"Protect our planet, it's natural beauty, the many graces and wondrous art. You are in possession of a spectacular place that we all share. Be wise curators of a fragile world."
I had to start this post by highlighting a section of the dedication of my second independent published book, Slim Island, with Gordon Kurby. It is these types of messages that I desire to help share with our human race. The more that we empower our younger generations to make positive impacts sooner, the better it will be for them and our race in the long run.
This is the second hardcover book I designed for Gordon. This version compared to The Foldings was originally intended to be part of a two-part publication. In the end, the author chose to publish this one as a standalone to be associated with it's 'pair' down the road. This was a fictional story without images so we chose Ingramspark's black and white content printing. We chose the cream colour text to allow for easy reading on the eyes. The paper quality was the basic 50# text weight and though there is some see-through on the pages, overall it has a wonderful feel.
There is an importance to how the content of the book is typeset. Don't make it challenging for a reader to fall into the story. If the spine of the book is tight and the inside margins are too close, the consistent effort to drastically put pressure to be able to read the words works against you. In my last book, I found my large inside margin actually too much. So for this second book, I reduced the spacing a little.
One of the wonderful benefits of working with Gordon has been the custom artwork painted for the cover design. As you read through the pages, each element of the cover highlights the significant points in the book.
If you are in the market to publish your own book, I would keep this tip in mind:
CHOOSE CUSTOM DESIGNS OVER GENERIC. It may seem like a high expense when you start to add them all up, but in the end, as far as priorities, the cover is a key element of your marketing strategy. It not only has to convey your content visually, but it also will be the first impression on your audience.
One of the design elements of the book was the spine. The original artwork was created for focus on the front cover only so we needed to create a spine that would divide the front from the back. I chose to eyedrop a deep red from the small red-headed bird on the cover. It would balance out the impact and provide a wonderful contrast to catch the eye. I didn't want the red to overlap on the front cover, but due to the inacuracy of a dust jacket - I would have extended the red to the back cover more so the spine would show a solid block of red.
The back cover image was a copy of the front with a few elements photoshopped out to allow for the focus to remain on the book summary.
The two inside flap design was kept simple and consistent with the previous book. As with branding, consistency in design is key to create a level of expectation and recognition. You can see on the inside front page, the author signed the book, and I will be needing to put on my smart hat to interpret the pictograms.
If you are interested in grabbing one of these books to read or share, you can purchase them online through Amazon. I am awaiting my purchase of the book to come through this month. Which brings me to another element of on-demand publishing, distribution turn-around, it's longer than normal. The reason is that until a book begins to make sales, each book sold is produced as the order is made. Please don't let this deter you from buying independently published books, your spending dollar impacts and supports self-publishers. Instead of filling the pockets of large corporate publishing firms, you are making a difference by showing an author that their words matter and allowing them an opportunity to keep doing wonderful work.
For those of you keen to snag a FREE copy, please leave a comment below. Mention what intrigues you about the book and or a story that you feel should be told.