The skill of making a book's content, style, format, design, and order work together as a single, cohesive whole is known as book design. Most people first think of the front cover when discussing book design. The most recognizable covers have earned a place in design history on their own, not only for their aesthetic value but also for their ability to effectively convey the author's intent.
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Book Design FAQs
What is book design?
Book design is the art of designing the book cover image or the layout of inside pages. Depending on the marketing purpose, or the original idea of the author, each book will have a different design category, which is only the cover, only the inside layout, or both. In the digital era like today, book design also covers both the printed and digital design in order to serve the promoting purpose of a book.
The process of designing the visual image of a book, whether it is the cover or the inside pages, usually includes deciding on the visual style, designing the concept, arranging the text, choosing the font/typography, selecting the color scheme, etc.
Being the first and foremost impression of a book in the readers’ minds, the book design plays the most important role in the marketing strategy of a book through visually promoting it on various platforms both online and offline, hence, pushing its sales revenue.
Who designs book layouts?
Usually, the book layout will be handled by a graphic designer, together with the author of the book who will give advice on the concept of the whole design. An experienced book designer knows how to beautifully present the book layout in a way that can both give readers easy access into the content and efficiently express the book concept. Either what the book is about, or the true value of the book, or the lesson that the author is trying to deliver to readers on the cover image, will also be considered throughout the process.
You know the layout of a book is well-designed when it follows a consistent design guideline from start to the end of the whole book, conveying the style/concept art in eye-catching images and readers-friendly arrangement.
How do I start designing a book?
Although some book covers are made with simple images or even just a single photograph can still efficiently deliver what the book is about, there is, most of the time, a whole complex brainstorming and designing process behind. That’s because the design process follows a list of steps, such as what needs to be done when designing a book, whether it is the cover or the inside layout. To start designing a book, below are ideal options for you:
- Having a discussion with the author: To have a clear idea of how the book design will look like, and how you can convey the whole mood of the story to the readers.
- Figuring out where the book will be sold: In order to decide on the format, printed or ebook. The design for the ebook version will likely have a small difference compared to the printed one , in the tone of color, the size of the object in the design, etc.
- Determining on what needs to be focused on in the design: what needs to be emphasized and in which way readers can understand what the book will bring.
- Choosing the design style in terms of the graphics, the fonts, the color scheme, etc. for the most effective and eye-catching design as much as possible.
How to become a book designer?
A book designer is often a graphic designer who is specialized/experienced in designing the visual content of a book in a way that is eye-catching, appealing, and matching with the whole mood of the book for the marketing purpose. However, you don’t need to be on that level of knowledge and experience of a professional designer to start on this journey.
With someone who is interested in book design but don’t know where to begin with, you must at least satisfy these categories below:
- Equip yourself with fundamental knowledge of design in general and book design in particular;
- Equip yourself with practical experience in designing tools; the principles of design covers and book layouts in the printing industry;
- Build your own book design portfolio, starting by designing covers for your favorite books;
- Take other book covers and layout designs for references and try to improve yourself;
- Ask for feedback from someone you trust with their artistic eyes, or those who are experienced in the field;
- Create a professional portfolio of your proudest book design projects;
- Contact publishers or authors to hear from them and have a discussion with them;
- Promote yourself on various platforms including online and offline.
How do I find a cover designer for my book?
Though you can look for a book designer on various platforms such as Linked In, Google Profile, or ask people on social media channels, finding a trustworthy designer that has their designing style match with your requirement is still often a time-consuming process. Some of the most used methods to find yourself a reliable cover designer:
- Contact other authors who have their book designed before for an introduction of potential nominees;
- Check previous practical book cover projects of your potential designer to see if their design style is what you are looking for or not;
- Give your designer an example or a reference of how you want your book cover to look like and what elements and styles need to be included in the whole design;
- Set up your budget and clearly let your designer know first before having any further discussion about the project. In many cases, the budget is the decisive factor of whether the negotiation can go well and if the deal is made or not.
- Look for book design services on marketplaces for freelancers. One of the most professional and reliable places, as mentioned, is papmall® - the digital e-commerce platform for freelancers and SMBs. In order to build a brand new e-commerce website that is specialized in providing creative services and digital products trusted for all kinds of businesses, papmall® has equipped itself with various policies that help to balance the benefits between their seller and buyer clients. Those policies mentioned are Safe Payment Solution; Payment Assurance Services; Dispute Resolution and Complaints Policy; Payout within 7-14 will automatically transfer money to freelancers account; Automated billing system helps freelancer and client double check order history, etc.
How much does it cost to get a book cover designed?
There is no limit to the cost of book design services. The smallest amount of money for a book design can be $10, or even up to $1,000 depending on many factors such as the popularity of the book, the scope of the design task, the famelevel of the designer, etc. On average, it will cost the author about $500 - $900.
The time spent on each book design project will also vary depending on how experienced the designer is, the scope of work that needs to be done, the requirements of the designer himself. Normally, a book can be designed within a week, a few weeks or even for months.