Book Cover Art & Interiors – Review of Vellum & Book Design Template

Book Cover Art & Interiors – Review of Vellum & Book Design Template


hi guys my name is Pip Coomes this is my
debut novel The Hunted and it’s available everywhere now the Book
Depository Kindle Amazon Apple Books today we’re going to talk a little bit
about cover design and interior layout and I’m gonna review two products that I
used while creating the hunted and that is the book design template and vellum
now it goes without saying that this information is more directed at people
who are looking to write and publish self-published books generally authors
that are traditionally published don’t get a huge amount of say in their cover
art or their interior layout so hopefully if you’re looking to write a
book and self-published you find some of this information useful
now there are loads of different ways you could go about getting a cover there
are even free options if you have photography and photoshop skills you can
actually go about making your own cover art but given that I am significantly
challenged I am NOT going to provide any advice at all about going down that
route sorry if you do a google search you’ll even find companies that will do
your cover art for around $150-$200 the only thing I would say about
those covers is that you get what you paid for and while you might love that
cover and while it might totally suit your needs
you’ve got to remember that $150 to $200 of graphic designers time is not
going to get you something particularly unique nor are you going to get a lot of
flexibility from them in terms of making adjustments to the cover if there are
things you want to tweak when I was looking at cover art I found the covers
in the $150-$200 range were really very same same and for me your cover is
something that people are absolutely going to judge some people will decide
whether they buy your book or not based on how they feel about the cover so it
is one of the areas where it’s actually really worthwhile spending money to get
a decent cover but then it’s impossible to find a cover that appeals to
everybody so at the end of the day you do need to make some choices with a cup
in relation to your budget and also what appeals to you and people who usually
read your genre of books I’ve heard heaps of great things about a company
called eight pages but I personally haven’t used them I used 99designs
there’s huge numbers of artists of all different kinds available on 99designs
and you can go through and have a look at previous work that they’ve done I
used a designer called Kerry Ellis and that was under a thousand dollars I want
to say that it was about 850 but I can’t remember off the top of my head the
really nice thing about that was Carrie gave me a number of designs I was able
to tweak things that I wanted to change I was able to add more detail where I
wanted to add and she was so patient so I had some interior issues which I will
tell you about soon which adjusted the page number a number of times and so she
had to go back and change the file to adjust so that the cover was the right
size for the number of pages but also the fact that she works and does heaps
of work with with authors and cover design meant that when I said that I
wanted to publish through Ingram sparks she knew exactly what I needed and what
format I needed the files in to be able to upload them to Ingram so from my
perspective what was really important with cover art was because The Phoenix
Series is the first in a series of books I wanted the books to have a cohesive
look across all six books that linked them together and that had elements that
linked the story and Kerry was able to do that for me so because I paid a
little bit more for the service I was able to ask for things like specific
design on the spine so I was able to ask for like this area here to be used to
reflect the fact that on in this story they live in an island called Lanhivellier and it has six seasons and so those six seasons will be represented on
the spine of each of the books so the first one is spring what I discovered
along the way with cover design is that you’re better not doing
think about it until you’re almost at the point where you need a cover so yes
they take time to create and so you need to allow for that and you need to allow
for time to make amendments and changes as as need be but I wasted a lot of
Kerry’s time because I started the process too early and I feel awful about
that but make sure you’ve got your ISBN’s your barcodes your back of the
book description and you need to have your page numbers all set in stone
before you go to the cover designer otherwise you waste a lot of their time
or at least go in and say this is where I’m up to I’ve done final edit I’m just
doing the interior now and I’m thinking that the word count is roughly X Y Z
and I’m in the process of getting ISBN’s and books so that they know what
to leave out and they know how long a process this is likely to be needless to
say that I have flagged the second book in the series with Kerry as needing a
cover in the next month or so but because it still has one more edit to go
through with the editor and then I need to edit it again and make sure that I’m
happy with everything and then I need to do the interiors and get the ISBN’s
and everything I haven’t yet commissioned the second cover to be done
because I don’t want to waste any more of her time like I did last time but
it’s a learning process the formatting was a major drama for me so I I’m denied
for a little while as to whether I would just get somebody else to do it for me
and the reason I am denied about that is because I am tech challenged so I might
have already said this before on another video but as soon as I opened my new
laptop I bought coke all over it I destroyed three cameras in 18 months
I get screen of death from my computer wall not from a current computer but my
old computer all the time I pretty much can’t function in a world with
technology without my best friend Mac helping me it’s just not possible
but at the end of the day what I learned my nine-to-five job where I actually own
a business and have employees and things like that is that some things are better
for you to do and some things are better for other people to do and sometimes it
is better to delegate tasks to other people either because your time would be
better spent doing other things or because that’s not your strength so
covered design and that sort of thing not my strength so I delegated that one
out and look interiors are the same 100% not my strength because it requires use
of technology but there are gonna be six books so if I get someone else to make
the covers and I get someone else to do the interiors whatever that costs I have
to multiply by six or however many books there are in your series so you need to
consider that and when you look around on YouTube you’ll see heaps of
self-published authors saying that they were able to format the interior of
their book without too much hassle and so I decided that that was one of the
things that I needed to learn to do to cost cut and because there were going to
be other books and at some point I’d have to acquire some skill somewhere and
so I tried so the first I looked at a whole bunch of reviews for different
things I looked at bunches of different websites and I’m in the end I bought
bought the book design template template and you can either buy access to a
template for a single use sort of single publication or for multiple publications
and I went from multiple publications because I thought you know anymore I
don’t want to buy a buy this again and if I’m gonna do it I’m gonna do it right
and let’s just get on with this and and get this show on the road
and that was possibly a mistake so what I will say about book design template
which is a website where you can go and you can see a whole bunch of different
templates is if they have some really nice templates and the book once it was
put together looked really nice on the inside there were a few issues which I
didn’t love but yeah I could make peace with them but generally like the
chapter headings were really nice the layout was nice it formatted into the
file required for paperback uploading onto Ingram without issue but trying to
create an ePub file was something that made me want to claw my eyes out now I
tried contacting their customer service and to be fair it was around the end of
the year and I was happy to give them leeway for maybe they had shut down for
a period maybe they were on holidays that’s fine but you know what people if
you’re on holidays put up an automated reply that says sorry we’re out of the
office until X date but they weren’t out of the office they just took their
sweet-ass time to reply sometimes they took over two weeks to
reply and everytime they replied they never answered my question and I was
really clear with my questions because I wanted to make sure that you know this
didn’t take forever and I sent screenshots to clarify but whenever you
tried to convert the the file into an ePub for an e-book like a Kindle
following their exact instructions and using the website and all it made this
weird ebook where you opened it up and instead of having line line line line
and paragraph or new paragraph it was like line half a line regardless of
whether that was the end of the sentence line half a line and I could not fix it
and they were just kind of like huh that’s weird we don’t know what to do
and then I kind of went okay well I’ve already paid a hundred and I want to say
150 bucks for the for the template the rights to use the template and a
template and so I was like look at this maybe I’ll just ask you know for a quote
for how much it would be for them to do it for me and it was like 600 bucks and
I always have probably already spent a hundred or fifty bucks with you guys
need kind of an asking you freaking emails so anyway I have a strong feeling
about my experience with book design template which you can probably tell
anyway so then I switched to vellum and I was hesitant to buy vellum because it
was about $200 and I’m talking Australian dollars and actually maybe it
was us I think it might have been us and then so which would have made it like
300 Australian dollars but I was hesitant to spend you know more money
and have the exact same experience with another template design
design program and but again you know I just had to rationalize it as otherwise
it’s gonna cost me a fortune to get someone else to format six books and
there’s going to be a lot of back-and-forth it’s gonna take a lot of
time people don’t look pass/fail and vellum is glorious vellum is wonderful
it took me a day and a half to take my word file with book design template and
get it looking vaguely decent a day and a half and I’m not talking like 20
minutes here 20 minutes I’m talking like nine hours the first day and about four
and a half the second day that program was not easy to use vellum took me 20
minutes 20 minutes to format the entire thing and save the files so they were
good to upload to lighting source they were good to go for an epub file and it
was completely drama-free I had one question while I was doing it that I
emailed vellum and their customer service was amazing and not only was
their customer service amazing but in like the hour or two I had to wait for a
reply I had actually already worked out the
answer but they were so good and they were so clear with their with their
response and and I have to also give a shout-out to Joanna Penn from the
Creative Penn I actually used her step-by-step how to format using vellum
video and it was easy as pie the only thing I would say is that I’m trying to
find a chapter that the title pages are not quite as excited
as the book design template 1 but I didn’t spend a lot of time mucking
around with it because at that point I was I was over it
but I actually think that the general formatting of the book is much nicer and
much cleaner than the book design template program and I’m really happy
I’m not I’m sticking with vellum it’s I’m not trying anything else so I would
Hydra percent recommend vellum it was really really user friendly and if a
tech moron like me can work it and have a functional paperback and a functional
eBook file out in the world then you can – and I don’t want to shit on the book
design template too much because you know that someone’s business and they’ve
worked hard for it but they’ve got some improving to do
vellum are really wonderful and I can’t recommend them highly enough it’s
probably important to say because my opinions are so polar opposite and so
strong is that I have not been paid for this review at all I have not been
rewarded for it in any way no one has asked me to do this review I just have
really strong feelings about the book design template and vellum and I thought
that you they might be useful for you if you were looking at and possibly buying
one of the two programs so once again this is my debut novel The Hunted which
is the first book in The Phoenix Series I will be revealing the cover art and
the name for the second book in the Phoenix series very very soon so make
sure you hit subscribe so that you don’t miss out on that announcement and
comment below to let me know if you’ve tried any other interior programs or if
you’ve had any success with any other cover design artists that other people
might find useful if they’re looking at going through the self-publishing
process themselves and hope to see you soon

1 thought on “Book Cover Art & Interiors – Review of Vellum & Book Design Template

  1. This is 100% what I was looking for! I have been on the fence about buying Vellum because it's a lot of money, but I really need the formatting help! Thank you so so much for this video!

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