I have been looking forward to sharing the tale of my first independent publisher client, and our journey into self-publishing.
I was referred by a friend and creative colleague, Janine Vangool of UPPERCASE Magazine. The couple is based out of Seattle Washington and had an inventory of books in the works and were keen to take on the world of self-publishing.
My skills include, at the time, the ability to design publications of all type. What I was itching to do was dig into the details of the inner workings of publishing that included printing, pricing, distribution, and marketing. So I was thrilled to have been given the trust and support to pursue my dreams!
My goal is to become not just a designer of books, but a resource and support to assist solo publishers who have a story, insight and perspective of the world that matters and should have the professional look and image to encourage them to feel and know that their words matter.
The Foldings was our first publication project and was taken on as a trial for us to work on together to see if we were a good fit, as well to test out the book publishing services of Ingramspark. The dream of any author is to hold in their hands a hardcover copy of their hopes and dreams. So, of course, we worked to design a full-colour hardcover with a dust jacket. After research of the options that were out there. The client was looking for an online publisher that could offer a variety of formats (softcover and hardcover) as well provides international distribution as they had an inventory of books to design and publish who would have a market in Europe.
The project had me take on the role of design for the content and flow as well the typesetting and dustjacket design with the author provided the artwork for the cover. I provided the author two template designs for the content and together we tweaked and created a custom design that worked.
The cover design began once I was provided with the custom artwork. Working with the theme of the artwork was my intention.
As a lover of books, I wanted to ensure a visual readability of the copy and ensured that the inner margin of the book was large enough to accommodate the spine. A personal beef of mine is when the body copy of the book is so close to the fold of the spin that you have to flatten the book a lot to try and read the copy. I find this takes away from being engaged in the writing. As this was my first designed book - the margins could have been a little less - but I believe this insight comes from experience. The 100-page count did not need such a large inner margin, though, for a book 200 pages or more, these measurements should adjust.
For the body copy, I chose Archer as the font (typeface) for the reading copy. It is a popular font used in a variety of ways in marketing, branding and documentation. Though popular, it is outside of the standard Garamond or Times New Roman fonts used in generic templates.
For the cover type, header, and accent type I chose a clean san serif font, Lincoln Proxima Nova, another unique typeface to showcase the individuality of the book.
By choosing both a serif and san serif font, you provide an opportunity to be able to highlight copy where needed. Such as here below on the inside flap of the dust jacket in the book summary.
Same with the author biography, using the bold san serif font highlights the author name within the copy.
The importance of proofing both digital and printed. The publishing process allows the author to purchase a printed proof of their book before publishing it for sale and distribution. This is very important. This way you will have the chance to see how the book works and well what doesn't. One of the big things that were very obvious was noticing that the cover when we first uploaded we didn't put the author name on the front cover. Because when you design it - you see the full spread - it wasn't obviously needed because you could see it on the spine and back flap in the author bio. The thing we realized was when it comes to the online bookstore world, customers don't see the flap copy. Only the cropped front cover and back cover. Things to keep in mind when you design your book!
So with this in mind the author paid for a re-upload of the cover to include their author name.
Overall the quality of the books produced was good. Having a dust jacket and hardcover book with a foil stamped spin on the cloth wrap was a nice touch. Though you are limited to only providing the text. All of the Ingramspark published books use one font and colour, and the quality as you can see is not perfect. But like in life, you get what you pay for.
By now you might, or should be asking yourself, "What is this book about?"
What if someone or something actually learned to fold time? A most unusual collection of short stories are structured for entertainment or two things at the same time. - Gordon Kurby
When I read the stories, I will admit I was expecting a series of individual short stories and was left hanging after the first one. As I continued to read, I loved to see the connections between them all and how they all came together in the end.
For my blog readers, I am providing you with an opportunity to make a comment below, and those who do by Valentines Day 2018 (February 14, 2018) will be entered into a draw for a copy of the book which I will ship your way.
I am excited that the second book from Gordon Kurby is now available to purchase, Slim Island, on Amazon. I just purchased my copy to see how the process works and then when I have it in my hands I will write up another story behind this one.