OK, so I can’t remember the last time I posted here. I’d love to post at least once a week, but designing takes so much time that I don’t know when I’d write! And there’s running the business, kids’ schedules, you know. 😉 Anyhow, I was recently interviewed by a colleague, Michael Dowling, for his newsletter, The Write Stuff. He’s a fantastic editor, ghostwriter, and publishing professional. If you’ve ever wondered whether book design is a luxury or necessity, you’ll want to read this article. http://www.michaeljdowling.com/newsletters/2014-08-three-things-success-book.html. You may want to sign up for his newsletter, too, as it always contains great info about publishing and writing.

I’d love to know your experience with book design, good or bad! And I’ll do my best to start posting here much more often. Thanks bunches and blessings to you. 🙂
Tam

Series covers designed by TLC Graphics

Designing a successful series is all about planning — for the publisher and designer. This task can be an added challenge for your designer, as graphic elements and typography must be created to specifically work for future volumes.
At the beginning of the project, your designer will want to know the longest and shortest titles in the series to ensure titles of every size will fit in their allotted space. Color schemes will be developed. Each book can carry an identical color application or the books’ colors may vary while staying within the determined color palette. A series must be visually branded. To achieve this, often a logo for the series is created as seen in the examples above. Finding several photos or illustrations of the same style, shape, and/or size will also be important for future volumes. Design parameters are more strict when creating a series, but with thorough planning, your volume of books can reflect a valuable and saleable brand, asking customers to keep coming back for more.

By alerting your designer up front that your book is or may be part of a series, you can ensure branding consistency from book to book. You should save money on the design of each book cover after the first, as adapting the pre-planned design will take less time than starting from scratch or trying to adapt an established “one-time-use” design to a series.

– Tami

"99 Days to Panama" before and after cover designs

Why will the second cover sell better than the first? I bet it caught your eye in a captivating way. The second cover tells a story and asks the reader to participate. The first is difficult to read, has a subdued color palette, and uses a photo that is less than engaging. While white space can be a uesful tool, there is way too much of it in this case.

The use of native colors in the final cover emphasizes the location of the story. Incorporating colorful, descriptive photos in scrapbook-type borders shows that this is a journal and makes this inviting. Other hints that this is a travel journal include the parchment-type paper behind the title, relaxed typeface used for the title, and the burnt-orange edge on the left. A dynamic layout that moves the viewer’s eyes around the page ensures that each element will be noticed. Which would you rather purchase?

– Tami