Book printing and self publishing service

Affordable self publishing and book printing specialists, providing a personal service to authors

Design for self publishing

How does good book design work, given all the different elements? Tricorn uses its experience to incorporate all the elements, including front and back covers, internal pages and finishes into a coherent style that enhances your manuscript. We like to have an initial chat to understand your ideas, your aspirations and how they relate – what style you want to use, the kind of imagery you want to incorporate.

It’s about you! From this initial discussion we will produce appropriate concepts. What we need from you is edited, proofread text, plus images if you are using them, to develop finished artwork. If you need any help with these, such as re-sizing the images, copy editing or touching up photographs, we can do that too. Just ask.

Good design

Firstly good design doesn’t cost more with Tricorn. Also, good design will stand out. A  strong front cover will get your book noticed.  The title and subtitle (if applicable) will feature, along with your name and images. We will work with you to get this right, depending on your vision, the genre of book and target audience. Equally, we can work in different media to produce illustrations for the front cover if you want. We are happy to discuss this or any other requirement.

Back cover design

Just as important as the front, the back of a book can provide further information about the content, you, the author and how the book has been reviewed. It can also incorporate additional images, making the book more attractive. Done well, it really does help to sell your book, converting a browse to a sale.

Inside page layout

It’s important that your book reads well, is easy to follow and holds the readers interest in its pace and delivery. Well designed layout can enhance this. Equally, you may wish to include colour or black & white images, illustrations, footnotes, tables, decorative flourishes, an index or colour plates. It’s all  possible with Tricorn.

Images incorporated

into body text can really help to illustrate your writing, bringing it to life for the reader. These might be photographs you have, drawings, illustrations or even maps. If you don’t have the correct images, we can source them using stock photography or produce them ourselves using our own professional photographers or illustrators. All images should have correct permissions, be supplied separately to the text as 300dpi JPegs or TIFFS, in electronic format. However, if you need help with that, we can do that too!


Once you are happy with the cover and internal design, the body text needs to be placed. The best way to supply this is in digital format as one file, for example in Word or Text Edit with no illustrations or photographs embedded. It should be edited and proof read – this way we can pour the text in and format it with the correct headings, spaces, chapters etc., quickly and easily.


We have our own in-house illustrator, Raphilena Bonito, who has an illustrious pedigree and has worked on a range of projects for us, click here most notably The Wise Bear Stories, which is now going to a second print run. Raphilena has also worked on over 30 book jackets for the Western author, Caleb Rand that are available at Amazon worldwide.


We work hard at this stage to make sure you are completely happy with the book by giving you electronic proofs to have a look at, re-check and say yes, this is how you want it to be.

However, you do have two rounds of author proof corrections at this stage to make small  amends.  The book will then be prepared for the printers in industry standard format.  Electronic proofs are provided from the printers to check their set up is correct. However if you are more comfortable looking at paper proofs, we can arrange that for you but there may be a small charge. 


These can still be made at this late stage if necessary, but it is better to invest the time and effort checking beforehand, as any corrections or alterations you make may be charged for by the printer. If any changes need to be made due to an error on our part, then of course you are not charged.

Some examples


In book printing and self publishing; we use different printers for different titles, depending on what you want, how many, price and quality. Printing has changed considerably with digital formats, so if you want a limited number of books at a time we can do this by using our On-Demand printer. This saves a large initial investment, as well as the need for an extra room to house 1000s of books!

If you want a larger print run!

Then it is more cost effective to use a litho printer, and if you want a print run in the 10,000s, then we have overseas contacts who not only do a beautiful job, but also work out very competitive for these kinds of quantities. We will negotiate the best price, let you know at the outset how much that will be and manage the whole process, including delivery.

Publishing & distribution

Tricorn will give you an ISBN (International Standard Book Number), so that your publication can be sold through book shops and on-line. From that we will create a unique EAN barcode that will be art-worked in the correct position on the cover. Details and copies will be registered with the bibliographic services.

We can also organise national sales & distribution.

Photography, graphics & marketing

As well as a comprehensive design and publishing service we are also able to offer a full photographic service and marketing support, as Tricorn Books is a trading name of 131 Design Ltd – see

This might include promotional material for in-store and point of sale, direct mail, PR or even a web site.Including ‘blog’ and content management facilities, for you to market your own work.

Specialists in self publishing

A great example of self publishing success

At Tricorn Books, we understand that your book is a considerable personal investment. Having probably spent huge amounts of time and effort getting the content right, we know you will care how it looks.

You might already have some ideas in your head that you want to use or you might need some creative input. Either way we certainly won’t bamboozle you with jargon or pass off formulaic templates at any stage of the design. We will help you to manage the design of your book. We are here to discuss all aspects of it and will work very hard with you to realise your effort.

All you pay is a one-off design fee and competitive print prices

There are no royalties, no hidden fees, no print fees, no long-term commitment and we never use templates in our design – unless you specify it. You order as many or as few books as you want, when you want – from 1 to 10,000 – at competitive rates.

Thanks to Dan and Tricorn books I was able to tell my story about the Falkland Islands. It's transformation from a society with a frontier feel, through a war and its aftermath, and on to a modern country, taking advantage of the opportunities given to us by the heroics and sacrifices of the British armed forces. Dan was enthusiastic and encouraging throughout the process, suggesting ways of inhancing my work, resulting in two quality books with a super look and feel.
Richard Stevens
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