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Book Design

reading time: 4 mins
The design of a professionally laid-out book is rarely noticed, but an indifferently laid-out book draws attention of the wrong kind.

Book Design #

spread from Lucky’s Bakehouse Holiday: Pumpkin Pie with Ginger Streusel
Color book design of Lucky’s Bakehouse Holiday Cookbook.

The best design does not distract but rather serves the book.

The text is what’s important #

Readability. A balanced aesthetic that is easy on the eye. We want a book that, when the reader opens it up, the only thing she notices are the words themselves, all she thinks about is the story or the ideas revealed by the words.

Details matter #

Quality typefaces spaced just the right amount. Pages perfectly aligned. An elegant touch here and there.

Centuries of printing have taught us much about what goes into producing a quality book. Page size and margins are only the start. The tools available in professional layout systems like InDesign allow the book designer to get the details right.

I work from your manuscript master document—Word format preferred, but I can accept a variety of document formats—and lay it out in print book format, with front matter (title page, copyright page, dedication, acknowledgments, index), main text, and back matter (about the author, glossary), maps and illustrations, tables, graphics—all with careful attention to the details. You receive a press-ready PDF master file prepared to your printer’s specifications.

Hand-Coded Ebook Formatting #

Three screenshots showing visually identical pages in print and on Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle application
Matching layouts across print and ebook versions of Katherine M. Lawrence’s Cold Heart.

Ebooks can be tricky, especially in getting them to look good in a variety of e-readers. Ebooks must work on a wide variety of devices and apps. We have no idea how any particular reader might be accessing the book. An ebook might be read on any ereader, tablet, or app. Or on a big-screen TV. Or a computer screen. Or [fill in the next hot new platform here].

The difference resides within the code #

My approach to this challenge centers on producing clean mark-up and effective, efficient styling. The old concepts of web design apply here. We want an ebook that is consistent in how it presents the content, with readable text and images on all devices and apps, and that is accessible so that people using screen readers can also enjoy the content.

Cover Design #

Book covers for Sword of the Taka Samurai series books written by Katherine M Lawrence, featuring Yamabuki
Book covers for the Sword of the Taka Samurai series.

Far away and up close #

People buy books online and off the shelf. The most effective book covers not only intrigue readers holding the book in their hands, but also catch the eye when the book is a postage-stamp-sized image on a crowded website.

Powerful composition and rich detail and texture combine to convey the emotion and theme of the book.

I design covers for all formats—hardcover dustjackets, paperback covers, and ebook covers.

Got art? #

If you already have artwork you want to use, I incorporate it into the cover design you need, ready for delivery to the printer, ebook platform, and audiobook vendor.

Rates #

How much book design costs depends on the size and complexity of the project. Cover design rates depend on the concept, complexity, and what you’re after. Talk to me and let’s chat about your project, and I can give you an estimate or perhaps a fixed bid.