Should you go pro, tame a template or dash into DIY for your eBook design?

A stress-free guide to navigating the pros, cons and conditions of DIY design vs. template design vs. professional design


You’ve done it: You’ve created content – whether it’s an enchanting eBook, a genius eGuide or even a conversion-promoting case study – and you’re darn proud of it. 

Well done! But … now what?

How do you turn your witty words into content your audience actually wants to read? Hmm. Good question. And, as you probably know, there are a few options when it comes to designing your eBook.

You can:

  1. DIY it from scratch (using your own design software, images and fonts).
  2. Purchase a pre-made or custom-made eBook template (customising it to fit your brand and content).
  3. Hire a professional graphic designer to work their magic on your words (and turn it into an irresistible offering your audience can’t wait to consume). 

So, which is the best option for you?

To help you decide which direction to take with your eBook design, I’ve whipped up a quick comparison guide highlighting the pros, cons and conditions of each option.



This option is akin to building your house with nothing more than your own two hands and a basic toolkit. You can do it … but is it the easiest, least stressful, most efficient and prettiest way of doing things?

Look. Probably not. And no matter how good your intentions are, you’ll still probably end up with the ugly duckling house on the block – but with zero chance of a transformation into a beautiful swan.

On top of this, your design probably won’t stand the rest of time (ugly DIY design doesn’t last long) and the return on investment will be little to none. After all, who wants to buy a house that’s falling down?

And, trust me, I am speaking from experience here – I DIY’d my side timber fence. It’s now warped, the timber is split, and it looks like it was assembled by a two-year-old. Meanwhile, my neighbour wisely had their fence professionally built and installed. I stare at it with envy every day.

DIY design is great for you if:

  • You have an extremely limited budget (Think: zero).
  • You have plenty of free time and aren’t in any rush to launch your eBook.
  • You don’t mind your content being disposable and having a short lifespan.

DIY design probably isn’t great for you if:

  • You have zero design skills.
  • You’re busy and don’t have the abundant spare time needed to DIY your design.
  • You’d like to attract and appeal to your ideal audience.
  • You need your design to feel high-end and professional.
  • You want to present your brand in a visually pleasing way that elevates your brand presence.
  • You care about your content being easy to read, navigate and share.
  • You’d like to create interactive elements that your audience can engage with.
  • You dream of having captivating custom graphics/icons/illustrations aligned with your content.



With this option, you’ve basically purchased a house and land package that delivers you space and a place courtesy of a professional builder.

And you’ll absolutely end up with a beautiful home that’s professional built and designed. Yay! No more ugly duckling.

But. If you dream of a library with wall-to-floor bookshelves and your house package DOESN’T have that in the plan …

*Whomp whomp*

… Customisation is impossible. You’re stuck with the home you’re given.

Template design is great for you if:

  • You have a limited budget but need semi-professional design that looks polished.
  • You need your content created quickly (and have time to customise/edit your template yourself – which is like DIY renovating!)
  • You have content that will fit inside a set template (and doesn’t require complex custom design).

Template design isn’t great for you if:

  • You want an eBook that is perfectly aligned with the rest of your visual presence.
  • You have creative content that doesn’t fit inside a standard design template and requires custom pro design.
  • You’d like your content to be interactive (and your template doesn’t offer that functionality).



Alright, now we’re in magic-making territory. Bring on the swoons! ‘Cause this option is akin to hiring an architect to bring your dream home to life – custom library and all.

And not only will you walk away with a home that is wholly unique and perfectly aligned with your vision, but this is also the path of least resistance (and stress). 

You just brief your builder, then sit back and sip your tea while they do the hard work for you. The end result? A stunning legacy that lasts the test of time.  


Professional design is great for you if you want:

  • A return on your investment* (*paired with great execution and strategy).
  • To look effortlessly high-end.
  • To attract and appeal to your ideal audience.
  • Your content to be seamlessly aligned with the rest of your visual branding.
  • Your content to be easy to read, digest and adore.
  • To communicate your information in a visually engaging and memorable way.

Professional design isn’t great for you if:

  • You need your eBook designed and delivered ASAP.
  • You have zero or a very small budget.


So, what’ll it be? DIY, template or pro design?

Is professional eBook design calling your name? Yay! 

Shimmy over here to check out my eBook design packages



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