Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Interior layout

Much like finding an editor, I had no idea what to do with my interior layout. I own Indesign so I contemplated doing it myself. I opened it up and created a new document. Bad Idea. I hardly know this program and playing around with it for 20 minutes got me no where. I needed to hire someone.

So the search began for an interior designer (typesetter is the official but often unknown and outdated term) for my book. Like finding an editor, I was out of luck when I came to knowing what to do. I created a list of companies from my books and did a few google searches and came across a few companies to contact. Immediately the one company that stood out was 1106 Design. Unlike most companies, this website described in detail their services and offered tips to publishers and authors. They also provided detailed PDFs on what they do and how they do it.

If you've ever hired a contractor for a specific service, especially creative, it's a pain in the ass when you have a list of people and the majority of them have no information about their services. No website and if they do have one, it has little to no information about themselves or their services. why should I waste my time to get the basic, intro and information/FAQ that you should be eager to give me before I even make a phone call? What a waste.

I don't remember how many places I called but it wasn't that many. My search was down to three companies. 1106 still looked great because of their expansive website and as an added bonus - they did the whole shebang. I could hire them for the interior and ALSO a final proofreading, book marketing copy, printer selection, and more. Plus there was a discount for 4+ packages. I scheduled a phone call and was ready to make the decision.

The phone call wasn't that great. The woman was un-enthusiastic and said a couple dumb things. The first dumb thing was that she said hardcover books don't sell and I should do a paperback. First off, that's an ignorant statement. Is she in sales or is this coming from her friends in the industry who are hired by big companies who needs to sell a few ten thousand copies to break even? With a hardcover book you sell less because its more expensive but you don't need to sell that many. Plus, if you want to make the whole preference schbeal, you concern should be in ebooks and not the hardcover/soft debate. Not to mention that if you want someone else to buy the right to your book, they will take you more seriously if you have a hardcover (let alone the smaller interest in re-publishing a paperback...).

In a nutshell, it was a quick conversation and I got little out of it. Also, considering we already emailed and I was close to a final decision, it should have been more welcoming and shown some sign of excitement to talk to me and learn about my project. (She did get a little excited when I mentioned I wanted to send files in a week, so at least she was excited to get my money).

A week later I decided to go with them. The price was good and with the other services I needed, i would get a 15% and overall, despite the un-enthusiastic phone call, I had all the information from the detailed website and the informative email responses. I was happy.

So what did I order?
1 - Interior Layout
2 - Galley Cover Design
3 - Author Bio and Book Marketing summary
4 - Book Cover Design
5 - Proof Reader

It was difficult for me to narrow this list down. If I traveled back in time I would SURELY change this list but will wait for all my experiences and details for another post. Ultimately I thought about doing the cover myself, but figured to leave it up to someone else, especially a professional. While I can come up with some great ideas, it would be best to get a few concepts from a company. They images on their site were pretty basic, but with my own artwork and notes, I was excited to see what they could do. Especially knowing they would do all layouts aside from the design it was a seemingly good move.

I sent in my signed form with the packages I ordered and send payment or 50% of the order. Production had just begun!

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