After 20+ Years in the Book Business,
I’ve Found the #1 Secret to Self-Publishing Success
Hi, I’m Michele DeFilippo, author of Publish Like the Pros. I founded 1106 Design because I wanted self-published books like yours to look just as professional as the mainstream books I designed for Crown Publishing in New York.
When self-publishing was in its infancy, I would read the words of self-published authors and say to myself, “This author is just as good as the traditional ones. What a great book!”
But I knew they wouldn’t enjoy the success of the traditional authors I worked with.
It wasn’t because those mainstream authors had the resources and backing of the major publishing houses. Some savvy marketing and serious sweat can level the playing field there.
No. The reason those self-published books would never land on a bestseller list was because their books didn’t look like “real” books.
If It Looks Like a Rookie Designed It,
People Assume a Rookie Wrote It.
The cover has to capture people’s attention, if not imagination. Then—and only then—do they read the title. If they’re still interested, they’ll pick the book off the shelf or click through to the book’s “about” page.
If they like what they see, they’ll leaf through the pages; if online, the “look inside” option. While the words inside the book will form an impression, so too will the feel of the book: what the letters look like, how the words fall across the page, how the paper feels.
You can spend all the money you want on promoting, publicizing, and pushing your book—but if the outside wrapping and inside design look cheap, you’ll be fighting a losing battle. It’s the #1 reason self-published books never reach the success they could have.
The #1 Secret to Self-Publishing Success:
Don’t Let Your Book Look Self-Published
How a book looks matters more to book browsers than what the book says. Now, you and I both know that’s not fair. We’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover.
But we do.
Everyone does. How else could you wade through hundreds of titles at Barnes & Noble or thousands of books on Amazon.com? We use certain signals to steer us to the good books and to overlook the “obviously” bad ones.
Two of the most important signals are:
- a professionally designed cover
- a professionally designed interior
Only after we make our purchase do we have the time to appreciate solid writing, great stories, and good ideas. But your readers will never get that far if they don’t buy your book in the first place.
How Important Is Your Book’s Success?
Your book won’t sell if it’s formatted in a word processor and has a $30 cover.
If you want to be seen as a “real” author, your book needs to look like a “real” book.
This is what we did for our client Michael Rubin, for example.
I wrote Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck to sell by itself, but I also hoped it would launch my speaking career. Fortunately, it did both.
About the time of its release, I obtained a national speaking tour, sponsored by a major international bank. Besides the great exposure for me, each seminar attendee received a copy of my book—with the bank’s compliments! Numerous employers, universities, and associations have followed suit.
I’m certain 1106’s professional design played a critical role in my book’s success.
– Michael Rubin, CPA, CFP, and author of Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck and The Savings Solution
Michael’s marketing efforts certainly carried him to success—and a great looking, professionally designed book made his work easier.
Or take this testimonial from leadership guru Susan Colantuono:
Unlike many authors, the target market for my books are corporations that buy them for their women’s leadership development programs (and sometimes for men, too!). And buy them, they do!
Corporations as diverse as Amgen, Hasbro, Pfizer, OfficeMax, Turner Construction, Sodexo, MITRE, Alcatel-Lucent, Interpublic Group and many more have made the books Michele and her team designed available to their women.
The cover and interior designs had to be appealing and a bit unconventional—because my messages fly in the face of many pieces of conventional wisdom. And, I wanted the covers to be unified because the books are related. When each book is in hand, readers find the covers smile-worthy and the contents very readable and well organized. It’s a joy to walk into a room to deliver a workshop and see the books at each participant’s seat. And the first thing they do is open them to see what’s inside.
—Susan Colantuono, author of No Ceiling, No Walls and Make the Most of Mentoring
Susan is a talented, professional business mentor—and she made the smart decision to do what she does well, and hire talented professionals to do the rest.
You can’t afford to let your great story and insights collect dust under a tired cover, behind rookie mistakes, and across badly typeset pages.
You write it. Let us design it.
What 1106 Design Can Do For You
We’re problem solvers.
Wherever you are with your book, we can help you reach your goal of being a published author.
Our team of professional design consultants offer:
- market research-driven cover design
- beautifully laid out interior design
- professional editing to bring out the depth of your words
- indexing (a critical service if you plan to sell your nonfiction book to libraries, and especially if it’s technical in nature)
- e-book formatting
- successful author websites to showcase you and your work
…plus a number of other services, from creating author marketing materials to helping you analyze the best printing and distribution options for your print books and eBooks.
Your book will never be placed into an impersonal “queue” at 1106 Design. Depending on the number of services you need, your book may be ready for market before other designers can start.
You may only need a $600 Basic Book Cover.
Then again, you may need $5,000 worth of design, consulting, and service.
If you already know exactly what services you need, you’re welcome to use our handy Contact Us form.
But if you’re like most authors, you want an experienced team of professionals to help you understand your needs, to guide you through the dizzying array of decisions, and to hold your hand every step of the way.
Call (602) 866-3226 for a complimentary initial consultation.
We look forward to helping you create a book that looks and reads like a bestseller.
Michele DeFilippo and the team at 1106 Design