Call 0404 063 705 now for
a free 1 hour consultation!

The Design Process

In order to simplify the process of producing a publication we provide an Overview and a
breakdown of the steps with a detailed description of each step. The process may vary slightly depending
on the particular project and client but we generally work in the order described.

Book Design and Production Processes - itemised overview


    Most of our novice (and experienced) clients take advantage of the 1 hour free consultation offered to help establish exactly what their own aims are. All leave with a clearer understanding, not only of what it is they want to achieve themselves but what they need to do to initiate the process, to follow through and what to provide to us and in what form.

    After the initial meeting most communication occurs via email and by phone however face-to-face meetings are often scheduled to progress the work.

    We will need to know what type of book you expect us to produce for you, what size, type of binding and style. If possible it is a good idea to bring examples of similar books that you would like to base yours on. Prior to our first meeting have a good look through our website especially at the work we have done for others. You might find projects similar to your own on which your own project can be based and developed.

    It is important for us to know if you intend to market the book to a specific readership or whether it will only be for a limited number such as family and friends. If marketing will be required we offer a range of marketing options including website design and management and brand development that
    will assist you to present your book/s in the best way possible to your intended audience.


    We provide estimates for all the work agreed on as the ‘project’ and we will suggest extensions that are worth considering such as editing, photography and if though worthwhile a proposal for the marketing of your publication/s. Some of these elements may develop as the Project progresses.

    A written Quotation (emailed Estimate of Costs) is provided as a clear assessment of your project with the costs that will be incurred including for any outsourced services that may be required. All detail is stated up-front. We are not in the business of misleading for our own gain. Once all parties are confident of project requirements, the design process can proceed.

    We will request a deposit that serves to demonstrate your acceptance of our Quotation your commitment to your project and the confidence you have in us to produce a first-rate book for you in a timely manner. We will seek your verbal approval of the Estimate before starting the design phase.



    We will assess the information provided by you at the initial meeting and briefing stage and respond accordingly. If you require a verbal brief we will provide a return brief which outlines objectives and the approach that we suggest. This is provided so that you are clear about the details of your project and what is the order of priorities for design and production.


    You may have decided that you will not only act as writer and author but as editor on your project however depending on your level of confidence you may feel that you need a professional editor to appraise your manuscript and make recommendations prior to handing the manuscript over to us. Remember that heavy editing of the work after we have produced a first draft is a costly undertaking.

    We can arrange for an editor with relevant expertise in your particular subject area who can provide advice on whether you need initial structural editing, corrective editing and or proofreading as the project progresses through draft stages. A proportion of authors insist on doing it themselves and some also request comment from friends colleagues and other associates to reassure themselves about the detail.


    You may have decided that you will not only act as writer and author but as editor on your project however depending on your level of confidence you may feel that you want a professional editor to appraise your manuscript and make recommendations prior to handing the manuscript over to us. Remember that heavy editing of the work after we have produced a first draft is a costly undertaking. We can arrange for an editor with relevant expertise in your particular subject area who can provide advice on whether you need initial structural editing, corrective editing and or proofreading as the project progresses through draft stages. A proportion of authors insist on doing it themselves and some also request comment from friends colleagues and other associates to reassure themselves about the detail.


    Our suggestions for design and layout of the internal parts of the book will be produced including the leading pages you require – Title Page, Publishing Details Page, Acknowledgments, Prologue, Preface, Contents, Dedication, Introduction Pages and any others that might seem desirable. The first few pages of Chapter One will give an indication of our thinking about how Chapter Title, sub-Title, Headings, sub-Headings and the handling of photos and other images such as illustrations might be handled. The layout of all textual elements including main body text, introductory text, captions and so on will be suggested by us in order to achieve the best possible typographic result for ease of reading. Other considerations are fonts, margins, footers/headers, page numbers, textual alignment, drop caps, spacing, indenting and so on.

    In most instances one design concept will be produced for presentation, although in some cases two are developed. It is our experience that presenting more than two concepts creates confusion and can be counterproductive. The designs will be submitted to you as emailed PDFs. The PDF format is designed to faithfully reproduce designed material on any computer and it will enable you to view the work as we intended it to look. Adobe Acrobat Reader is the software required for this purpose and should be installed on all computers.

    Your approval of the design work will be required before work can begin on the internal contents of your book. Once your approval to proceed is received we will advance to a first draft stage.

    Image processing

    If large numbers of photographs and other images are supplied for insertion into the document, processing to ensure optimal quality and suitability for the commercial printing process or for digital application will inevitably be required. Images for printing must be of a very high resolution, 300dpi as opposed to 72dpi for viewing on a computer. Depending on the quality
    of the material supplied a great deal of time can be spent on processing, repairing, optimising and otherwise manipulating images. Similarly illustration work can be very time consuming for which hourly charges must be applied.


    Formatting of the main body of the document will proceed according to the design and layout that you have approved. This will result in a first draft – Draft 1, for hard copy correction by you. It is essential that you print or have printed on a postscript printer – a full draft copy that ensures that the PDF is represented on paper exactly as it appears onscreen. If you are unable to produce a reliable printout yourself we can recommend a suitable printer.

    Most publications require several drafts to be produced before a final version is acceptable as ready for printing. The drafts will be supplied to you as full PDF drafts. With each we require you to produce a full hard copy printout which you will mark (red pen preferred) with your adjustments, corrections and any additions that you might require. We will indicate to you that after the first full draft has been corrected by us that we will need to charge for subsequent Author’s corrections and additions. At this point most additions cause significant shifts in the overall layout.


    Ideas for a Cover design will evolve as the internal layout is established and we become familiar with the content of your publication. This might include having access to any visual materials that you can provide and or that might be available on the internet.

    When the time comes we will produce a design for the cover that seeks to distill the essence of your book. This is obviously an important part of the presentation especially if marketing is required and so if that is the case keep in mind that the Cover needs to have a very high standard of presentation and say very succinctly as much about the book as possible. In other words it should be a visual distillation of the contents of the book.

    Since the Cover most importantly conveys information to your readership about the book’s contents and it’s subject matter it is sometimes prudent to seek reference material especially if you don't have such material. Often reference material can be found on the web for which acknowledgment is required. This kind of research is sometimes time consuming and so we will need to charge for time spent in that regard if efforts are beyond what has reasonably been quoted on.

    & BAR CODE

    At this point if not before it is advisable to apply for an ISBN number and Bar Code from Thorpe-Bowker: Thorpe-Bowker is the world’s leading provider of bibliographic information management solutions designed to help publishers, booksellers, and libraries better serve their customers. The company is focused on developing various tools and products that make books easier for people to discover, evaluate, order, and experience. If you will be publishing a number of books as well as eBook versions it is cheaper to apply for them beforehand rather than piecemeal if you know what your projects will be ahead of time.

    When applying for a Bar Code please ensure it is sent to you in PDF format for insertion into the back cover of your book.

    ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a 13 – digit number that identifies books or book like products that are published internationally. It supports efficient marketing of the product by booksellers, libraries, wholesalers and distributors.

    CiP (Cataloging in Publication) is a service provided by the National library of Australia to provide a catalogue record for a publication. This needs to be requested after the ISBN, but before the book is published.

    Trove- formerly BowkerLink is a database used by booksellers, independent bookshops and libraries internationally. Adding your title to Trove (Formally know as Bowkerlink) will enable your book to be available for sale to thousands of bookstores world-wide.


    You will be required to ‘sign off’ on the final draft as ready for printing as we cannot take responsibility for errors that were missed in the process of checking by you as ‘author’. Full responsibility for final detail is yours.


    Once approval of a final draft is achieved, artwork is finalised in line with prepress requirements if the final result is to be printed commercially.

    We build artwork files ready for reproduction depending on the  intended output – digital short run Print-on-Demand PoD, Offset, generally longer run printing, conversion to digital PDF or to eBook, ePub for iBook Readers, Kindle and other devices. Conversion to eBook can be a relatively complex undertaking if the book is a one that incorporates many images, diagrams and illustrations. If beforehand it is known that the book will be converted to an ePub then steps may be taken to accommodate that in the design created for the print version. Conversion to PDF is a relatively simple process and one that preserves all of the characteristics of the print version though the file size is much reduced for onscreen viewing.

    Electronic formats are generally required if sales of the documents are to be sold and electronically downloaded.


    If the books are being printed and after the print-ready artwork has been supplied to the printer the client will be provided with a production proof for sign-off before the work is carried out in earnest by the printer. At this stage the opportunity for correction and addition has passed and what is required is comment on technical issues such as colour, blemishes on the artwork, shifts caused by software errors and other technical issues. If possible these defects will be dealt with by the printer however it becomes costly to alter the artwork and to resubmit it at this stage. The main purpose of viewing the proofs is so that the client can see what the final result will look like.

    Some self-publishers require only a few books to be printed in short run, Print-on-Demand PoD output. Others order a short run followed by printing in larger numbers. This can occur locally, interstate or overseas. If printed overseas the job is usually printed in Taiwan, at our preferred printer with whom we have established excellent rapport based on their level of service.

    If possible we will supervise all production processes to ensure the best quality is achieved at all points in the work flow.


    If printing is done locally packing and delivery occurs as a result of your communication with the printer. If books are printed in Taiwan you will be asked to communicate with the printer directly, make the required payments and arrange shipping and delivery.

    As part of our commitment to your project we liaise with the printer in Taiwan to achieve delivery of the artwork and to affect the desired outcome. However if we act on your behalf and in the capacity of print broker charges will apply.


    If embarking on a vision for commercially viable self-publishing, you can’t ignore the essential need to market your work. Since we have a stake in the ongoing success of your book we will keep in touch with you with the latest advancements and possibilities for marketing and selling. We will offer you additional services which include marketing and promotional plannning, website design and management with eCommerce facility, social networking, Facebook and Twitter setup with commercial functions, brand and personna development and the design of publicity items. We can produce quality, effective marketing material such as displays and banners, posters, business cards, press releases, catalogues, flyers, bookmarks. We can offer tips on book launches, book signings, book store chains, online selling channels, solicitation of book reviews and press releases. See: Marketing for Authors. Please request an itemised quotation on any or all of these items as a Marketing Package.


    Our invoices will generally be provided within 30 days of job completion (unless progressive billing is required). Our terms of trade are 14 days from receipt of Invoice. In most cases, if all project particulars have remained as per the initial brief, the job will be invoiced as per the initial Quotation estimate. Authors corrections and additions will be billed as a separate item at the stated hourly rate.

    Should project parameters have changed throughout the course of the project, then this will be reflected in the final Invoice. It is generally our aim to provide revised estimates during the course of the project (should time permit), particularly if project parameters are adjusted and we anticipate that there will be additional costs.

    Where outsourced services are used you will be asked to deal directly with the suppliers.


    We believe good communication is absolutely essential in achieving the best possible results for you and we commit ourselves to staying in touch on every detail of your project from beginning to end.

Book Design and Production Processes including options
for printing and digital output

At Graham Abraham Publication & Graphic Design we hope to demystify self publishing by clearly explaining your publishing options and the processes that are involved in successfully producing books of superb quality. We also seek to assist
you to make the right choices, by guiding you through each phase of the book production process.

If you want to go further once your book has been printed and or output in digital formats we offer options for marketing digital books online through dedicated hosted websites which include ecommerce for selling your printed and digital books.

  • if required, manuscript appraisal to establish the strengths and weaknesses of
    your writing
  • if required, editing (structural and substantive) and proofreading of your manuscript to ensure that it is relatively error free
  • establish formatting for the book/s including book type and page size, type fonts and formats for output including printed and digital versions
  • internal page layout design submitted by us for your approval
  • creation of an electronic book document file in industry standard publishing program Indesign based on your approved design
  • typesetting, formatting and layout design applied to your entire manuscript with the appropriate placement of images/illustrations and which results in Draft 1
  • submission of Draft 1 to you (and or editor) for editing and correction
  • improvement of images supplied by you including to ensure resolution complies with commercial printing standards
  • if required, engage indexing services
  • process of corrected draft outputs and submissions until your book is error-free
  • book cover design submission for your approval
  • if required the writing of an author bio and book cover blurb
  • advice and assistance with the ISBN registration process and organising CiP data and legal deposit for your book with the National Library of Australia and relevant state libraries
  • final draft approval and sign-off sought from you
  • discuss options for printing, cover and internal stock and type of binding etc
  • preparation of the final print-ready document
  • if required engage print-on-demand (POD) services in Australia to produce printed (either hardback or paperback) copies of your book
  • if required printing in Asia with cost-effective saving on volume orders over
    500 copies
  • conversion of the print document to eBook (ePub) for iPad, Kobo and Nook readers and .mobi for Kindle readers.

Keen to get started on your self publishing journey? Contact us today so we can help you to fulfil your goal of becoming a published author.

Our initial free consultation will help you to develop a comprehensive brief whether for one book or a series. Contact us here!




Kenmore, Brisbane, Queensland

Phone: 07 3878 8840

Mobile: 0404 063 705

Intl: 61 7 3878 8840



©2007-2015  Graham Abraham All rights reserved.