Book Design Made Simple from 12 Pines Press has received some great reviews. Take a look:
From Joel Friedlander, “The Book Designer” blogger
Book Design Made Simple fills a huge void in the graphic arts and indie publishing bookshelf. Classic books on book design are fine for design students, but usually have little relation to what we do in today’s digital world.
Previously, we had Pete Masterson’s Book Design and Production, a solid book based on an earlier version of InDesign, but one that was, to be honest, not very well designed.
But what indie authors have wanted—and what they keep asking me for—is step by step instruction in creating industry standard books with today’s tools and for today’s book production requirements.
That’s what Book Design Made Simple delivers, and it does so beautifully.
From Roger C. Parker, content marketer and blogger
What sets Book Design Made Simple apart is its unique combination of publication design fundamentals and detailed InDesign tutorial. There are lots of general graphic design books, lots of publication design books, and lots of InDesign tutorials and guides. But, until now, there hasn’t been a single volume that perfectly addresses the needs of graphic professionals who want to take full advantage of InDesign’s ability to produce better-looking, easier-to-read books as efficiently as possible. It contains over 400 pages of design tips, InDesign commands, and features. [To read the entire review, go to the Content Marketing Institute’s gift guide page.]
—Roger C. Parker, PublishedAndProfitable.com
From a successful indie publisher
There’s a reason this book earned the top prize as Book of the Year in the IPNE.org 2016 Book Awards. Concise, practical, and must-have resource for those of us who independently publish books.
—Charlotte Pierce, president of the Independent Publishers of New England
From an author who designed his own book
Book Design Made Simple was my main pillar of support when I was designing my own book. It stood head and shoulders above any of the tutorials I found online, and took me every step of the way through the whole process. I recommend Book Design Made Simple to every new book designer, whether they are familiar with InDesign or not. It’s the ultimate resource on creating a book using InDesign.
—Lyle Litzenberger, author of Burke and Widgeon: A Hiker’s Guide, Coquitlam, BC
From a nondesigner who designed a book with excellent results
I recommend Book Design Made Simple. It is an excellent investment.
—Kevin M. Johnson, MD, designer of My Father, in Snow, Madison, CT
From an award-winning book designer
Book Design Made Simple more than follows through on its title’s promise. This well-organized overview breaks down a very complex process with admirable clarity. If more people used this book, the publishing landscape would look a whole lot better.
—Peter Blaiwas, book designer, Newburyport, MA
From a graphic designer
This book presents a two-fold course in book design and production—the practical and the sublime. In a clear use of text and images the function and application of the power of InDesign is presented. Within this context the basics of good design and visual style—from page composition to typography—are offered in a manner that allows the reader to view options. This is not a recipe book, but a flexible process the reader may use to lay out the framework of a book. A perfect addition to the bookshelf of anyone who does multiple page layouts.
—Karen Shea, Karen Shea Design, Beverly, Massachusetts
From a prepress and colour management professional
Whether you are dreaming of publishing your first book or are accomplished at book design, this promises to become the bible on book design. Book Design Made Simple covers so much more than the basics. From setting up the required software to practical advice and visuals of design and typography, how to obtain an ISBN and create a bar code to sending rock-solid press-ready files to the printer, this 500 page volume is truly a ‘must have.’
—Ernst Vegt, Coast Imaging Arts, Comox, BC
From a professional book cover designer
Book Design Made Simple is a golden goose for designers, authors, and anyone who wants to create a book or e-book. The instructions for InDesign are a revelation; Glenna and Fiona publish many coveted secrets for saving time and adding magic to projects. Many of the elegant subtleties of design—the fine points that take a book from boring to bewitching—are explained clearly and simply. Even experienced designers will profit from Glenna’s and Fiona’s wealth of intelligence and knowledge. I found the rule of three to be particularly helpful, not only for book design, but also for other design projects. I highly recommend Book Design Made Simple. It will make beginners look professional and professionals look even better.
—Rafael Perez, book cover designer, Colonus Publishing, Sandy, OR
From a book publisher and distributor
The language and design is so clear and friendly that you feel like the authors are sitting right next to you. Book Design Made Simple is a tool which will improve the quality of files that go to printers and increase reading enjoyment for everyone. It is the go-to resource for anyone intending to design a book.
—Jo Blackmore, Publisher, Granville Island Publishing, Vancouver, BC
From a literary agent and writers’ conference chairman
In my entire career in publishing I have never seen the process of book design revealed in this way. With extraordinary patience, the authors have laid out every step and explained enough of the design and typographic niceties that 99% of users will find every answer they need right here. The self-publishing authors I work with will be very well served to get this book and use it!
—Jan Kardys, Chairman, Unicorn Writers’ Conference, Literary Agent, Unicornforwriters.com
From a writers’ conference founder
For many of our self-publishing writers, Book Design Made Simple will be the right solution at the right time. The simple but thorough instructions are perfect for any non-techie design novice.
—Tracy Sayre, founder of Writers Work Writers’ Conference, New York
An open letter to small press publishers about Book Design Made Simple from Rich Skalstad, the founder of Colonus Publishing, Inc.
When I was thinking about founding Colonus Publishing in 2009, I was looking for a book like Fiona’s and Glenna’s Book Design Made Simple. I was terribly fond of Leaving Parma, the first book that Colonus had acquired, about the combat death of a young man in Vietnam and how his death lingered still in the hearts of his family and the citizens of the small town of Parma, Idaho, and I was thinking about designing Leaving Parma myself. I didn’t know a thing about book design, though; and there weren’t any design books like this one that Fiona and Glenna have written. Believe me, I looked and looked and looked. So not only does Book Design Made Simple fill a need, but after six years of running a small press, I can tell you that the information in Book Design Made Simple is essential to every small press publisher.
If you come to founding your press from outside of the book industry as I did, what you don’t know fills an ocean. Now you certainly can design your books using Glenna and Fiona’s book. It is beautifully full of everything that you’ll ever need to know with the hows to do it. I would advise you, however, to buy the book, but not to use it to design your own book. If you are running a small press, and you want to run it successfully, you don’t have the time to do your own book design. But for you, the publisher of a small press, there is a better reason to buy Book Design Made Simple than simply designing books, as important as that is.
Having run Colonus for six years, and having worked on the designs intimately with Glenna and with Valen, our cover designer and graphic artist, I can tell you that just supervising the production of the various designs is incredibly time consuming. You can be a book designer or you can be a publisher, but you cannot be both and get everything done. You must choose.
You will be inventing a new wheel every day in your role as publisher. Let me give you some numbers about small presses. Ninety percent of all small presses publish one book and then fold. Out of the remaining ten percent, nine percent publish a second book and fold. One percent goes on to publish a third or more books. Small press publishers clearly get tired of inventing new wheels every day. I want you to think about Random House. The hard fact is that everything that Random House does, you will have to do one way or another for your small press—the scale will be different, of course, but the necessary functions will still be the same.
That means you will have to supervise acquisitions, do the correspondence with writers, supervise the editing, copy editing, book design, cover design, advertising, and promotion for your books. You must establish a system of distribution, develop your Web site, and commission art work for your Web site. As the publisher, you are responsible for not only that creative side of your press, but all of the business side falls to you, too. You must supervise the accounting, the legal aspects of contracting with your writers, the payment of royalties, tax filings for the business, as well as the development of your logos, trademarks, and securing all necessary copyrights and book identifications—and just because you may have only one, two, or three books to start out with, you don’t get a pass on any of these.
If you don’t have one great book that you have absolute faith in as we at Colonus had in Leaving Parma, don’t start. Because that’s what small presses do: they revitalize the culture by publishing excellent books that the major houses pass by because the publication of a book to them is a business, and not a love affair. But if you’ve got that great book, if you’ve got somebody’s Joy of Cooking or Tales of Peter Rabbit or Still Alice, then go to it and do not let anyone talk you out of publishing that book. We’re still selling Leaving Parma and it’s very successful for us.
And if you do take that plunge, you’ll need one other thing besides your great book. You’ll need Fiona and Glenna’s Book Design Made Simple. There is information in there that as a beginning publisher, you can’t find anyplace else. Sure, you’ll learn about how to design your cover, but more importantly for you as publisher, you’ll learn what the most important part of your cover is. I’ll give this lesson to you for free from Book Design Made Simple—it’s the spine, and I learned that lesson from Glenna. It’s the spine because that’s all your prospective buyer in the bookstore gets to see when your book is standing on the shelf. Sure, you’ll learn a passel of really important stuff from Book Design Made Simple, like researching your target market, getting that ISBN number and your barcode—but the most important thing that you should use Book Design Made Simple for, is to prepare yourself with enough information to interview book designers and printers for your press.
I guarantee you that a book designer who cannot tell you what is the most important part of the cover and why that is so, will not design the kind of spine you need for your book to make it a success. You just simply cannot achieve what you cannot conceive. There is all kinds of useful information in Book Design Made Simple, and you will use it as a reference book for that, but use it primarily as a vehicle to prepare yourself for that all important choice of your book designer. And as a bonus, Fiona and Glenna have included a list of excellent printers whom you can trust.
It is a sad fact of life, but you cannot trust every designer or every printer that’s out there. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself, and Book Design Made Simple will give you the best chance possible of making that first book as beautiful as possible while keeping as much money as you can in your pocket. Publishing is a very expensive process. If you decide to enter the fray, God bless you, I admire you, and our Western tradition of literature thanks you. Remember you are providing a valuable contribution to the culture and to our tradition of literature and its canon that no one else can but you, the publisher of a small press. And remember too that even Moby-Dick sold only 500 copies when it was first released. Your job is to put that good book out there so that it can catch on. Good books do and it will. And Book Design Made Simple is essential to help you do that and come out of the process unscathed.
—Rich Skalstad, Colonus Publishing, Inc., Spokane, WA