Book Design

Book design for self-publishing.

I work with individuals, artists and self-publishers to create designs for traditional print and e-pub books.

My experience as an illustrator means that I can create illustrative and graphic elements that are uniquely tailored to your publication.

Explore the site for information about books or ask a question right here.

On this page, you will find -

Services

Browse the list of services or request your own tailored quote here.

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Cover design
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Layout design
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Photographic books
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Art books
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Coffee table books
Catalogue design servies.
Catalogues
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Novels / Long format text
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Local histories
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E-books
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Image restoration
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Static text to live text
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Answering questions

Book Design Process

The book design process has four main stages:

1. Initial  
2. Concept
3. Drafts  
4. Proofs
 

Every project/process is unique. 
Here is a general guide of what to expect.

Before we get started…

Is your work ready to enter design production?
We cannot start designing until the books content is completely finished.

Have you filled out the Book Design Questionnaire? 
The answers to these questions help me quote and give a timeframe for the project.

1. Initial

Before we start any visual design, we meet and discuss the goals of the project.

Let’s meet
In person: 

Sometimes booking a free quiet room at a library to view samples and chat works well. 

Online: 
Online meetings can be just as productive as in-person ones. 
We can e-meet on any platform including Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams.

In-person or online, we will talk about your book concept and cover these points: 

● Payment structure
● Printing options
● Submitting text
● Submitting images
● Submitting measurements
● What is considered a change?

After the first meeting

A description of the proposed project is emailed with accurate pricing and specific dimensions. 

Let’s start designing!
If we are happy with the information agreed upon from the meeting we can continue to the concept stage. 

Need more time?
Sometimes after this initial meeting, we realise we need to rethink or finish aspects of the project.
It’s perfectly OK to stop here and get back in touch later for a fresh meeting.

2. Concept

Based on the information received in the meeting, a concept is made. 

A concept could include items such as:

  • Column set-up
  • Image treatment style
  • Typographic choice
  • Sample page layouts
  • Pagination plan

Often a lot of time is spent in the research and development stage to make sure the project is meeting the needs discussed in the initial meeting.

Sometimes it is necessary to deliver multiple concepts, depending on the project. 

3. Drafts

First draft
Once we have a firm concept to work from, we move on to the draft stage. The first draft is usually the entire work delivered in PDF format.

We can have a meeting to discuss this online or in person. 

Second draft/s
Changes are made from the first digital draft.
The second draft is produced both digitally and in a low-fidelity print mock-up, sometimes called a “dummy book”.

This stage may need to include a few drafts, depending on the project type.

4. Proofs

Printed proof
The printer provides a copy of the book that is as close as possible to the final product. From here we implement the final corrections.

f required, we can order multiple proofs. 


Send to print
The print-ready PDF file is now sent to the printers.

After the job

Each job comes with some social tiles and stories to help promote on social media.

I will also ask each client if it’s appropriate to display this work in a portfolio or on social media. 

Receive your own tailored quote by filling out the book design questionnaire.

Would you like to ask more questions about the book design process? Jump to the FAQ section by clicking here.

General Pricing Guide

I created these packages based on previous project averages.
Without charging an hourly rate unique to each project, I have estimated how long and expensive each part of the project will be to deliver these fixed rates.

Quotes can also be tailored to specific needs and budgets that sit outside of these parameters. 
Let me know your budget and I’ll let you know what I can do.

To start your tailored quote please use the book design questionnaire. 
All quotes are always free.

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Discovery Session

Up to 2 hours of face-to-face time online or in person.
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Up to 2 hours of face-to-face time online or in person.

$180

Most first-time book creators don’t know where to start.

Making a book, especially as a self-publisher, can be confusing. 
Starting with a discovery session like this one can help reduce your overall cost in the long term and give your book project direction.

Before a meeting, I ask clients to provide me with as much information as possible so that I can prepare the appropriate resources.

Payment in full is to be made before the meeting. 

Topics I may be able to help with include:

  • Self-publishing options (Australian specific)
  • Printing options (Australian specific)
  • Shipping (Australian specific)
  • What to look for when hiring an illustrator
  • Timeframes
  • Image capture and scanning
  • Design process, what to be prepared for
  • Australian publishing standards
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Tiny Books

Approx. 50 pages + cover pages, full service.
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Starting at $675 +

Any book of approximately 50 pages or under can fit into this category.

Included in this package: 

Consulting -

  • Obligation-free first meeting
  • Liaising/sourcing printer
  • Liaising/sourcing shipping
  • Free copy of A Little Glossary of Printing Terminology for the Beginner and any other necessary educational material or resources
  • All meetings included (face-to-face and online)
  • Printing options (Australia specific)
  • Shipping options (Australia specific)
  • Self-publishing options (Australia specific)
  • ISBN/barcode assistance
  • Advise and organise image capture (additional costs for image capture apply)
  • Art direction and project management
  • Work with third parties eg. photographers, illustrators etc. (please note: I insist on meeting all third parties before work commences.)

Deliverables - 

  • Industry-standard print quality PDF (internals and cover files) delivered to the printer
  • Total typesetting
  • Total image treatment for print
  • Cover design
  • Simple additional design and illustrative elements
  • Limited tables, glossary or indexing (Please note: Any book that involves tables, glossaries or complex indexing costs more as the process of building these elements takes a greater amount of time.)
  • Images for social media
  • Proofing costs covered
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Cover Design

Book cover design and/or illustration
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The three pages of a book cover are designed as one.
Front cover, back cover and spine.
This price is for the design and illustration of these three cover pages, not the internals.

Graphic Cover

(graphic cover generated from photographic, typographic or other pre-existing elements)

$850 - $950
Illustrated Cover

(eg. scientific illustration)

$950 - $1,225

Included in these cover design packages:

Consulting –

  • Obligation-free first meeting
  • Liaising with printer
  • Free copy of A Little Glossary of Printing Terminology for the Beginner and any other necessary educational material
  • All meetings included

Deliverables –

  • Industry-standard print quality PDF
  • Cover design illustrated or built from photographs, stock imagery, text etc.
  • Social tiles after the job is completed

Why is the cover more expensive?
The cover sells your book so should have more time and therefore money invested into it. The cover also requires more concept changes and therefore more work.
Detailed illustrations for a book cover requires many hours of work and the cost therefore reflects this.


Covers as part of packages
I can usually charge a consistent rate for covers integrated into larger book projects. The preexisting elements of the book can usually be incorporated into the design. 
If a special illustrated cover is requested to accompany the internals, then this is reflected in the price.

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Basic Book

Approx. 100 pages + cover pages, full service.
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Approx. 100 pages + cover pages, full service.

For anything under 100 pages, look at Tiny Books.

Starting at $2,300 +

Perfect for simple portrait or landscape book, catalogue or magazine. 

Included in this package: 

Consulting -

  • Obligation-free first meeting
  • Liaising/sourcing printer
  • Liaising/sourcing shipping
  • Free copy of A Little Glossary of Printing Terminology for the Beginner and any other necessary educational material or resources
  • All meetings included (face-to-face and online)
  • Printing options (Australia specific)
  • Shipping options (Australia specific)
  • Self-publishing options (Australia specific)
  • ISBN/barcode assistance
  • Advise and organise image capture (additional costs for image capture apply)
  • Art direction and project management
  • Work with third parties eg. photographers, illustrators etc. (Please note: I insist on meeting all third parties before work commences.)

Deliverables - 

  • Industry-standard print quality PDF (internals and cover files) delivered to the printer
  • Total typesetting
  • Total image treatment for print
  • Cover design
  • Simple additional design and illustrative elements
  • Limited tables, glossary or indexing (Please note: Any book that involves tables, glossaries or complex indexing costs more as the process of building these elements takes a greater amount of time.)
  • Images for social media
  • Proofing costs covered
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In-Depth Book

Approx. 200 pages + cover pages, full service.
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Approx. 200 pages + cover pages, full service.

(Most common project type)

Starting at $3,750 +

Perfect for novels, short story books, and small art books.

Included in this package: 

Consulting -

  • Obligation-free first meeting
  • Liaising/sourcing printer
  • Liaising/sourcing shipping
  • Free copy of A Little Glossary of Printing Terminology for the Beginner and any other necessary educational material or resources
  • All meetings included (face-to-face and online)
  • Printing options (Australia specific)
  • Shipping options (Australia specific)
  • Self-publishing options (Australia specific)
  • ISBN/barcode assistance
  • Advise and organise image capture (additional costs for image capture apply)
  • Art direction and project management
  • Work with third parties eg. photographers, illustrators etc. (Please note: I insist on meeting all third parties before work commences.)

Deliverables - 

  • Industry-standard print quality PDF (internals and cover files) delivered to the printer
  • Total typesetting
  • Total image treatment for print
  • Cover design
  • Additional design and illustrative elements
  • Multiple opportunities for revisions
  • Limited tables, glossary or indexing (Please note: Any book that involves tables, glossaries or complex indexing costs more as the process of building these elements takes a greater amount of time.)
  • Images for social media
  • Proofing costs covered
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Complex Book

Approx. 300 pages + cover pages, full service.
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Approx. 300 pages + cover pages, full service.

Starting at $5,100 +

Perfect for coffee table books, complex art books, collated reports, family histories.

Included in this package: 

Consulting -

  • Obligation-free first meeting
  • Liaising/sourcing printer
  • Liaising/sourcing shipping
  • Free copy of A Little Glossary of Printing Terminology for the Beginner and any other necessary educational material or resources
  • All meetings included (face-to-face and online)
  • Printing options (Australia specific)
  • Shipping options (Australia specific)
  • Self-publishing options (Australia specific)
  • ISBN/barcode assistance
  • Advise and organise image capture (additional costs for image capture apply)
  • Art direction and project management
  • Work with third parties eg. photographers, illustrators etc. (Please note: I insist on meeting all third parties before work commences.)

Deliverables - 

  • Industry-standard print quality PDF (internals and cover files) delivered to the printer
  • Total typesetting
  • Total image treatment for print
  • Cover design
  • Additional design and illustrative elements
  • Multiple opportunities for revisions
  • Opportunities for the inclusion of more illustrations
  • Complex tables, glossaries and indexing (Please note: Any book that involves tables, glossaries or complex indexing costs more as the process of building these elements takes a greater amount of time)
  • Images for social media
  • Proofing costs covered
Icon for book cover design.

Static text to live text

Estimated cost based on an hourly rate.
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Estimated cost based on an hourly rate.

$45 hr

Do you have handwritten or static text that needs to be made reflowable?

Example: Old scanned documents that now need to be incorporated into a website.

The document does not need to be re-typed and can be rebuilt to be reflowable using various programs.
If you would like help with a task like this or just more information, please get in contact.

Consulting -

  • Text assessment
  • All meetings (face to face and online)

Deliverables - 

  • Reflowable text document in the desired format
  • Rebuilt text and image documents in the desired format
    may include but not limited to 
    Microsoft Word (.docx)
    PDF document (.pdf)
    Plain text (.txt)
    Rich text format (.rtf)
    Open document format (.odt)
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Image restoration

Estimated cost based on an hourly rate.
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Estimated cost based on an hourly rate.

$45 hr

There are many options available for image improvements and restoration that needn't be connected to a larger book job.
You may have images that you would like to showcase on social media or need to be altered to fit into an upcoming publication.

If you would like help with a task like this or just more information, please get in contact

Book Design Questionnaire

Recive your tailored quote here.

By providing answers to the questions below, I can provide an approximate quote and timeframe.

For a completely accurate quote, I will need to assess the book's content.

Feel free to contact me at any time with questions.

Step 1/13

Question 1.

Describe your book idea and book type (novel, art book, catalogue).

Step 2/13

Question 2.

 What is the approximate timeframe for this project?

Step 3/13

Question 3.

What is the approximate budget for this project?

Step 4/13

Question 4.

What is the approximate size of the book?
If you don’t know, please indicate if you’d like it to be square, portrait or landscape.

Step 5/13

Question 5.

How many words are in the manuscript?

Step 6/13

Question 6.

How many pages does the book have at this time?
Please note this will change in the final design process.
This is just an estimate.

Step 7/13

Question 7.

Does the book contain tables, indexes or glossaries?
If so, please list how many of each and how many pages they span at this time.

Step 8/13

Question 8.

Are there artwork/images to be included in the book?
If so, can they be accessed digitally?

Step 9/13

Question 9.

Do you already have a printer in mind for your book?
There will be further discussion on this in later meetings.

Step 10/13

Question 10.

What kind of binding would this book have?
If not yet known, it’s not a problem.
We can talk more about this later.

Step 11/13

Question 11.

Will this book have any unique illustrations or design features such as moving parts or fold-outs?

Step 12/13

Question 12.

Will this book project require collaboration with third parties such as an illustrator or photographer?

Step 13/13

Question 13.

How did you find out about me?

Your information

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FAQ's

Questions related to working together.

These FAQ’s relate to information pertinent to working together.
We will go over much of this information in our first meeting. 
If you would like you can read through these points now and become familiar with the design process.

I’m always here to help and will be happy to answer questions regarding any of these topics.

Submitting text  How do I submit text?

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Here are a few key points when it comes to submitting your manuscripts text.

Before submitting writing for design, it is best to have it professionally edited. 

Writing must be completely finished before designing starts. 
Small spelling and grammatical changes are OK but large changes to passages of text, once designed, are considered design changes and will incur an extra fee ($200 per change). 

Please submit writing in a flowing text document.
MS Word, Google Docs, and Apples Pages are all OK.
 

If possible, please submit spelling and grammatical corrections in the format as follows: 
Page number the mistake appears on, line number the mistake appears on, original text as it appears, correction to insert (ready to copy into the document).

Submitting images  How do I submit images?

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Images are easiest to submit as JPEGs. 

Image files must be submitted individually as separate files (not as a part of any other document). 
They may be included within the body of a separate document as a reference, but must also be submitted separately and named.
 

Ensure that they are set to maximum quality.
Images must be at least 300ppi (pixels per inch) to come out clearly in print.If the image is 300ppi but it is blurry, it will be blurry in print too. 

Please name all your images before submission.
I like to follow the naming convention below.
nameofimage_Pagenumber
Example: happyface_P18

Submitting measurements

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When submitting measurements for books, it is best to work in millimetres.
Books are small items and a few millimetres can make a big difference in the product outcome. 

If you want to use a general paper sizing system then the International Standard Paper Sizes can be helpful.
(International Standard Paper Sizes A4, A3, etc.) 

Download this handy guide on paper sizes for free. 
You can print this PDF and have it on your desk for easy reference.

Payment structure

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Please be aware that I ask for half the full cost of the project upfront and the second half when the job is complete.
For larger amounts, we can discuss staggering payments over three or four instalments.

Please contact me if you would like to ask questions.

What is considered a change?

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Any major alterations due to a change of mind made after the concept is agreed upon will result in an extra fee ($200 per change). 

Correcting spelling and grammatical mistakes are not considered changes.
Rewriting whole paragraphs or deleting a paragraph are changes.

Moving an image a few millimetres is not a change.
Adding an extra page of images is a change. 

Changes that must occur due to an unforeseen circumstance are taken into consideration and not treated the same way as a change of mind.

Hourly rate vs project time

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You may notice that the hours I charge for are less than the time allocated for the project.
The hours involved in a project may be 48, yet the timeframe allocated to the project is two weeks.
This time difference is due to a few factors, mainly the waiting time that occurs when working on creative projects.

For clients, this may be the first time they have had to make these kinds of decisions about their work and I don’t like to rush them.
I account for this time within the project scope but do not charge for it.