by Dan Poynter
As you survey the shelves in the booksore, you will note that each genre or category has its own unique look. For example, business books usually have a hard cover and a dust jacket. Books for professionals such as doctors, lawyers and accountants are hardcover without a dust jacket. Children's books have a larger trim size, are four color and have 32 pages. Cookbooks are wider than they are tall so they will open and lie flat. Travel books are lightweight, slim and may have rounded corners to make them easy to slip in to a pocket or a pack.
Milt Strong writes and publishes books on square dancing. All his books measure about 4 1/2 x 8 inches. He explains that dancers want a tall, skinny book so they can read the steps -- and then slip the book into a back pocket.
Your book must look like the rest on its shelf. It must have the same dimensions, type of cover, a common typepace and so on. Do not break out of the mold on your first attempts. If your book is different, it will lose credibility. Potential buyers will think you are an amateur and not ready to be a serious author-publisher. In book design, different risks avoidance.
If you want your book to sell like a book, it has to look like a book.
Give your buyer what he or she expects, wants and deserves -- and you will sell more books. Respect your category.
Dan Poynter does not want you to die with a book still inside you. You have the ingredients and he has your recipe. Dan has written more than 100 books since 1969 including Writing Nonfiction and The Self-Publishing Manual. For more help on book writing, see http://ParaPub.com.