It’s funny. Now that e-books are becoming more and more mainstream, I find myself falling more and more in love with print book design. I’m still doing e-book covers, but … but … I’m going in the wrong direction!
But I do love book design with all my heart. I’ve started working for a lot of self-publishing authors lately, especially those publishing through Createspace and Lightning Source. I take their manuscripts and turn them into cleanly formatted, press-ready PDF text blocks, and I take their cover art (or create a new one) and lay it out in a cover flat complete with an ISBN bar code. This is nice for e-book authors as they finally have something to autograph at their book signings, nice for their rabid fans as they finally have something to put on their keeper shelf, and especially nice for me, since print book design has fast become my most favorite work of all.
There’s something zen-like in my book design process. I really, truly, and heartily enjoy doing the math and setting up a document in InDesign; creating master pages, paragraph, character, and object styles; and simply laying out the text and images until they please my eye. It never feels like work at all; it feels easy, instinctive, and natural, like I should have been doing this all along. I love the precise nature of the work and its technical underpinnings. I love how exact everything has to be. My inner M. C. Escher is pleased with the work. Why in the world did I ever get a degree in writing? Why wasn’t I on the yearbook staff? I could have been doing this right out of high school or college. What was the matter with me?
I was a late bloomer, I guess.
But it’s been a while since I’ve blogged about my work, so here are a couple of samples of my book design work (new covers by me as well), soon to be released on Amazon:
My turnaround for these was about a day or two each. For me, it’s like eating candy — it goes way too fast. So if you know anyone out there looking to self-publish a print book, or anyone who needs a book designer, please send them my way. I need more candy.