Cover Design

All book covers designed and produced by Sue Campbell are “custom” covers. You will find no cover templates here. Because every book is unique—you wouldn’t use a template to write a book. Why wrap it in a templated cover that doesn’t do its job?

The job of a cover or jacket is to identify and sell the book. Period. It hints to the reader what your book is about, and what they can expect in reading it. A book cover designer that does her job well takes into account: the genre of the book, design and genre trends, imagery choices, and style of the graphic design and typography for books like this one.

Examples of templated covers (or even “custom” covers) offered by POD printers (or subsidy publishers) show that little thought has gone into the design, graphics, or even the imagery of these templates. The cover for a memoir looks about the same as a murder mystery, and a cookbook looks about the same as a self-help manual. But these books all have different audiences with different tastes and expectations. A cookie-cutter approach is not only not attractive, it could be damaging to the potential sales of the book.

Every cover that Sue Campbell designs is researched thoroughly before pixels ever hit the screen. A prospective author/publisher will be asked to provide a list of information about the book, its, themes, story, genre, target audience, what other books it’s similar to, or dissimilar from, and more. When Sue has read and digested the information, the synopsis, and if possible the entire manuscript, and also investigated the competition for the book—then she’ll begin design.

Equally important to the design, imagery, and appropriateness of the cover to the genre is that it look professional. What does that mean? Why is it important?

It would take another page or two to adequately describe the differences between a professionally designed cover, and one that doesn’t have those attributes. Suffice it to say that most people know it when they see it, even if they can’t put it into words. Look at the books you see featured in bookstores and look at many of the books produced by self-publishers as examples. Yes, nearly everyone now has the tools to produce a reasonable facsimile of a book cover. My favorite axiom about that is, “I own a hammer, but it doesn’t make me a carpenter.”

Text Formatting (Interior Page Layout)

Did you know that even books consisting of only type benefit from a professional layout and typesetting? Look at the type produced by your word processor, and compare it to the type in a professionally typeset book. Which one is easier to read? Which one looks better and more polished? Professional typesetting does more than just make the page look good. Eye strain, fatigue, and ability to track the sentences from line to line are all affected, as are properly formatted punctuation, hyphenation and other formatting issues that not only aid in the reading, but also impact the reader’s comprehension, and enjoyment. Just like with your cover, you owe it to your effort in writing the book to give it a professional typesetting job. Professional text design can help you to reach a desired page count too, whether it’s to increase page count, or to condense it for economic reasons, and without compromising readability.

Every text layout and type setting project receives Manuscript Prep, in which the formatting is properly tagged to work with the InDesign book layout software to format it correctly for the final book. The book document will be divided into chapter documents (required for the book software to work). If your book requires one, the text is tagged to create a dynamic table of contents so that revisions or changes will be reflected in the ToC without causing much additional work. Level heads and other text formatting such as bullet points, sidebars, charts, figures, graphs or other text organization or graphical elements can aid the reader in following, and understanding the information. These are all benefits of hiring an experienced book designer.

Illustrated histories, technical manuals, children’s books, and poetry all benefit from the imaginative and well-though-out approach only achieved by a professional designer. Sue Campbell has designed and produced hundreds of titles of ALL varieties of books. Ask about “book shepherding” and concept development—got an idea but don’t know what to do next? Sue can help you develop your project. She’ll guide you through the entire process from editing to printed books, e-books, marketing materials, and promo ideas.

E-book Development and Conversion

Converting your book to e-book for most major reading devices and all major online ebook sellers is well within reach. There are tools making this available for authors to try doing it themselves, but many have found that the results are not what they expected, or that the files they produce simply don’t pass validation and can’t be published. Sue Campbell designs projects with the ebook conversion in mind so that the books will convert correctly and look good on all the various platforms. This preplanning and careful setup of the print files save time and money when it comes to converting to iPad, Kindle, or Android tablet or eReader.  (Some custom layouts and highly visual illustrated histories or juvenile books may require extra work.)

Book Packaging/Project Development/Management

Have a book in process but need help with the organization, concept for the book’s development, or just don’t know how to proceed? Contact Sue for a free 30 minute consult to get you started. Examples of this kind of project may be helping you organize a non-fiction subject area book; evaluating and helping you develop your juvenile fiction story including finding and art directing illustrations, to content editing or rewriting for appropriate reading levels; to helping you create a beautiful local area or family history.

Indie Author Publishing Assistance/Consulting/Coaching

Sue Campbell is NOT a publisher, but with many years in the industry, she can give you advice and choices for how you, the small publisher or self-publisher, can get a professional quality product completed, produced, and promoted.

There is much opportunity in today’s changing world of publishing, and also many ways to be taken advantage of. Sue wants to help you be successful with your project. With extensive knowledge in print production, she can help you choose the services that are right for you, and help you avoid getting ripped off.

Sue can arrange an hourly consultation fee, or a per book package price. Contact her for an initial consult (15 minutes by phone). Estimates can be emailed after initial consultation.

Contact Sue