Design Services for Self-Publishing (Everything to Know)

A great book should have great design work, including covers, infographics, and more. A pool of qualified digital designers are out there, waiting to make your next ebook a hit. Find out why design services are an excellent option for self-publishing authors. Plus, discover why every book should include graphics and design, no matter the subject.

I remember being told at a young age to never judge a book by its cover. That’s a massive concept in the design services world.

While you and I know that there’s more than meets the eye with visuals, they also play an essential role in our reading.

If you find any sort of book with images, then you’re more likely to stay engaged with the content. Especially when it comes to nonfiction and educational books, visuals are a huge part of the presentation.

Design services make sure every book is prepared in the best way possible.

For authors looking to self-publishing as a means to get their work released, design services are crucial. I

know I’m about the least artistic person on the planet, which isn’t the end of the world. I don’t panic when I need something designed because I know countless professionals are ready to help.

Between the world of graphic design and actual illustrators, I can always find the designs I need in a flash. You might wonder what these services involve, and why they’re important to self-publishing.

In this article, we’ll go over everything there is to know about design services.

What are Design Services?

Design services involve a number of different jobs and projects. If you want to hire someone for design services, then you’ll need to conduct your search specifically.

Thanks to the internet and freelancing, there are a number of different design professionals ready to help you with your next project.

The world of design, like other industries, changes every year thanks to technology. Graphic design and physical design are much more closely related today than ever before.

If you’re hiring for a book or self-published project, then there are a number of types of design services to consider.

Design Services on fiverr mockup

Types of design services available

Websites like Fiverr completely changed my creative process.

In the past, I used to struggle to do everything on my own.

Now, I can simply hire someone to do project elements for me. You are never an expert at everything.

Luckily, many people specialize in various types of design services.

Book & Album Covers

Like previously mentioned, a cover can’t tell the story of what’s on the pages. That being said, book and album covers help catch eyes and grab attention. They also provide a visual representation of the words inside the binding. Hiring a professional artist to design your book or album cover is a great way to make a good first impression with potential readers and customers.


Firstly, illustrations are not just for picture books. If you have any sort of written text or work, then illustrations provide a buffer between endless streams of sentences. Illustrations can be creative in nature, or more informational. Considering how easy human brains get distracted, illustrations help a lot in keeping the reader’s eyes.

Infographic Design

I don’t know much about data and analysis, but I clearly can read an infographic. Rather than present your reader with countless streams of data, an infographic concisely overviews everything you’re talking about. I’m not alone; your reader will thank you for the abbreviated overview of data in the form of infographic design.

Vector Tracing

I didn’t understand why vector tracing was important for a long time. In fact, I bet some of you don’t even know what vector tracing is. Vector tracing is the ability of an artist to design a clearer, more hi-resolution image. If you have images that are blurry or faded, then you want to hire these professionals. Vector tracing helps keep everything looking clean and crisp.

Print Design

If you plan on printing your book or self-publication, then consider print designers. There is a huge difference between electronic documents and physical prints. They don’t always look the same, especially depending on your printer. I think a print designer is the main difference between an okay book and a great book. In the end, presentation is everything.

Become a design services freelancer and start your first gig today

Are you an expert in any of these forms of design services?

If you are, then consider being a freelancer. Firstly, you can earn extra money doing what you do best. Secondly, I’m not the only person hiring your expertise; countless others are as well! Lastly, you can never go wrong with a little extra money.

If you have the skills, then put them to good use as a freelancer.

More on design services and why they are important

If you don’t know how to design something, then you have two options.

Firstly, you can simply try it and end up with a lackluster finished product.

Inversely, you can hire someone who knows what they’re doing. Think of it this way: you want to sell your self-published work. If you want to make money, you have to spend money to make your book or work look good.

In short, design services are well worth the cost of hiring a professional.

Design Services Handwriting text writing Self Publish. Concept meaning writer publish piece of ones work independently at own expense

What is the best site for self publishing?

Self-publishing is a huge part of the eBook world. Some of the best authors in the world publish their own works.

If you wrote books even two decades ago, then you likely couldn’t do it on your own.

Today, self-publishing is not only widely accepted, but incredibly popular. Some of the best places to self-publish your work are now considered top locations for finding tomorrow’s next big author. Design services are a big part of this world too.

By far, the top site for self-publishing is Kindle Direct Publishing.

If you want to reach the largest amount of readers, then KDP is the way to go. I also really love the format and ease of use offered by Rakuten Kobo Publishing. Likewise, Apple Books is also a popular platform. In short, the best places to publish have two things. Firstly, they are widely visited by readers. Secondly, they offer easy tools to self-publish.

Overall, these three options are the top destinations to consider.

Design Services Dark skinned publisher feeling busy working in printing office

What is the best publisher for first time authors?

If you have never self-published before, the process is a little daunting.

For first time authors, self-publishing services need to be easy to use and understand. Firstly, any great publisher is going to walk you through the process. Secondly, first time authors want easy access to their work and creative control.

The best suitors for first time authors provide all of these things.

As mentioned above, there is no better eBook self-publisher than Kindle Direct Publishing. If you are a first time author, then there’s nothing more easy or comprehensive. The costs associated with the process are minimal. Additionally, Kindle and Amazon are a top destination for eBook readers. There’s no downside to choosing the best publisher for first time and experienced authors. If you are moving into self-publishing, then start with KDP.

Design Services Editorial designer working on publication layout

Can you publish a book for free?

To begin, self-publishing is often a situation where the author has little money. For that reason, there needs to be a way to publish with little costs put on your shoulders. I love the fact that many popular platforms don’t cost a thing.

If they do cost anything, then you often sacrifice having to give up royalties.

Let’s take Kindle Direct Publishing for example. You can publish your work on KDP for free, but Amazon gets 70% of the revenue of your book.

Paid platforms take less royalties. If you are starting out, then a royalty cut is not a big deal. As you grow as an author and in readership, then it’s worth looking at paid options.

Design Services Student reading a book has a bright idea how to earn money

Can writing a book make you rich?

To being, if you’re writing to get rich, then you’re in the wrong game. Writers need to feel passion for their work, as well as purpose. I

believe truly that money is not a real source of purpose.

Deep down, writing is something you do to connect with your inner most self. If you want to share that part of you with the world, then you can publish your works.

There are authors who make a lot of money.

I think in most cases, I gravitate towards big name authors who feel authentic. I don’t enjoy reading authors who feel like they’re trying to grab at my wallet. Instead, find yourself a style and voice, and stick to it.

When readers find your work, then they can see your authenticity. That’s a much clearer path to money than trying to write to make a quick buck.

Design Services Textbook layout design An open book

Can you make a living from writing?

Firstly, being rich is different from making a living.

To make a living, you just need to pay for the basic necessities and some fun money to spend on entertainment and hobbies. Secondly, many authors make a living from writing. There are a ton of people who love to write, but don’t do it professionally. When they decide to give the career a try, they often wonder how they will pay the bills.

As mentioned above, writing to pay the bills isn’t a bad option, but it should be why you write. Your passion and mine may be completely different.

I love writing articles, but I have yet to tackle a book. I write because I love the medium of interaction with readers. Why do you love to write? Ask yourself this important questions from the get go. Then, you can look into the money surrounding writing for a living. It’s possible, but you have to go about it the right way.

Read How to Do It – The 4 Best Books for Design Services

Layout Essentials Revised and Updated: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids

Layout Essentials Revised and Updated 100 Design Principles for Using Grids

Laying out a book is a lot like writing a blueprint to a house. In Layout Essentials Revised and Updated: 100 Design Principles for Using Grids, readers master the heart of what a book layout should be. If you don’t want to hire design services, then this is a great way to learn book design yourself. The book is a revised version updated to the latest and greatest trends and features. This way, you can use the book for years to come as well.

Learn the key elements of great book design and master the use of grids to keep readers glued to your work.

Why do readers love this book? It’s simple: no book does a better job at introducing the subject of grids and book design. If you’re not sure about the grid method, then start here. The book is a key element to many who begin studying design services and self-publishing.

Making and Breaking the Grid, Second Edition, Updated and Expanded: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop

Making and Breaking the Grid Second Edition Updated and Expanded A Graphic Design Layout Workshop

Grid layouts help to really break down how a book should be organized. The design layout of a book is far from standard. Every author has their own style, but they mostly work within a grid. The key is to not see grids as too stringent or limiting. In order to do so, Making and Breaking the Grid, Second Edition, Updated and Expanded: A Graphic Design Layout Workshop is where you can learn the key to making the most of your graphic images in a book.

Finding grids to be a bit limiting in your design process? This book helps break the grid method into a creative freedom, instead of limitation.

There are a lot of areas to master in design services. Overall, the key to a great book cover or layout is organization and purpose. Master both with this amazing workshop guide to grids and book design.

Guide to Graphic Design 1st Edition

Guide to Graphic Design 1st Edition

Why do books look the way they do on paper or screen? It’s for a purpose, and you can learn that purpose in this book.

We all know the general layout to expect in a book. If we open a book, we are rarely surprised by how the words and pages are laid out. The overall function of design services and a layout is to satisfy a reader’s expectations. For a lot of first time authors, graphic design is the last of their concerns.

Don’t shrug off the importance of graphic design. If you want to really make your book shine, then the key is going to be mastering graphic usage. The importance of graphic design is to exemplify the words. Don’t think of graphics as a distraction. Instead, learn the importance of graphic design in this how-to book meant to help guide you through this area of self-publication.

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design

Meggs History of Graphic Design

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design is a useful tool I recommend to first time authors and newcomers to graphic services. Designing a book cover or layout is going to be tough the first time around. What better way to learn the ropes than to study the history of graphic design and visual aides?

Some history books are tough to read through, but this is a story-based lesson in graphics. For a long time now, there have been countless progressions that led to where we are today. If you want to master the now, revisit the past. That way, you’re ready for the future.

Learning something new often means starting from the beginning. The history of graphic design is full of key lessons.

Design Services FAQ

Curious about the most popular questions regarding design services? If you want to learn the basics, then I suggest looking over the most frequently asked questions.

What is book layout?

A book layout is the design and structure of a book’s presentation. Book layouts exist both in physical copies and in digital media. If you’re not quite sure how to properly design a book layout, then plenty of freelancers are available for hire to help out.

How much does it cost to layout a book?

If you want to spend money to hire a book design expert, then your pricing is going to vary. If you need everything from a cover to formatting, the costs are going to be in the hundreds. The more experience a freelancer has, then the more you will be paying. It’s like any service, however: you pay for what you get. Spending more yields a better product in most cases.

How much should I pay for a book cover design?

For an entire book cover, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50-$300. If a book cover design includes formatting and a lot of art, then you can expect to spend more. The most experienced book cover design services are going to cost more than someone new to the freelancing world. Plus, if you hire a design firm or agency, then you can expect to pay even more than a freelancer.

Is there a book template on Microsoft Word?

Microsoft Word offers many templates for various design layouts and looks. When using Word for design, you are adhering to a strict format set forth by the software. Any creative input is limited when using a format like this. For a more creative seat at the table, it’s ideal to either design the book yourself, or hire someone to do it for you.

Conclusion – Why Design Services are So Important

Design services are a key element to the self-publishing world.

Firstly, I know firsthand how talented the freelancers are out there; I’ve hired a few of them myself. If you should find yourself needing design services, then it’s best to hire an expert.

In this digital age, there’s no need to go at it alone and hope you do an okay job. Do the best you can do, and you’ll end up with the limits of your talent. Hire a design services freelancer or agency, and you’ll get a much better final product. Hiring and spending money on design is well worth the cost.

Your readers will be more inclined to read something designed by a professional.

What design services do you think could improve your self-published work? What part of design services do you think is the most important part of the book design process?

David A. Smith at Dave4Math

David Smith (Dave) has a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics and has enjoyed teaching precalculus, calculus, linear algebra, and number theory at both the junior college and university levels for over 20 years. David is the founder and CEO of Dave4Math.

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