BOOK COVER DESIGN: FEARLESS DECISION

We are working on the cover for FEARLESS BEAUTY -a spiritual path to the true you – by author Kenetia Paige. Having narrowed down to 4 covers, now is time to decide.

Which one would you choose?


& here my fave, wich is out of the race…

> so, what’s next? after choosing a mock-up, we will keep working on it to get to the final cover.
That is, to produce some variations on the same cover until all the elements work -usually some title variants, colors, positioning, even the image may change, we may add or take some element.
And then, the details -image retouch, transparencies, shadows, borders, etc.-
Spine & back are always in mind, but graphically may step in at different times during the process, sometimes earlier, sometimes later.

*The crown ornament on the side of this post is from the free font Crowns & Coronets by Emerald City Fontwerks

By |September 17th, 2008|Categories: Book Design, e-book design|Tags: , , |8 Comments

BOOK DESIGN in an E-BOOK WORLD

I’m convinced that e-books eventually will replace printed books as the world’s primary reading material.

And before you say it: just because you don’t want to cuddle up in bed with an e-book, don’t assume, don’t assert, that others share that attitude.

Wide acceptance of e-books largely depends upon functional reading devices but limited distribution of printed books is an even larger issue. Sure, print-on-demand offers a solution but what happens when the quality of e-books are better and more affordable and more accessible than books printed on demand?

I already live in a part of the world where 95% of the English-languages books I want to read are not easily available. That scenario, the lack of printed reading material, really adjusts your perspective about e-books. (Meanwhile, fortunately, I am surrounded by a wealth of Spanish-language books). But I still feel the necessity of an e-book reader. Unfortunately, international shipping to Argentina is not reliable and there’s a huge import tax on electronics. So, my e-book reader will have to wait until some future visit to North America.

What is the future of book design in an e-book world? Very healthy.

Book design, layout, and typography will continue to play the same role in producing e-books as in printed books. Indeed, one could argue that readability may be an even more important factor with e-books. New possibilities with layout and presentation also may be presented through e-book readers. Of course, there will be limitations and some books just will not be as presentable through e-book readers as in their printed counterparts. Essentially, book designers already produce every printed book as an e-book anyway. In all cases, the final production files delivered to the printer are digital files and almost always in PDF. So, there is still plenty need for book designers in an e-book world.

What about book cover design? Very healthy.

The cover image will continue to play an important marketing role in helping people select which e-books to read. Just as with printed books, e-books need some way of standing out in the crowd.

And what about printed books in an e-book world?

People will still want to buy books, but my thinking is that people will be more interested in spending money on specialized books, books not available digitally, books that offer an experience, books that involve a high degree of design.

So, we may be book designers but that doesn’t mean we’re traditionalists. Of course, in a sense, book design is not so much about the book but about the ways that text and images are conveyed to the reader.

By |January 17th, 2008|Categories: Book Design, e-book design, publishing|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

TRAVEL GUIDES by the chapter

If you travel a lot then you know the problem of carrying around guidebooks: they can be large and you often don’t use half the chapters in the book. A travel guide friend of mine actually recommends ripping out the pages that you don’t want from a guidebook in order to make it lighter, easier to carry around.

Lonely Planet is introducing downloadable chapters of its guidebooks. The price of each chapter varies but it seems to be around $2.50 or so. It reminds me of the TravelFish guides to southeast Asia that we wrote about last month.


lonely planet

So far, Lonely Planet only has chapters from its Latin American guidebooks available for download. This concept is particularly good for travelers on the road. In many countries it’s very difficult to find English-language travel books.

By |July 25th, 2007|Categories: e-book design, publishing|Tags: , |3 Comments

A BETTER WAY to do E-BOOKS

Yesterday we talked about some of the problems with the current generation of e-books. And by e-book we’re not talking about the types that require a proprietary hardware reader. We mean just digital files (usually PDF) that can be purchased online.

Travelfish is a company that specializes in producing downloadable guidebooks (eGuides) to travel spots in Southeast Asia. Each guide is available in PDF and costs around $2.95 – $3.95. For each eGuide book Travelfish tells the prospective buyer exactly how many pages and maps are included as well as other relevant information to help make your purchase decision.

And one of the things I like the best is that Travelfish provides screen snapshots of the interior layout of the eGuides.

travel e-book

That tells potential buyers that Travelfish isn’t trying to hide anything, isn’t attempting to rip someone off with a crappy e-book. Travelfish just put a little effort into making what appears to be a quality product.

I also like the low pricing of the Travelfish guides. I see a lot of e-books that charge the same as a printed hardcover volume. I think that a smaller page count along with a smaller price creates a better e-book product. Most books, even in print, don’t need to be 300 pages and an e-book certainly doesn’t need to be that long. Also, the low pricing should make the purchase an impulse buy for many people.

We think that Travelfish has a good model for the ways that e-books should be developed and marketed.

By |June 1st, 2007|Categories: e-book design|Tags: , |6 Comments

Designing E-BOOK COVERS

We’ve noticed that there’s a lot of demand for designing e-book covers. And as with all books there is quite a range of quality among the books. Many, if not most, e-books are not very well written. But maybe that’s also true with printed books if one counts all the self-published titles in existence. (There are some very good self-published books, but I think everyone knows that there are also a lot of bad books, too). Some of the e-books we’ve seen are nothing more than Word document files of less than ten pages.

And some e-books are just outright scams. There seems to be a lot of that floating around on the net. And, yes, you can waste money on printed books, too, but at least with print you can see what you buying in the bookstore before purchasing the thing. Most Web sites selling e-books don’t provide previews of any inside pages or even tell you the number of pages.

This brings us to the trend in designing e-book covers where an image is created to make the e-book resemble a printed book, appearing three dimensional with a spine.

We’ve done this ourselves for clients when requested. Here’s an e-book cover and Web page that we’ve designed:

e-book cover design

This isn’t a post to promote that particular e-book, which is why we’re not linking to that particular Web site. We just wanted to address this trend in designing e-book covers. Since we believe in design, we believe all books deserve a good design. There’s an interesting philosophical question as to whether design should be used to promote certain activities but we’ll leave that discussion to the pundits.

But we would like to call for e-book authors not to request an e-book cover that resembles a printed book. You don’t need that. If you want that, then we’ll design it for you but think about why you feel the need for it. What you need, as with any cover, is a compelling design. Indeed, with an e-book you also need a very well designed Web page. Far too many e-books are promoted from poorly designed Web sites.

Also, we would like to see more e-book authors pay attention to the layout and formatting of their interior pages. There is a lot that can be done in PDF. And e-book authors should also provide a preview of a few pages to prospective buyers. With just a little more work, by making a quality product, a quality e-book, you surely can sell more than if you just go for the quick buck from the unsuspecting, naive consumer. Let’s see more quality from e-books.

By |May 31st, 2007|Categories: e-book design|Tags: , |4 Comments