Different parts of a book that needs to be designed

The different parts of book design

What are all of the parts that need designing in your self-published book?

A book is compiled together from many elements. Each one of these elements needs to be in sync with the other, to convey a single message to your reader. This means the paperback should follow the same design and use the same style fonts as the front cover. The interior layout needs to be designed in a way that will continue the styles of the cover design. One idea is using font faces from the cover as chapter headers. Another is blocking the scenes together in a way that flows as the genre expects like thriller, horror, or science-fiction. 

Here is the break down for the different parts of a book that will need to be designed:

Front cover/eBook design

Book cover

You can’t have a book without a front cover. This cover will go onto your eBook, will be used in promotion such as Facebook, Twitter, Bookbub, and more; will be viewed on the Amazon website and any other publishing platform you might use like Kobo, Smashwords, or your own website. Check out my 5 tips to making your cover look professionally published for more guidance.


Paperback design

Back cover design

This is the extension of your front cover, to include a spine and back- essentially the wrap-around. This is normally in paperback, but can also be in hardback, sometimes with a dust-jacket. This is the point where you need to decide what dimensions your book will be before moving forward so that you can design the cover to those correct dimensions. Read my article here about what goes onto the back of a book cover.


Interior layout

This is the inside document of your hard copy. It is normally formatted in a PDF or, less commonly, Word Document. Designers use Adobe InDesign as an industry standard but some designers will use Word. InDesign allows for much greater control, and its very purpose is built for page layout and design for large documents.


eBook formatting

eBook design

This is the digital version of your book that is output into .mobi or .epub format. Just like interior layout for paperback the layout for your eBook needs to be considered and done with care. This process is done through coding, like a website, rather than using InDesign.


For more common components used in book design refer to this great cheat sheet put together by Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer.

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