The importance of design choices in book publishing

The overall look of your book has a huge impact on how professional it appears as well as the reader’s experience of it. If you make hasty font choices, do not allocate consistent styles to headings, have poor spacing, or use too many colours, your reader may switch off, finding it too difficult to follow.

As long as your book is well-written, reader inattention can be avoided with the thoughtful and careful consideration of a graphic designer who is experienced with book design. That’s us!

Once your manuscript is converted into a professional and attractive layout, using Adobe InDesign, it will be suitable for both printing and ebook conversion.

Given the proliferation of the self-publishing industry, it is important first to consider how your book will stand out from the thousands of others available. In terms of ebooks, online buyers make their purchasing decisions in seconds by looking at the front cover, screenshots or a ‘Look Inside’ of the interior and/or by downloading a free sample. If the book falters at this early stage—the text is in a large mass and hard to read—then you will likely not pick up the sale.

The Cover

Although people say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, that applies to judging a person’s moral fibre. When it comes literally to books, we really do judge a book by its cover. It’s our nature to be taken by something that looks pretty, organised and engaging. Therefore, it is imperative to employ professional formatting, well-written sales material, and have an outstanding cover design.

PublishMyBook.Online’s graphic designers design book covers to appeal to your chosen audience. We design book covers for ebooks—only a front cover design will be needed—and for printed books—a single design consisting of the front, spine, and back of the book.

Our book designers consider every aspect to give your book the look and feel you are seeking, and the greatest chance of being clicked on.

Part of a book cover is the sales material, and this is something PMBO can also take care of for you. Our professional marketing team can write the sales pitch which is compatible with the genre and immediately peaks the interest of your target market. They also consider search engine optimisation to improve the chances that your target market will find your book through their searches.

The Interior

The design of the book’s interior is also important for (a) your reader’s enjoyment and ability to understand your words, (b) sales and (c) your author platform. Designing the internal pages of books is also called typesetting or book layout and it involves a combination of text formatting and graphic design. There are many factors to making book design good and as unobtrusive as possible.

At PMBO when we design for print we consider:

  • page margins, page numbering, headers, footers etc.
  • colours
  • fonts
  • leading (space between lines)
  • kerning (space between letters)
  • space (between paragraphs, headings and more)
  • paragraphing (what kind of paragraphs should be used, indents, etc.)
  • alignment (of headings, objects, text, and more)
  • design of bullets and numbered lists
  • design of tables
  • headings
  • pull quotes (a quote taken from the text that is then displayed larger with more effects)
  • quote marks (single, double, font choices, etc)
  • indentation
  • formatting chapter beginnings (we might use a dropcap, small caps, or something else)
  • divider lines (e.g. dinkuses)
  • graphics and images
  • captions and photography credits

When you use both our editing and design services, we ensure that the above elements are utilised appropriately, so that your book is ready for printing and for ebook conversion. If your book has poor formatting when it goes to be converted to an ebook, it will retain this poor formatting as an ebook. That’s why it’s imperative to consider all these design choices early on.

Designing for ebooks not printed books

Another important consideration in preparing your book for ebook conversion is whether your ebook needs to be reflowing or fixed layout. We can assist you with both. The design aspects of a reflowing ebook are more related to formatting, but the latter involves fixed page design similar to designing a book for print.

Fixed layout ebooks, require us to make decisions about how the text, images and pages sit on an ebook reading screen. We can choose to set the fixed layout ebook as a two-page spread or as single pages. Fixed page ebooks are most often used for existing highly complex printed book designs that you want to look the same as ebooks. It is common to see children’s picture books, cook books, photography and heavily illustrated reference books as fixed layout ebooks.

Our fixed layout ebook designers are experienced in working with all of these types of layout. If you choose someone inexperienced with fixed layout ebook design and development, you may end up with an ebook that has:

  • page sizing not suitable for tablets or smartphones
  • text that is too small
  • text and images that are awkward to view on smartphones
  • a lack of hyperlinks, cross references and interactivity
  • a poorly chosen cover size that looks poor on the ebook shelf
  • difficult navigation (table of contents, index etc.)


Finally, it is important to consider how the presentation of your book impacts on you as an author or business. If you want your name and/or your brand to be viewed in the best possible light, you need to give your book the expert treatment. We custom design all our books to ensure that your book is unique and will stand out from the crowd.

When you utilise our services, we will take care of all the heavy lifting to ensure that your book is in the best shape for printing and ebook conversion.

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