If you are a book designer reading this, you have probably just put a huge question mark at the end of our book title, Book Design Made Simple. “There’s nothing simple about it!” you say, and I have to admit that I agree with you. Especially when typesetting and page layout are added into the mix with book cover design elements.
But Fiona and I are doing our best to simplify the process so that first-time designers, who are most likely authors, can do a good job on their own. We’re including all of the important considerations that go into the book design and production process, such as choosing appropriate typefaces, type size, page count, chapter opening design, and so on. Not to even mention book cover design.
The book is turning out to be a lot fatter than Fiona originally pictured, I’m sure. But we both keep thinking of important topics to include. For instance, recently I realized we had never mentioned InDesign’s Control panel.
Anyone opening InDesign for the first time would probably be tempted to close it again immediately and run in the opposite direction. But the Control bar is a very useful tool that I use hundreds of times a day. So I decided to devote a two-page spread to it, and, using screen shots, pointed out each and every feature on the entire bar (text mode and object mode). What a challenge! And guess what? I learned about several functions that were completely new to me while I was at it.
Every time I sit down to describe an aspect of book design and production for a beginner, I learn something new. That is the power of teaching a complicated topic. We hope that authors and others who are designing their first—or their fifth—book will find our book to be logical, understandable, and very, very helpful. As in “We couldn’t have done it without you!”