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What we do. Step-by-step process: how to get your book from manuscript to printed book. Estimate your costs by finding a book similar to yours.
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Book Design and Costs


  • The cost to design and produce a simply formatted 100 page novel (including cover, bar codes, etc) is usually under $600. This assumes cover design and layout will take 3 to 5 hours and inside text design and layout will take another 3 to 4 hours (both at $75/hr). In some cases I’ve found that I’ve been able to complete some very straight-forward books requiring no changes for less than  $400.

  • For a 400 page book, the cost would be under $900.

  • Additional book production costs are incurred by adding headings, sub-headings, bulleted text, charts, tables, callouts, sidebars, index, footnotes, endnotes, appendices, etc.

  • I’ve found that preparation and placement of illustrations and photographs with captions may add about $5-$10 per image. Photo scanning (if required) would add about $2 per photo. Image clean-up and adjustments, if required, would add further to the cost.

  • Low image resolution is often a stumbling block in the production of a quality book. Most photos are now taken with smartphones or digital cameras set at the medium to low camera default, which is usually set for photos to be sent to friends and family over the internet. Photos for a printed book must be of a higher resolution. For a further explanation of required photo resolution, see  http://bookdesign.ca/31a_Photos.html

  • We receive, and can work with manuscripts and book material in various stages of preparedness. Keep your manuscript simple. The closer your material is to the simple electronic manuscript guidelines, the easier it will be for your designer (think time and $$). It is important that you read through my web page on manuscript preparation at:  http://bookdesign.ca/31a_Manuscript.html.
    If you’re not sure how to prepare your manuscript, talk with me before spending much time on it.
  • By seeing your manuscript and cover material, I’ll be able to determine whether it is ready for production, or whether there is more you could do in order to make it easier for me (and reduce your costs). It will also allow me to give you a more precise cost estimate.

  • If you are familiar with the efficient use of MS Word paragraph styles, then it is possible to set up your manuscript in such a way that the time I spend on formatting can be significantly reduced for some books with a more complex layout. See my web page at  http://bookdesign.ca/31a_Word_Styles.htm

  • Index, footnotes and endnotes can be prepared either before the manuscript is submitted for design, or after the final book layout is completed. See my web page at  http://bookdesign.ca/31a_Indexing.htm

  • When I receive your final text manuscript (preferably as one single file, with photo files supplied separately), I will make it ready for processing in a page layout program (InDesign). Removal of extra spaces, extra paragraph returns and so on is quite straight-forward, but dealing with a manuscript that has had substantial formatting done to it may require some extra time. Most of your work will need to be undone before I can start, so keep it simple.

  • Cover design cost will also depend on how much time I spend on it. If you supply me with all the cover text material and the images, the cost may be as little as $200. If I need to make substantial changes to the image, it may cost $400. If I need to find images and make changes to them, it may cost $600. (By searching through stock photo sites such as http://www.bigstockphoto.com/ for images from which we could choose, you could reduce my work time considerably). If original photography, original artwork or custom illustrations are required, costs will increase accordingly. In my cost estimate, I’ll assume you will provide photos or illustrations requiring little modification.

  • Cover and interior design are influenced by the subject matter of your book, writing style and tone of the writing, as well as the intended audience. Your comments and my review of the material will both play a part in the way the book will look.

  • In most cases, initial book page designs will be sent to you for your critique and approval, then upon approval and before formatting begins, a deposit of about 1/3 the estimated cost will be requested.

  • When you receive your first complete draft, it is expected that you will go through it carefully and very likely find that there will be changes you want to make. Very seldom is a first draft presented requiring no author alterations, so in our cost estimating we assume that you will ask for up to fifty changes or so to be made. Based on time, the cost to make changes is about $0.75 per change. There is also a minimum 15 minute charge every time the book document needs to be opened and new PDFs produced. It is quite easy for me to make changes to the document, but costs can add up so I strongly urge you to have your final manuscript editorially as close to perfect as you can make it before sending it to me. Proofreading (by you or someone you appoint) is your responsibility.

  • During the production process, you will receive PDF files, first for approval of design, then for proofing. Detailed billing reports will be sent on a regular basis. It would be unusual, but if, for some reason, production costs appear to be heading higher than my initial upper estimate, I will let you know as soon as it starts to become apparent to me.

  • When completed, you will receive high resolution print-ready text and cover PDF files. They will have been prepared to your printer’s specifications (for Amazon KDP, Lightning Source, IngamSparks or whoever you engage to print your books). You may also have any of the source files used to create your book.

E-book

  • Books which are to be designed for print books and e-books require some special attention during the design and layout process, particularly if there are photos involved. It’s best to know this ahead of time.

  • This additional work plus the time to convert the files for Amazon Kindle and other e-book readers would add approximately another $100 (novels and books with a simple layout, or PDF e-book format) to $350 (more complex books with headings, sub-headings, photos etc).

  • For more information on the differences between print and e-book production, see my web page at http://bookdesign.ca/31a_Create_ebook.htm  http://bookdesign.ca/31a_Create_ebook.htm

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So, the cost to bring your book to the stage where it is ready for printing will depend on the time it takes to do it. I’ll give you a more precise estimate when I’ve seen all your material. You can send it as email attachments.










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