Tough Poets Press

Book Design and Production Services

book cover proof
Sample book cover proof

book cover proof
Sample page layout

book cover proof
Sample page layout

Are you an author looking to self-publish but don't have the time, expertise, or interest in navigating the sometimes complicated production and publishing process? Tough Poets Press can help.

You've done the hard work. You've written your book. Before it gets into the hands of readers, you'll want to make sure that it's error-free and looks as good as possible. That's where I can help. I have more than 25 years of professional print and graphic design experience and have been solely responsible for all phases of the production of the books I've published. Here are some of the services that I'm now offering:

Interior page design and layout
Many of the books I've produced have been experimental in nature, requiring special formatting and innovative typography. However, a typical straightforward page of text, approximately 8.5" x 5.5", can be laid out in a matter of minutes. The cost? Roughly $1 per page. Email me a PDF or MS Word document of your book's text and I'll lay out the first 5 or 6 pages for free, so you can see how it looks.

Book cover design
So, you want an image of a buxom, pointy-eared, sword-wielding fairy with a dragon in the background for the cover of your fantasy romance novel? Sorry. I can't do that. However, if you're looking for a unique, eye-catching, minimalist design, then I'm your man. In fact, book cover design was what got me into the publishing business in the first place. Check out some of the brilliant cover designs by Paul Rand (1904—1996) and Roy Kuhlman (1923—2007) to see the kind of work that inspires me. To see some of my work, click here or visit my graphic and web design portfolio site:

Copyediting and proofreading
I have a keen eye for detail and a BA in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Footnoting and indexing
The first book I published contained numerous footnotes and a four-page index, which I compiled myself.

Pre-press file preparation
Most printers, especially those who offer print-on-demand services, have specific pre-press requirements for both covers and interior pages. Having been in the print design field for years, I know all the software, file formats, terminology, etc., so prepping a book for production is no problem at all.

FYI: I've used IngramSpark (a division of Lightning Source LLC) for all the books I've published so far. I've had no issues with their prices, print quality, turnaround time, or customer service. Also, you can purchase an ISBN from them for the discounted price of $85, and their free distribution program will get your title on Amazon, Barnes & Noble's website, and others. Disclaimer: I have no affiliation whatsoever with IngramSpark. I'm just a reasonably satisfied customer.

Kickstarter consulting
To date, I've run 17 successful book publishing Kickstarter campaigns in a row, exceeding my funding goal by more than 50% on 9 of them. For a nominal fee, I'd be happy to pass along some tips to increase your chances of a successful campaign, help calculate a reasonable funding goal based on printing and shipping costs, and review your campaign page before you launch it.

If you've got a book ready to publish, and you're looking for high-quality production and design services at competitive rates, let's talk. Drop me a line at to start the conversation.


Copyright © 2015–2020 by Rick Schober d/b/a Tough Poets Press