Cloud vs. Desktop software: Which is better for designing books?

In these ever-trending, ever-changing times of technology comes a new set of challenges and opportunities for self-publishers. Depending on budget, need, and personal preference, there are many design options; from the traditional route of hiring a professional book artist ($$$$) to doing the design work yourself ($), the overall goal is the same: To get discovered and sell books. But designing a book to sell—whether you’re paying someone else or doing it yourself—is not without its risks. You’re vying for the reader’s attention amongst a hugely crowded landscape, especially if it’s an e-book.

Let’s say you want to design your own book.

Type “ebook software” in Google and you will see a plethora of cloud-based program choices, most of which are exclusive to a publisher (for example: Amazon’s Cover Creator for Kindle). Adobe used to be desktop-based, but now it is all cloud-hosted and comes with a hefty subscription.

Cloud-based software is a great choice in terms of cost efficiency, unlimited storage, and maintaining file backups. If you’re an indie publisher who doesn’t mind signing an exclusive agreement with one publishing company who provides free cloud-based software, or having your information read by a third party, then this may be the right fit for you.

However, there are also some notable disadvantages to consider with cloud computing:

  1. Technical Issues
    Cloud-based technology is always prone to outages and other issues. To avoid this happening often, you will need to have a very good internet connection to avoid the connectivity problems that will inevitably arise.

  2. Must Have Internet Connection
    That being said, internet connection is a requirement to work on cloud-based software. So forget about designing your book at your favorite remote little love shack in the mountains, or on a deserted island.
     
  3. Security
    A lot of people are still in denial about this… but whenever you use cloud-based software, your information is exposed to the world. If you’re writing a sensitive book that needs to remain confidential, or just don’t want your writings to potentially be sabotaged and stolen (which is a reason why you chose to DIY in the first place), then you probably should think twice.
     
  4. Prone To Hackers
    As mentioned, nothing on the internet is completely secure, including your book and the cloud software on which your book is saved. Nothing. It could all become hijacked and taken down.

The moral of the story is: if you want to design your book wherever you wish, however you wish, keep your information completely safe and private until publishing, and have the freedom of choice to use any publishing house, then consider using a desktop application such as ours. Generally yes, it costs a little more, but many self-publishers find it is well worth the one-time cost to design unlimited e-book AND print titles, while keeping all their information secure and intact.

To beautiful books!
Angie
BookCreative

The Top Ten Reasons... Oh – and save 50% today

Here are the TOP TEN reasons why thousands of indie publishers have chosen us since 2006:

#10: Super easy to work with, super easy to generate final files
#9: Compatible with both Mac & PC platforms
#8: Fast, friendly, no-judgment customer support... Made up of professional book designers who understand and really help
#7: Design your own book covers
#6: Format your own interior pages
#5: Build your own promotional materials
#4: Generate your own ISBN barcode
#3: Kindle & CreateSpace compliant
#2: Desktop app - Your info stays confidential and is NEVER compromised by the internet
...And the #1 reason: It's a ONE-TIME cost - UNLIMITED USE
- NO subscriptions! Stop paying monthly fees that add up.

Want to learn more? Drop us a line, we would love to hear from you!

To beautiful books,

Angie ღ
BookCreative

Price To Entice: Taking Your Book Service To a Higher Level

Are you a book designer looking for more clients and sales? Here's a handy guide that reveals a simple, yet highly effective way to get the exposure - and trust - you need to snag those ideal clients.

Having a service-based business doesn’t have to be complicated. Search for book designers on the web, and you’ll find a sea of different pricing structures, but the same way of pricing: they charge by the hour, page, or word; or a flat fee with add-on costs for images, modifications, additional concepts; maybe extra fees here and there, so on and so forth. There’s no clear cut, tangible structure that’s easy to understand. And if people don’t get scared off by that, they might once they see the complicated proposal. 

People like simple. They want a clear-cut structure and know exactly what they get for their buck.


1. Productization is Key

Everyone knows Starbucks. It’s a tangible, branded product. But can you productize a service business? Absolutely! Productizing your services makes it easier for you and others to talk about it. Productizing is taking your services, boxing them up in a pretty package, and giving the package a name. Suddenly, your service has become shareable and memorable. Productization is the key to less work, more money, and more success. 

Benefits:

  • Saves time - There’s no more need for proposal writing, because your services are already set.

  • Weeds out the cheapskates - You have a clear cut cost for services - so you won’t hear from them. (And you didn’t want them anyway)

  • Reduces the closing time with clients - the process is streamlined, so anything that needs to be added/subtracted is much simpler, while maintaining the value of your original package

  • No more free work - you’ll stop giving away your valuable knowledge, because now, it’s a pre-paid package.

Productization results in:

  • Happier Clients

Your process becomes stronger with each client as you learn to manage expectations. Most clients who demand customization become directed to work within the boundaries of your product.

  • Higher Price Points

Once you have productized your services and create traction, you’ll sell more, be talked about more, and then - you can raise your price.


2. Create a Lead-In Product

Remember the part about packaging your knowledge? You’re going to love this:

Your goal is to turn a first meeting into a valuable product. That way, it is not a free consultation, but a paid service.

This is called your Lead-in: A valued service that “leads in” to your target service, or product. Your Lead-in should be at a price that makes sense to your target product. It’s easier to sell a $1500 target product to someone who paid $150 for your lead-in than someone who only paid $25. Make it valuable so it’s almost too good to pass up. Case in point:

Jill offers a Cover Perfect™ full service cover design package for $1500, which includes three design concepts; up to 3 modifications, 2 images, full spread for print, ebook Kindle conversion, final PDF and jpg files, and finalized deliverables to the printer. Her lead-in is her Cover Perfect™ Consultation: A 1/2 hour phone or Skype conversation that outlines the client requirements along with her suggestions for direction, and a rough design draft, for $150. Once the client sees what she’s accomplished with the consult, they will most likely want to buy in to the Cover Perfect™ full service package, and Jill simply subtracts the $150 from the $1500 fee. 

And even if the client decides not to purchase her target product, it was still worth her time. This ensures that Jill does not waste time giving away her knowledge. She’s packaged and priced it.


3. Create a Target Product

When creating a Target product, ask yourself:

  • Which part of your business do you love doing the most?

  • Which part of your business makes you the most money?

  • Which part of your business would every client hire you to do?

  1. Find the service(s) you offer that these three areas intersect - that is your sweet spot, and that is what will make you the most money. Here is where you will find your ideal clients, feel the best at what you do, and be the most successful - which breeds more clients and more success.

  2. Solve the client’s problem - List what you provide in your sweet spot service, and then list the value they provide to solve the problem for the client.

  3. Create a clear, concise process with simple steps and the details in between - Your target product needs to have structure, with no loose ends, and easy to follow. In Jill’s Cover Perfect™ package, she defines how many modifications are provided. For each additional modification, her cost is $100. 

  4. Create a clear timeline with deadline date

  5. Have set milestones in the process to show progress and completion - This helps you stay in control, and gives the client the assurance, building trust.


4. Create Three Target Options

As marketing research has shown, patterns of three work best. People like choices, but not too many; and three choices seem to work perfect for comparison. Having three package options are the most effective way to sell your products.

Target option 1:

This is your main Target product - the ideal one every client buys - it offers the best value for your buck.

Target option 2: 

This is the lower-priced version of your Target product. To create this, take away some of the services, but keep the fundamentals: 

Jill’s lower target product is her Cover Perfect Light™ for $997: Everything in Cover Perfect™, except she offers one design concept instead of three, and 1 image instead of 2. The modifications, conversions, and deliverables are all still the same.

Target option 3:

This is the upsell, premium version of your Target product, with all the bells and whistles. To create this, you would add more service and value to your package, and is priced to accommodate your extra time involved. This is tricky: Because you really don’t want to sell this option if it requires more of your time, so you need to price it at whatever makes you happy to get it. If it takes 20% more of your time, than price it at more than 20% over for the inconvenience. Does that make sense? 

Jill’s upsell product is her Cover Perfect Bold™, which includes a 3D cover rendering, submission to Amazon, B+N, and Kobo, and a Facebook fan page, all for $1997 - a more than 30% markup from her main target product.

Service productization by creating a lead-in and three target options following these guidelines can be a very effective and successful way to share and market your services, and you will be above the rest for having memorable, sharable, tangible products.

To your success!

Angie

© 2017 BookCreative. All rights reserved.