how it works

Let's prepare you for success.

You want a book that sells and makes you look like the
quality author you are. No problem. I got you.

Picture of a rotary phone

1. We start with a free fit call.

Book a call with me so we can get to know each other. I’ll ask you a few questions to see if I can help you publish the book of your dreams. If I can’t help you, I’m going to tell you straight up. 

Clients hire me to be the art director and book designer, as well as help them assemble the rest of their publishing team (editors, illustrators, printers, and ePub coders) and educate them as we move through the process. We’ll discuss what your specific needs are, and if we’re a good fit, I’ll send a proposal over based on your project’s parameters. 

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2. After the proposal is accepted, I'll invite you to schedule a Publishing Strategy session.

You’ve invested in publishing a book, and I’m going to make sure we select the best options for design, layout, marketing elements, and printing—all while educating you along the way!

Over Zoom, we’ll nail down any remaining details, discuss selecting other team members your project may require, set a timeline, chat about expectations, and get the ball rolling. 

We’ll also have a general Q&A about the publishing process so I can answer any questions you have, as well as ones you may not even know to ask (because, hey, you don’t know what you don’t know!).

Melinda Martin, Book Designer & Self Publishing Consultant

3. Then, you get The Melinda Experience™.

The Melinda Experience is for ambitious authors who want a professionally published book and want to have a good time while moving through the experience! I have poured hours into smoothing out the publishing process for my authors to maximize everyone’s time and energy. 

I’m going to design an amazing book that you will be proud to market. You’re going to be like “WHAT?! This is MY book?” with tears streaming down your face. I promise. It’s going to be so, so good.

Here’s an idea of what your package might include:

Children's Picture Books

For clients who want to work with me to design your book from the ground up. This is often a four- to six-month intensive process, which culminates with 1) a book you can be proud to market and 2) knowledge of how quality picture books are edited, designed, illustrated, produced, printed, and distributed. View example. 

Read “How I Work with Children’s Picture Book Authors.”

$3000+ USD


Fiction + Non-Fiction

For clients with text-only books with basic design needs. View example. 

Includes 3D mockups, a style sheet, and your book’s branding elements.

$2500+ USD



For clients with books that have a more elevated design. View example.

Includes 3D mockups, a style sheet, and your book’s branding elements.

$3000+ USD



For clients with books that need to be a showstopper. View example.

 Includes 3D mockups, a style sheet, and your book’s branding elements.

$4000+ USD

Ready to chat? Book a free
30-minute fit call.

"Melinda is my go-to resource for any self-publishing projects that cross my desk."

There’s no one else I trust more with the self-publishing process than Melinda. Not only is she a top-notch designer and typesetter, but she also understands the intricate details involved in preparing a manuscript, from editing to final print. She also happens to be great fun to work with, and she truly cares about the results she creates for her clients. I’ve worked closely with Melinda on several projects now, and she’s my go-to resource for any self-publishing projects that cross my desk.

Becky Kopitzke, Author, Writing Coach, and Founder of The Inspired Business


"She went above and beyond, Melinda made it possible and is worth every cent and more!"

My partner and I made the most fortuitous decision to hire Melinda to be our guide. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!  Melinda not only helped design and layout our book in spectacular fashion, but she helped us every step of the way.  She made suggestions regarding formatting, advised on how to best execute the watercolor paintings for print, and helped find an editor that fit our style of book. More than that, she was the most patient teacher and never made us feel awkward or hesitant to ask a question. She was quick and clear with responses, often sharing videos for us “visual” learners.  I will definitely recommend her to all of my friends who are writers and illustrators.

Mary Pat Kanaley —Mary Pat Kanaley, Co-Author and Illustrator of “Ponies in the Park”


"Melinda knows exactly what the reader wants and needs, while also considering my book’s vision and goals."

I rely on Melinda Martin and her incredible team at Martin Publishing Services for all my book design projects (paperback, hardback, and epubs). Melinda is on the forefront of market trends, understands book markets and book buying behavior, and knows exactly what the reader wants and needs, while also considering my book’s vision, goals, and budget. She is professional, reliable, fun to work with and delivers her projects in a timely manner.

Linda Ruggeri, Co-Author of “Networking for Freelance Editors”

Headshot of Linda Ruggeri, author Networking for Freelance Editors
Select Work

Even though the style will change from genre to genre, good design principles remain the same.



Children's Books


I work with ambitious, savvy people who 1) see high quality book design as an investment in their future success and 2) respect the process and advice of the expert they hired. If you can’t make decisions, take yourself too seriously, or have control issues, we aren’t a good fit! 

Most often, this means I work with non-fiction authors who want to use a book to grow their business or who are professional authors. My design skills are diverse, though, and I’m open to fiction and children’s books if it seems like we’d be a good match. Book a fit call and we’ll see!

As a production artist, I design books that work with any type of printing process. Some authors like the convenience of print-on-demand, while others require a professional printer (short-run digital or offset) to best meet the tactile experience their book requires.

We’ll cover this in our fit call

Absolutely not. Although I’ve designed plenty of bestsellers, no one can predict which books go to the top—not even big shot publishing houses! 

What I do is help your book become the best it can possibly be, giving it the best possible chance of it climbing the charts, making you your money back, showing you off as the credible expert you are, and adding clients and opportunities to your business. 

The reality is that books ARE judged by their cover, and poorly done or DIY covers just don’t sell because they don’t look like they contain credible information. I know what works in the book industry, and quality design is essential.

Before! Although editing is not included in my packages, I often fill the role of project manager to ensure no detail gets missed and that you’re hiring quality, ethical contractors. If I am also your project manager, I require 1) you to either work with one of my recommended editors that have already been trained on my processes or 2) vetting the editor you want to bring in. Trust me on this. There are a lot of lousy editors out there that make everyone’s life more difficult.

Once I have your manuscript back from your editor, an average package takes 10 to 12 weeks to complete. Exact timeline will be determined during the Self-Publishing Strategy session.

Yes, but I have high standards of who I will contract for. Book a fit call!

Ready to chat? Book a free
30-minute fit call.

Free Workflow Process: How to Organize Your Manuscript.