Why does custom book design matter when you self publish a book? That’s a tough question to answer if you’ve never published a book before. So let’s look at an analogy. You want to remodel your kitchen. You can go to the local Home Depot and choose one of half a dozen cabinet designs they have on display. They may not have exactly the cabinets you would like to have, but they can offer you a low price on the cabinets they do have. Or you can bring in a contractor who will listen to what you want and design cabinets to fit your exact specifications. You pay more, but you get exactly what you want.
Self publishing authors face a similar choice.
(photo courtesy of VFS Digital design under Creative Commons)
There are plenty of people offering DIY options to self publishers. The condition is that you will have to create your book within some narrow limits created by the service provider. Some require you to use proprietary software downloaded or web-based when creating your book. Others offer drag and drop templates which provide a limited number of options for your books layout. There are subscription based services that will let you design your own book, but the service will then hold the rights to the design you create. You can create a book using any of these services, it just won’t necessarily be exactly the book you had hoped for.
When you hire a professional book designer you will get a custom book. Your designer will talk with you about exactly how you want your book to look including every feature including trim size, binding, paper quality, color or black and white illustrations, photo placement and original cover design to symbolically present your book’s themes.
You’ll pay for the designer’s expertise and skill in using sophisticated software like Adobe InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator, but the result is like the one you get when you decide to buy a BMW 328i Convertible instead of a Chevy Cruze.