Your book cover either sells, or it repels. What is your cover doing for you?
Welcome. You've come to the right place for your book design services. I’ve been in the business of getting attention for my clients since 1995. I use art, photography, typography and a book lover’s senses to convey your story and help motivate your readers to buy. I bring positivity, passion and focus to all of my projects and would love to put that energy to work for you.
In these portfolio pages you’ll find a wide variety of book covers and page designs. As you click through the links above, you’ll also read testimonials from the authors I’ve worked with. They’ve each written a few sentences on their experience working together with me.
Book cover design
Will your book cover sell or will it repel?
Let's talk about book cover design. With all the books out on the market today it's more important than ever to have a compelling professional cover design. Studies have shown that readers spend roughly 2-8 seconds looking at each book cover, before choosing one to click on or flip over. My job, as a cover artist, is to get the reader to pause, click (or flip) and read the author's words. Whether you are a self published author, or a New York Times best selling author, your book cover art must grab your reader and tell them, in an instant, "Take me home! I am just what you need!"
Browse through a wide range of cover designs by visiting my Book Cover Design Portfolio. Included in my portfolio are e-book covers, paperback and hardcover samples both casebound and/or with dust jackets.
Page design and typesetting
Do your pages say DIY?
Top-quality page design and typesetting make your product professional. Do your pages say "DIY"?
Your book's cover should grab your readers attention. Page design, however is more subtle. Many people are surprised to learn that pages are actually designed because, unlike the cover, the design shouldn’t be noticeable at all. It should simply allow the reader a more comfortable experience. To accomplish this effectively, a good deal of thought goes into this important aspect of book production.
Here are some of the design decisions that go into preparing your page designs:
- Trim size and number of pages. Depending on which printer you choose, your manuscript may need to fit into a standard trim size. Your trim size, word count, choice of typeface, type size and spacing will all affect the total number of pages.
- Choosing a typeface. Your book designer’s choice of typeface will depend on a number of things. Is your book fiction, non-fiction, or a children's book? Typically fiction books use serif fonts, where non-fiction and children's books can use san-serif fonts (or not). If there are a lot of italics in the text, you'll want to choose a font with easy-to-read italics. A book with several levels of headings and sub headings may need a complimentary typeface to make the headings stand out.
- Margins, columns and white space. These elements in your book should be combined in such a way to create an uncluttered, inviting look to your pages. Your margins should be wider at the top and/or bottom to allow for running heads or folios (a fancy word for page numbers.) or they could be wider on the outside edges to allow for notations. Does your book require two or more columns? These are typically used for larger books, like coffee table books or lengthy tomes, to allow for a shorter, easier to read line of text.
- Running heads and folios. Running heads usually contain your book’s title and either the author’s name, or your chapter title. Chapter specific running heads are typically used for non-fiction books, to allow your reader to follow "bread crumbs" to know exactly where they are in your book, on any given page. Folios (page numbers) can be placed in the header or the footer. The size, placement and even colour of these elements depend on how noticeable or inconspicuous you want them to be.
- Front and back matter. There are several pages that come before, and after the body of your manuscript, called front and back matter. Front matter might include an introduction, dedication, or a foreword from someone of significance. Back matter could include a bibliography, a glossary or index. Each page is generally treated differently, but together they create a unified whole, that make your book look professional.
- Hyphen Stacks or Word Stacks. Hyphen stacks happen when you have three (or more) hyphens in a column at the end of the line of text. The same goes for words. Three (or more) of the same word in a column can be distracting.
- Widows and Orphans, (my personal pet peeves) Widows and orphans are single words at the end of a paragraph, or the bottom or top of a page. Or a single line of text that's all by itself at the top/bottom of a column, or page. Subtle shifts in kerning and tracking or horizontal scale can be adjusted to fix these errors.Note: It is here where your meticulously edited and proofread manuscript can save you the most. Finding an error after the final Widow/Orphan/Hyphenation/Word Stack pass can be costly. Changing even a single character after this point can affect the flow of the entire document. That extra time = more cost.
So you see, a lot of careful thought goes into designing a page. It's not all glitz and glam, but it's easy to tell when it's not done professionally. These last two offenders (6 & 7) are probably the most obvious rookie mistakes authors make that give away that the project has not been done professionally.
My Page Design Portfolio includes several examples of pages designed in five different categories: Simple, Complex Text, Complex Text and Images, Complex Technical Textbook and Illustrated Children’s Book Pages. It includes a description and the types of books that fall into each category.
What kind of page design will your book require?
Is your book in the format your readers need?
Sell more books by giving your readers a version that works on their Kindle, iPhone, tablet or laptop. I can help you get your print books converted into digital editions by recommending a professional conversion service.
Ready to find out more?
Drop me a line today for a free quote!
Step 1: Free initial consultation
Call or email me to discuss your project and we’ll get to know each other before deciding whether to work together. There is no obligation.
We’ll discuss all the elements your book contains and how best to present them to your readers. Then I’ll provide you with a firm quote for both the cover and the interior.
Step 2: Getting started
When you’re ready, just send me your signed quote. You can mail a check for your 50% deposit, or if you prefer, pay by any major credit/debit card via PayPal. (Note that PayPal does incur a 4% transaction fee.) We’ll also sign a simple contract stating that I agree to do the work, you agree to pay for the work.
Step 3: Discovery
I will send you two design questionnaires. One for the cover, and one for the interior. They help us discover your needs and wants, your creative vision, likes and dislikes, as well as nail down technical aspects of the project, like trim size and page count.
Step 4: Choosing a cover design and a page design
Once we've finished with the questionnaires, I’ll prepare two or three designs options for your cover and your pages based on our discovery.
Each cover design will consist of a front cover concept with the title, author name, and any tag line, sequel indicator, or promo blurbs you require. (My advice, keep it simple!)
Each page design option will consist of the first page of a chapter, followed by a two-page spread (see Page Design Samples for examples). You’ll have choices of typefaces and layout, and I’ll create your final design template according to your preferences.
In each case, once you have selected the design of your choice, you will have two rounds of changes to the chosen design to dial in your preferences or make corrections.
Step 5: Final Manuscript Preparation.
Has your manuscript been edited and proofread?
It’s crucial at this point that your manuscript be as clean as possible before going into your page design. An experienced editor will make sure your text flows smoothly for your reader. A proofreader will search carefully for any errors or spelling mistakes. Having your manuscript edited and proofread beforehand is cost-effective in the long run, as it will save costly changes that can affect the flow of your text block.
Step 6: Sending your final manuscript
When your manuscript is ready, and as error free as possible, you can email me your document together with any images. If your files are too large to send by email, we can use a free online file transfer service such asYouSendIt, Dropbox, or HighTail.com.
Step 7: Typesetting your book
When I receive your manuscript, I’ll flow your text into the final design and place your images. Each page will be typeset, including the front and back matter. I’ll create your title page, copyright page, and any other front and back matter you’d like to include in your book. Then I’ll send you a low resolution .PDF of your completed pages for review.
Step 8: Reviewing and proofreading your pages
Print your PDF and see your manuscript in book form. It’ll look very different from the way you’re used to seeing it. Review each page carefully for any errors. Your editor or proofreader will also want to review it for you. In fact, the more eyes the better! Now is the time to make any last-minute corrections.
Step 9: Making proofreading corrections
Send me your proofreading corrections and I’ll update your pages and send you a new PDF for review. There are two rounds of changes included in your contract, at no additional cost.
Step 10: Pre-press approval
When you’re satisfied that your cover and pages are perfect, you’ll sign a Proof Approval, confirming that we’re ready to go to press.
Step 11: Delivery of the final print ready design
I’ll package your print ready .pdf files and, upon payment of your final account, upload them to you via one of the free online file transfer services such as YouSendIt, Dropbox, or HighTail.com.
Step 12: Congratulations! You’re a published author!
After you upload your final files to KDP/Lightning Source or your chosen printer, you’ll soon receive the first copies of your published book. (I know you'll be THRILLED to see your baby in print!) When you do get the final product, please send me a copy for my portfolio—preferably a signed copy!
After the final rose.... Marketing your book
While your book is being printed, you’ll be busy marketing it. I’ll provide you with low-resolution images of your front cover for your marketing and promotion.