This question isn't specific to KDP, but I'm hoping it will be tolerated. While I'm planning on doing a KDP book, I'd also like to have a print version for sale. Can anyone recommend book design consultants they've used and appreciated? This would be people that take the raw materials (the book itself, a cover illustration, maybe author photo) and assemble them into a completed digital package that could be sent off to a Print on Demand company. I would presume they could make recommendations about ideal book size, fonts, etc.
I design jacket sleeves for createspace and other retailers, and would be happy to send you over some samples if you'd like to shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Although, I do not work in illustration, but rather photo-manipulation design. What genre is your book? Generally illustration works best for fantasy and childrens books, and photo-manipulation for most other genres.
Looking forward to hearing from you when you're ready. Exterior design is certainly something I handle on a regular basis, however I do not handle interior layout. You would want to find a formatter for that. I would be happy to lead you to a couple that I work in conjunction with on a regular basis.
If you have a fiction, or fiction-like (memoir) book, we handle print interior-layouts. You can see some samples of what we do here: Our Print Interiors Samples Gallery. We also do ebooks. We do not do complicated or advanced print book layouts--for example, heavily-illustrated "how-to" books with a lot of sidebars, text-boxes, and the like; we don't have an adequate Graphic Design staff for that type of work. As you can see, we've done interiors for Terence Stamp's books in print through Escargot Books, as well as some other authors of whom you may or may not have heard. We have affordable pricing for the average author.
You can contact me through our website, if you need any assistance. If you have a heavily-formatted book, you will likely need a traditional print design house; they are equipped to handle that type of thing. If you drop me an email, I can point you to some firms with which I've worked (they did the print versions of a complex book, we did the ebook versions) that I know do excellent product.
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I had already got my front cover designed as I used it for my ebook, so all that I needed to do was format it for paperback rather than ebook.
On the createspace site, you pick the size of book you want, and then you can down load a sample template. Its then just a case of copying and pasting the relevant parts in. I'll be honest, it did take me several attempts to get it correct in terms of chapter breaks and page numbering but all in all I think I spent around a day in total sorting it all out, including getting my cover resize to 300dpi and the text the correct distance from the edge.
Thursday afternoon I signed off my final proof from them and by Friday morning, it was available on all amazon sites for people to buy.