Design Process

Book design is a craft that draws on many traditions and only a few accepted rules. There is no single acceptable way to design books, no formula, no recipe. Each book is unique. Each designer’s approach to book design is equally unique. When I work on a book, I focus on a set of unique challenges it represents, and that determines what rules I adhere to and to what extent. Even though I develop and follow my own way of designing for each book I work on, I remain open to other ways of designing it. Although I will not necessarily agree to any possible way of tweaking traditions, I will value your input and encourage your participation in all stages of design process. My goal is to make your book design experience as inclusive, creative, and rewarding as possible, while achieving the goal of creating a book that best serves your literary work.

What the process involves

  1. A brief initial consultation (complimentary) over email or phone allows us to discuss the specific needs of your book project, to answer your questions, and to see if we are comfortable working together.
  2. After the initial consultation, once I collected the necessary information about your book and the look you intend for it, I provide you with an estimate.
  3. After you reviewed your estimate, I addressed all your questions, and we made a decision to work together, you sign the estimate and send it to me. A simple clause stating that you will own the copyright to your final book design is included in the estimate.
  4. I also ask you for a 50% deposit in order to start working on your book. l accept cheques, e-transfers, or payments made via PayPal.
  5. At this stage, you can send me the digital version of your manuscript along with scanned artwork, photos, rough sketches and any ideas you may have for your page and cover design. You can use Dropbox, WeTransfer, or another free internet file transfer service.
  6. It is highly recommended having your manuscript edited and proofread before it goes into a design process. This will help ensure the smooth flow of your text and eliminate errors and spelling mistakes. 
  7. We discuss your manuscript and elements you would like to include in your book, and start making choices with regards to your book’s trim size, type of paper, typefaces and page layout. I prepare and email you several design samples (2-4 pages each) to help you make a choice with which you are completely satisfied. After one of the samples is finalized by you, I will start working on your book using that sample as a template.
  8. I place your text and images into the final design template. I create front and back matter that you would like to include in your book (title page, copyright page, bio, etc.). Each page is typeset. I generate a PDF of all pages and send it for your review.
  9. At this point, you and your editor or proofreader are asked to review the PDF very carefully for any typos or errors. You send me your correction notes and I update your pages and send you an updated PDF for review.
  10. While you are reviewing your PDFs, I am working on your book cover. I play with ideas we previously discussed and experiment with various images, backgrounds and typefaces. I send you several rough samples of your front cover, spine, and back cover. I receive your feedback and start polishing the rough sample you are most excited about. As I receive more feedback from you with regards to your preferences and keep fine-tuning your cover, it shapes into the final version both of us are completely happy with.
  11. I then generate the first proof of your book to help you see exactly how your book looks when it is printed. I ensure that your book is perfect before it goes into printing. I generate more proofs if necessary.
  12. When you are completely satisfied with your book and confirm that we are ready to go to press, upon payment of your final account balance, I set up your title and submit your files to a print on demand (POD) and distribution vendor I work with or with a printer of your choice. I manage your account and all communications with a POD vendor or a printer.
  13. I arrange the distribution of your book via Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Chapters, and other bookstores.
  14. I send you a CD containing all of your digital files. 
  15. Upon your request, I design an elegant WordPress website to represent you and your literary works.

Timelines

Cover design    4 — 6 weeks

Pages design without account and distribution set-up    4 — 8 weeks

Pages design with account and distribution set-up    8 — 10 weeks

Please note that I schedule all new projects at least a few weeks in advance.