“You’re not designing it yourself?”
After “what it is about?”, this is the question I am most often asked about my upcoming book.
And when I say no I am met with baffled looks and questioning voices.
“But you’re a designer?”
Yes. Yes, I am. And there is a reason I am not doing it myself. In fact, there are many:
- I may be a designer but I am not a book designer (though I do feel I have missed a step in my career where I should have done this given my bookish habits). Just because you have ‘designer’ in your title, it doesn’t mean you can do ALL the things, as much as I try. I wouldn’t design my own kitchen or website, so why would I do my book? Unfortunately, it is one of the areas of design that a lot of people think they can have a crack at…I shall refrain from commenting on the results. But I don’t want it to look like one of ‘those’ books.
- There is a huge disparity in people’s perceptions when it comes to self-publishing. There are those that whack out a ‘book’ in a week, upload a PDF to Amazon or a website, and call themselves an author. If that works for them, fine. But that is not the way I want to do this. I have invested time and money to do it properly, and I want it to reflect that.
- There are so many nuances and intricate details to get right to get a professional finish. If the title on the spine ends up off alignment, or the text doesn’t run through the book properly, I would be SO annoyed with myself. And end up not promoting the book, as a result, letting it flounder (as I did with the course I produced that I am still not happy with yet).
- I have always wanted to write a book, it has been a life’s ambition. I have put my heart and soul into it and want a professional cover to reflect that. I don’t want it to look like a book I have cobbled together and will be selling for 99p (I bloody won’t be).
- I have gone to hell and back in my career, to now get to the point where I am happy and thriving in self-employment. That is what this book is about. This book is like a gift to myself (and hopefully others that will take comfort and help from it) so I want it to look nice. And contain bunnies.
- It supports other designers and freelancers for me to hire a specialist. And I like working collaboratively in this way.
- I am too close to the book, the content and the topic. It would be so hard for me to step back and see it from the right perspective to get the design just right.
- I cannot make decisions and also procrastinate and prioritise EVERYTHING else over my own stuff. So I’d be here til 2023 before it was done.
- Despite the old adage, I always judge a book by its cover. A bad design will prevent me from buying a book I may be interested in. During my research, I have informally chatted about this to quite a few people and the overwhelming majority agreed with my thoughts that a book cover reflects its content, so if the cover looks ‘handmade’, ‘whacked together’, unprofessional or bland, then the inside is likely to be too and they would be put off buying it.
- As I work in areas of UX, I apply that thinking to my experience with lots of products. I feel I would be a huge hypocrite if I didn’t make it the best reader experience it can be. It needs to be an easy read, have great flow, have the ‘pickupability’ factor, and be enjoyable. (No pressure then).
- It keeps me focused on the content rather than multi-tasking. A big bonus now it is coming to crunch time.
In short, it needs to be a cracker of a cover and interior design and to feel like an ‘experience’. Why would any author not want it to be the best it can be and reflect the content?
Good job I have Vanessa Mendozzi on board and she’s doing a cracking job.
I can’t wait to share the book cover with you soon! It is getting so real.