!” That is why it is necessary to hire a professional to design the interior of your book, and why at Lucid Books we require it. As we discussed a few weeks ago nothing makes you look less professional than a poorly designed book cover. The same goes for the interior of your book.
The reality is that there is much more to a book’s interior than font. In order for a book to look professional the running heads, page numbers, display pages (such as chapter openings), etc. have to be placed properly. There of course needs to be proper justification and margins. Then there is the need of a copyright page.
If you self-publish you can't forget the copyright page, doing so will most assuredly tell your reader, “This is not a legitimate book.” This is another reason why publishers want, and may require, you to get your book’s interior designed by a professional. If they are going to put their copyright information in your book, they want to make sure that the design reflects their work as a publisher.
You want your book to look professional. You want your book to hold its own next to books published by big publishing houses. And it can, but not if you don't invest in its design. The cover of your book is extremely important. It is the first thing that readers are going to see, and how they will initially judge it. But, the interior is just as important. There is such a thing as a second impression, and you want your book to make a good one.
Do you think that professional interior book design is important? Share with us in the comment section below.