Colleen Sheehan

Colleen Sheehan - Designer

Ames, IA, USA

I design top-quality book packaging to help publishers and independent authors get books to press and increase sales.

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Hey there! 👋🏻My name is Colleen, and I'm a book designer that specializes in interiors. I've helped 263 publishers bring over 630 titles from word processor document to press, and sell more books. I'm ready to help you, too!

I've worked with a diverse group of clients, from traditional publishers like Cayélle Publishing and Innsmouth Free Press to publishing consultants who need a reliable, quality book interior designer for their clients. That doesn't include the several editors and book cover designers who know they can send clients my way as well. My business was built on referrals from other excellent professionals, and I'm very proud of that fact.

Individual authors whom I've worked with include:
• Mimi Matthews (USA Today best-selling author)
• Wayne Stinnett, (2019-2020 president of Novelists, Inc (NINC))
• Alice Archer (her title, Everyday History, was named Top Book of 2016 in the HEA USA Today column Rainbow Trends)
• Marianne Fox (Winner of the Nautilus Gold Award in YA Fiction)

I love working with new and established authors alike. I'm open to accepting both individual manuscripts and bulk projects and accept any genre (except children's books).

I've been working in independent publishing since 2011, and offer clients free and unique guides and hands-on publishing assistance to authors who need just a little more help. My process is simple and clear, and I use a PDF guide so you always know where we're at with your project, from beginning to end.

There are thousands of details (and hundreds of thousands of characters) that bring a word document to life, and you shouldn't have to learn any of them. Let's get to work so you can get back to writing.


"When you hire someone to design you book interior, design a cover or do anything else to make your book a reality, the very best thing you can hope for is that the designer will truly ‘get you.’ Colleen not only ‘got me,’ but was able to turn her understanding of my writing into beautiful and accurate visual representations. I wouldn’t let anyone else touch my books." – Dawn Lee McKenna, bestselling author of the Forgotten Coast Series

"Just wanted to chime in that Colleen does a wonderful job, and I’ll always ask her to format my novels. She's fast yet incredibly detail oriented, and with both of my books with the help of images gave them a very distinct, professional feel. If you want to make your interior stand out, and convert more of those readers who click on the Look Inside, she’s a fantastic choice." – Alec Hutson, Bestselling author of the Raveling series, and receiver of the 2017 Reader's Favorite Award

"Colleen is not only an incredibly talented interior book designer, but also quick, professional, and detail-oriented. She really listens to authors and strives to bring their visions to life. I’ve worked with Colleen on at least a dozen projects, and every author has been happy with the results she delivered." – Beth Jusino, publishing consultant

"As a book shepherd and author support specialist, over the years I’ve worked with a wide variety of book designers, but Colleen is the one I always recommend to my clients. Not only is her design sense impeccable, but she’s a delight to work with -- easygoing and personable, yet wholly professional. Whether it’s a custom design or one of her templates, her work is first-rate, and her customer service outstanding. Having a designer like Colleen to turn to takes so much of the stress out of publishing, I truly can’t recommend her enough." – Jane Ryder, owner of Ryder Author Resources

"Another happy customer here–Colleen is great to work with. Cheerful, professional, happy to accommodate weird and detailed requests, and very willing to go the extra yard to make sure the final product is professional. If you’re looking for top-notch interior design, look no further." – Phil Tucker, bestselling author of the Chronicles of the Black Gate

"I must stress how easy it is to work with Colleen and how accommodating she and her company are in terms of follow-up, explaining things, or otherwise being helpful beyond what they are contracted to do. Their goal is quality and making it easier for novice and expert book authors alike to put out a high-quality product that looks like a million dollars. In my case, PR folks were saying that my book looked and felt as good as, if not better than, any book you would see published by one of the giant publishers. Now that is high praise!" – Kurt Weyerhauser, executive search expert, author of Hire Your Dream Team
Action & Adventure
Historical Fiction
Mystery & Crime
Biographies & Memoirs
Education & Reference

Work experience

Book Designer

September, 2014 – Present (over 7 years)

Interior book designer. There are so many minute elements of book interior design, that I decided to specialize in it. My responsibilities to books include:  

• Interior designed specifically for your book, custom-made to match your book cover
• Pagination design from the ground up
• A deep review of the text to inform my design choices
• Three potential designs
• Line-by-line typesetting
• Guidance about distribution options and how they work
• Full copyright ownership of the book interior design transferred to you at the completion
• Three design and proof passes for you to review our work
• Optional assistance uploading the files to the distributors or printer of your choice.
• A free ebook edition of your print book, for use at any distributors

Publishing Manager

Raventide Books
October, 2011 – December, 2018 (about 7 years)

As the publishing manager of Raventide Books, I utilized my knowledge of art, design, and technology to:  

• Organize and develop book packaging 
• Choose distributors and upload to them 
• Market the Raventide Books' catalog 

Raventide Books published fantasy, scifi, and urban fantasy between 2011 and 2018.

Colleen has 7 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Debra Maldonado
Colleen was excellent to work with and delivered a beautiful interior design. I would definitely use her again for our next book.

Debra Maldonado, December 2021

Cary Lerman
Colleen was an absolute pleasure to work with. She is a real professional and approaches her work with seriousness, calmness and diligence. She has a protocol in place to move one along from one stage in the book design process to another. It worked well for me. It both gave me choices and also ensured that the process kept moving forward. She was conscientious, respectful of my work and s...
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Cary Lerman, December 2021

Melissa Blair
Colleen was a joy to work with! She made my interior not only look professional but stand out in a competitive market. She not only executed what was needed but was able to understand the theme of the book into every aspect of the formatting. Highly recommend!

Melissa Blair, December 2021

Julie Jensen
Colleen has been incredibly helpful to me as a first-time author with lots of questions. She is a gifted problem solver who thinks beyond the immediate task and proactively solves issues before they can even arise. I really appreciate her iterative approach, willingness to hear feedback, and openness to sharing her expertise in all things design, graphics, and publishing.

Julie Jensen, November 2021

Kelly Leslie
Colleen was absolutely amazing. She responded to my unusual request right away. She maintained consistent contact with me and, most importantly, fixed a formatting problem that no one else could. I highly recommend Colleen for her expertise, professionalism, excellent communication skills, and rapid response. An absolute pleasure to work with.

Kelly Leslie, September 2021

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