Showing posts with label joel friedlander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joel friedlander. Show all posts

Monday, April 29

Book Design: What NOT To Do

Book Design: What NOT To Do

Jane Friedman recently asked book design guru Joel Friedlander to talk about the dos and don'ts of book design: How Much Attention Should You Pay to Book Design? A Q&A With Joel Friedlander.

The most common mistakes in interior book design:

1. Not using full justification for their text, so that both the right and left margin square up and create a rectangle on the page

2. Not hyphenating the text, resulting in gaps and spaces on the page

3. Putting the odd-numbered pages on the left, when they should always be on the right

4. Leaving running heads on display pages like part or chapter openers

5. Margins that are either too small to allow the reader to easily hold the book, or that don’t take the printing and binding of the book into account

6. Publishing a book with no copyright page

How much should an author expect to pay an interior book designer? 


Joel writes:
For novels and other lightly formatted books, you can expect to pay between $200 and $1,500 for interior design. At the low end you’re likely to get a “template” design. At the higher end, expect to receive several custom designs prepared expressly for your book. You’ll also want the designer to take responsibility for producing the reproduction files for your printer, and make sure there’s an allowance for “author’s alterations,” because I’ve never seen a book yet that went all the way from manuscript to press without at least some changes being made.
Joel mentions that for cover designs the range is between $200 and $3,500.

Professional design can make all the difference, when folks are browsing the cover is all they see. I know I've started reading many books because of their stunning covers.

You can read more of Joel Friedlander's design tips on his site The Book Designer.

Question: Do you have a cover design, or interior design, tip to share?

Other articles you might like:

- Cliffhangers
- New Minimum Length For Ebooks On Amazon: 2500 Words
- Word Processing Apps For Writing On The Go

Photo credit: "paesaggio3" by francesco sgroi under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

Wednesday, August 1

Joel Friedlander Interviews The Passive Guy/David Vandagriff

Ever seen David Vandagriff, aka The Passive Guy (PG)? Here's your chance! Joel Friedlander just put up an interview he did with PG--I'm going to continue calling him that--and introduces us to the man behind the The Passive Voice blog. Warning: It's over 40 minutes long, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here are the highlights:

Joel asked PG something I've been wondering: Why so many posts? PG publishes 6 to 8 posts a day. Granted, curating an article--especially one without commentary--takes less time than writing 1,000 words (trust me, I know!) but it's still a significant investment of one's time. Thus the question: Why do it?

I enjoyed PG's answer. Joel came up with the image of an 'information whale' taking in information about the world of publishing just as a whale strains skims plankton from the ocean. Like me, PG has dozens of Google alerts and a huge list of blogs in his RSS reader, and he posts those few articles that catch his attention, that he thinks are remarkable or interesting in some way.

For those of us who have blogs and find it interesting to talk about where we get most of our traffic from, I thought it was interesting that both PG and Joel said Twitter accounts for a good percentage of their pageviews each day. PG said it accounted for at least 25% while Joel mentioned that it is his second biggest source of readers. My experience is similar.

Conclusion: If you're not tweeting your blog posts on Twitter you're missing out on potential readers.

At the end of his interview PG gave four tips for anyone thinking of publishing their own work:

1. It's not hard
It's one of those things that I'd say was simple but not easy. For instance, how to lose weight is simple: eat less, but it's far from easy to do that. Publishing your own work in the same. What you need to do can be explained simply enough, but seeing the process through to the very end is far from easy.

2. You can control everything
I often hear authors say that they hate the cover their publisher chose for their book. This never happens when you self publish because you are in charge of all those details. As Mr. Monk might say: a gift and a curse.

3. It's fast!
In traditional publishing it is common to wait a year or more before your book is published. PG's wife got her edits back and her book was up for sale on Amazon a week later. Her editor (who used to be her publisher) was astonished, that sort of speed is unheard of in the traditional publishing industry.

4. You can fix your mistakes
This is a boon of biblical proportions for perfectionists. Time and again it happens that an author's book is published and then you find a typo. Sometimes on the first paragraph. The author cringes, the fans cringe, but what can you do about it? In traditional publishing you can't do anything, not even with the ebook version. It has been published and that's that. Not so if you're the publisher. Just correct the typo and upload the new version of your book. It's as simple as that.

To see the PG's interview for yourself read Passive Guy Speaks over on Joel's blog, The Book Designer.

Thursday, September 8

8 Cover Design Tips for Self-Publishers

Since good book covers help sell books, wouldn't it be great if a professional gave us newbies some tips? Joel Friedlander has done just that in his article, Top 8 Cover Design Tips for Self-Publishers.

He writes:
1. Establish a principal focus for the cover—Nothing is more important. Your book is about something, and the cover ought to reflect that one idea clearly.

One element that takes control, that commands the overwhelming majority of attention, of space, of emphasis on the cover. Don’t fall into the trap of loading up your cover with too many elements, 3 or 4 photos, illustrations, maps, “floating” ticket stubs.

You could think of your book cover like a billboard, trying to catch the attention of browsers as they speed by. Billboards usually have 6 words or less. You have to “get it” at 60 miles per hour, in 3 to 5 seconds.

A book cover ought to do the same thing. At a glance your prospect ought to know;

- the genre of your book,
- the general subject matter or focus, and
- some idea of the tone or “ambiance” of the book.

Is it a thriller? A software manual? A memoir of your time in Fiji? Your ideas on reform of the monetary system? Each of these books needs a cover that tells at a glance what the book is about.

2. Make everything count—If you are going to introduce a graphic element, make sure it helps you communicate with the reader.

3. Use the background—Avoid white backgrounds, which will disappear on retailer’s white screens. Use a color, a texture, or a background illustration instead.

4. Make your title large—Reduce your cover design on screen to the size of a thumbnail on Amazon and see if you can read it. Can you make out what it’s about? If not, simplify.

5. Use a font that’s easy to read—See above. There’s no sense using a font that’s unreadable when it’s radically reduced. Particularly watch out for script typefaces, the kind that look lacy and elegant at full size. They often disappear when small.

6. Find images that clarify—Try not to be too literal. Look for something that expresses the mood, historical period, or overall tone of the book; provide a context.

7. Stay with a few colors—If you don’t feel comfortable picking colors, look at some of the color palettes available online to get a selection of colors that will work well together.

8. Look at lots of great book covers—You may not be able to mimic all their techniques, but the best book covers are tremendous sources of inspiration and fresh ideas.
Excellent points! Read Joel's entire blog post here.

Also check out his more recent article, How to Reinvent a Book with a New Book Cover.

Good luck with those covers!