Enhance Book Sales with a Clear Corporate Image

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1106 Design

April 07, 2010

A professionally-designed book cover is absolutely essential when it comes to marketing your book. If your book looks good and stands out from the crowd, it has a better chance to sell.

The same principle applies when prospective customers view your marketing materials. It’s imperative to cut through the clutter, establish credibility, and help busy prospects notice your sales message. (The next time you’re going through that pile of junk mail, pay attention to what you keep and what you toss, and why.)

It doesn’t matter if you publish one book or a hundred, customers want to do business with a company that appears to be stable. Since they can’t meet you personally, the only way to communicate that message is through your marketing materials.

Every contact you make with a potential customer, whether it is a postcard, flyer, brochure, letter or website, says something about your company. If your materials are carefully designed, you are telling your prospective customer that your company is reliable and that they can be confident when they spend money with you.

The first step to a professional corporate identity is to design a logo that reflects the vision and purpose of your company. The best logos are simple and should be designed to look contemporary for a minimum of 10 years. Ideally, your designer will present a number of original ideas (not canned graphics that have been used over and over again) and refine these ideas from your feedback until you are delighted with the results.

A logo isn’t just a design for one purpose today, but also for many purposes in the future, so there are some considerations to discuss with your logo designer as work proceeds. A logo should be designed to look good in black and white first, because that’s how it will often be seen (on faxes and invoices, for example). Color enhances, but is never a substitute for, strong design.  If your logo doesn’t work in black and white, it simply doesn’t work. A strong logo design can be printed in black and white or one color, saving you money on printing down the road.

Logos should also be designed so that they can be altered as needed for use on both light and dark backgrounds (on future book covers, for example). Once the basic logo design is established, publishers often request two or more versions of a logo — a vertical logo for book spines, and a horizontal one for brochures and correspondence.

Step two in the establishment of a professional corporate identity is to write down design standards so that all of your marketing materials will have a consistent look. These standards define the size and position of your logo, as well as type faces and colors to be used consistently, so that your marketing materials have  a “family” look that convey an image of stability for your company. Your designer can write a graphic standards manual that explains how your logo is (and is not) to be used. With this document for reference, every marketing piece you produce now or in the future will be consistent, regardless of whether it is produced in-house or with the help of an outside designer.

A professional corporate identity consistently applied needn’t be expensive. While it’s convenient to call a quick printer every time you think of a new marketing piece, planning ahead can save you significant money on printing. Designers work with larger commercial printers on a regular basis and can suggest ways to stretch your printing budget that will still allow you to update materials on your desktop whenever the need arises.

For example, if you know you’ll be sending out mailers every two months for the next year, you may realize savings by printing “shells” in color and then updating the message in-house on your laser printer.

Another way to save money on printing is to produce bookmarks and postcards at the same time that your book cover prints. Not all book printers will do this, but even if they don’t, you can get the most for your printing dollar locally by “ganging up” your printing jobs instead of ordering each project individually.

Someone once said “the most expensive brochure is the one that doesn’t work.” Reserving a portion of your production budget for professional marketing materials will pay for itself many times over.

What do you want to know? What topics should we explore together? How can we help you along your publishing journey? Everyone here at 1106 Design wants to help. Post your comment here or email us using the Contact Us page.

Michele DeFilippo, owner, 1106 Design

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