|Examples of book cover elements.|
1. Collect all photos, art & illustrations. If it’s appropriate for your book, make sure you’ve identified and categorized any necessary images for the book. We’ve written a more in depth explanation for photo and illustration collection here.
2. Get permissions. If you are quoting song lyrics, movie lines or quotes from other books that are not public domain, make sure you write to the entity holding the rights for permission to use the item. Simply giving credit will not protect you from potential litigation. This is especially important for pop culture references.
3. Copyright your work. Avoid having someone claim any portion of your work as their own by obtaining the copyright.
4. Compile the text of book. This can be a done in a variety of ways. Some people create an outline first. Others just begin writing and then organize it after they begin. The important part is to get the book written and then edit, edit and then edit again. After you have edited it several times, get a professional to edit your manuscript.
5. Provide notes (or endnotes). If your book is a work of non-fiction, you may find it useful to provide secondary information as notes or endnotes in the book. This would be supporting information, that isn’t really completely pertinent to the main theme of your book, but that a reader may find interesting.
6. Provide a bibliography. Most books that are non-fiction do rely on first and second hand sources for the information written about. Make sure you give credit where credit is due.
7. Design a great cover. While the saying goes, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” it is the first thing a reader sees so you do want to put some thought and effort into its creation. Some things to consider: artwork related to the subject of your book, your title, and author and book blurb and a bar code are the most important. If you’ve been lucky enough to have someone review an early copy of your book, use excerpts from the review to let readers know what people are saying about your book. We’ll have a blog post completely dedicated to designing a cover later.
8. Compile an index. This is especially important for non-fiction, though there may be cases when it is appropriate for works of fiction as well. An index is important to provide a guide for readers to find subjects easily throughout the book. We have complete instructions on how to create an index in this blog.
9. Get an ISBN. An ISBN number is the International Standard Book Number and uniquely identifies your book in the commercial publishing world. There is only one book per number and it helps catalog and organize books.
10. Set a price. And, of course, you want to determine what the price should be for your book. This needs to take into account the cost of publishing and any other overhead and publisher fees in order to provide a decent profit per book.