One Stop Shopping… really? The delimma of the Book Designer in changing times.

Dilemma? Well maybe more of “am I ready to or do I even have to … do it all?” question.

Technology is keeping us book designers on our toes as it does with many other professions. I’ve seen solo designer businesses now create the look of a “company” that offers the variety of services that are perceived as necessary to keep current in our ever changing publishing world. I get asked why I don’t do it all like larger POD Publishing companies… which is interesting since I’m not a printer or publisher.

Technology has changed so many professions/industries and it is now changing how books are created, sold, perceived. I’m specifically speaking about ebook conversion. Many may not realize that this involves some level of knowing and understanding code, html. And if you’ve ever tried that, you know the challenges. And not everyone has the mind for the learning.

As a book designer my talent is grown over time, I know how to get into your and your audience’s heads. I generate the energy vibration and visual of the connection, stimulate the desire to read to learn more that encourages the purchase. This quality connection extends to brand building and website creation.

There is no arguing that the self-publishing process consumes time and learning. A skill of project management in an industry that most authors have no knowledge of… it can be overwhelming. And now the added extension of ebook creation, formatting and conversion are being added in. Sure this has been coming for awhile now, companies like Smashwords have created a service and manual for conversion and distribution. They are a service and with all services there is a fee, either at the front end or once the work is done.

If you do a search for “ebook conversion” you’ll find a long list of sites, both free and fee. Some will do the interior formatting which is priced based on the document that they receive…and the advertised $ price will increase the more work that needs to be done….which can run into hours and hours of set up and then if there are images and links…well, there are probably just as many ins and outs to know/learn as in the regular formatting of a physical printed book. Creating the ebook interior formatting is not easier… just different skills… of which html code is one for all the linking that takes place. There are videos on youtube and manuals free for download on how to do this. It takes time and a switch in thinking focus. At least the way the cover design and the interior is formatted for a physical book, branding, marketing and websites has not changed…and this is something I excel at.

For a designer like me, the choice is clear, I prefer not to dilute my talents of creativity just to offer another service that so many others have a better understanding of…. just like when I call a plumber when pipes are backed up… I refer people to ebook conversion services once my work creating the look and feel of the book and brand is done.

So, if you need creative design concept work done for the cover, title, interior, brand, website, marketing or consulting on how to put it all together, the system/process, design/printing/ebook/website… and other aspects of your project, social media/promotion… This is what I do.

Karrie Ross