Book covers really do matter. Readers look at the front cover and the back cover and then quickly make buying decisions. Reviewers can only review a few books each week, so must select book covers that appear to be the most interesting. Your book cover must survive “the glance test” for both reviewers and book buyers!
Page layout doesn’t require learning expensive new software packages or complicated freeware work-arounds. If you’re going to do page layout and book design for a living, by all means invest in Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. But for anyone doing their first book, stick with Microsoft Word or the word processor of your choice. We’ll talk about creating PDF files a little later on, but the truth is, if you can make your book look right on your laser printer, you can stop right there. Most printers, including print-on-demand printers, can scan or photograph your clean laser printer copy and produce a book that, in the case of POD, will probably be indistinguishable from a book printed from an all-digital PDF conversion.