Can Authors Be Responsible for Book Design?

Eventually, as an author considering self-publishing a book, you'll face the same dilemma that we all do: should you also design your book?

However, what lies underneath this issue is another one that may assist answer the first: When is it acceptable for an author to design her book, and when is it preferable to employ a book designer? How do you choose the approach for designing your book?

Some writers want to employ the finest designer they can afford, content to delegate all the intricacies necessary to create a professional-looking book to another. They want a book that will earn the respect of buyers and distributors in the book business and compete head-to-head with titles from big publishers.

Others decide that they should design their books as independent publishers responsible for marketing, distribution, and file conversion. They may utilize everyday tools—typically a word processor—or purchase sophisticated layout software with its learning curve.