Today I saw a great post by Joel Friedlander called “When Self-Published Book Design Goes Bad” . It documents a book design project that looks to be in a “Death Spiral” to mediocrity! At the worst, it has perhaps given true book designers like Joel, as well as my own designer Walt Shiel, cause to think twice when they accept a commission to design a book, a cover, or a multi-volume project. In the end, it is the authors and publishers who will suffer when the designer says “Is this turning into THE project from Hell?”
When you give unbounded choice to an author that has slaved over for years, or a month, on how their baby will be clothed, you clearly must establish boundaries on “Can you do this so I can see what it will look like?” Book design, like any other business, has a few important goals:
- To satisfy the artistic demands that the manuscript
- To create a product in which both can take pride
- To compel the ‘shopper’ to BUY
- To create a (limited) ‘work of art’ that will further the careers of both
- To Collect Money (the goal of all business)
Walt did this well by clearly stating the number of revisions allowed as well as the number of person-to-person communications that we would have. After that, it was a fee per hour. End of story. Please take a look at Joel’s article: When Self-Published Book Design Goes Bad!
Website design continues as my web designer Mike at Smart Author Sites, cuts up the approved proof into pieces, for my use in building the site. Our first joint design conference call will be on March 29.
I may not blog tomorrow (who knows”) so I would like to remind you all that my beloved Lynn passed away eleven months ago tomorrow!
Love each other today as if there is NO tomorrow!