Self-Publishing Project Gets the Royal Treatment

A local author asked for my help with his debut novel last year. A retired entrepreneur, he serializes his fiction work on social media and has quite a devoted fan base. I was thrilled to work with him and to get his first book pulled together into a self-published title his readers could finally hold in their hands.


The Editing Phase

Serializing is a different process than novel writing, so editing his manuscript was a unique challenge. The biggest advantage I discovered to his writing process was that his piece had fantastic pacing. The consistent trick, however, was rooting out redundancies in character introduction, and after a bit of work, the author and I both became adept at finding and fixing these areas. The editing phase took a little more time than average for the length of the manuscript, but the end result was a rich adventure story with very likable, home-spun characters and lovely Eastern Oregon scenery.


Cover Design

The author was eager to get his work in print—as authors often are—so I was able to make up the time by working on the cover design while he was finishing up his edits and final read-through. I gave him three initial ideas, and one stood out right away. With a little help from the talented folks at FREEIMAGES we were able to finalize the cover art with a minimum of fuss and revision.

Book Cover Art for a Self-Published Title

The cover art was revised prior to publication by the distributors, and a photo from their own library was substituted for this one. This striking image is the work of Idaho photographer Ben Earwicker.


Marketing and Distribution

My author friend and I conferred at length about his marketing options as a self-publisher, and he ultimately enlisted the help of a publishing solutions house to take advantage of their distribution channels. The decision added to his initial outlay, but it also freed him up to keep writing and to strategize subsequent projects.


The 'Designer's Choice' layout would have required a photography session to recreate this charming image on the back cover, or the license from our friends at iStock.

The ‘Designer’s Choice’ layout would have required a photography session to recreate this charming image on the back cover, or the license from our friends at iStock.


A Job Done

One of the things I love about creative work is that it’s never a lonely process. Even if I’m the sole designer on a project, I’m still getting direction and input, so the final product is almost always the result of a group effort. It means we get to celebrate our little accomplishments together. The book is available on Amazon and we look forward to Mr. Schrader’s next installments.

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