Four Steps to Ensuring a Fruitful Collaboration with a Book Designer

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Your book designer is the one who will shape the first impression your book makes, which will ultimately determine its success. For this reason, your designer is an extremely important part of the publishing process. Your goal is to make sure that the two of you complement each other. It’s essential that you choose someone you can trust and who wants the best for you and your book.

How do you go about choosing a book designer? Below, you will find four key steps that can help you ensure a rewarding collaboration with your chosen designer. If you’d like to work with experienced designers who have a long track record of success, don’t hesitate to reach out to our cover design team.

Step 1: Find a designer who specializes in your genre

Don’t just choose any highly recommended book designer. Do some research and narrow the list down to those who specialize in your genre and know the audience. It’s a good idea to go with a designer who has experience with what your readers want so that you don’t push away any prospective buyers. 

For example, a romance novel typically has a specific look, and if romance fans are the readers you are trying to attract, you don’t want them to look at your book and think it’s a science fiction novel. The designers in your genre know how to reach your target audience; they have experimented and have knowledge of what works and what doesn’t. They will also be on top of the latest trends and know what it takes to draw a potential reader in without revealing too much of your plot.

If you have written an adult mystery, you don’t want to collaborate with someone who specializes in children’s nonfiction, no matter how many people recommend them. By choosing someone who knows your field, you’ll already be ahead of the game and can save precious time and money. 

Step 2: Make sure you share the same goals

You and your designer need to be on the same wavelength. Working together means you need to tell them what you have in mind or what you hope to see in their work. A lot of time is wasted when you don’t provide your collaborator with any direction. A designer can’t read your mind, so make sure you give them a good idea of what you’re looking for. If you do so early in the process, they will not have to waste their time figuring out what it is you want. A designer will appreciate working with an author who has a clear vision for their book.

Share your ideas with them. Show them your favorite book covers, typesets, interiors, and pictures so they instantly know what look you’re aiming for. Let them know if there are important characters, themes, or colors that you wish to have on the cover. After seeing your ideas, they can use their creative abilities to convey your vision. Remember: When the two of you work together, you achieve exceptional results in less time and with less effort.

While it’s important to let your designer know what you want, you must also keep in mind that they are an expert in their field. Therefore, to a certain extent, you should allow them to experiment on their own. Though you may think you have a good idea of what you want your cover to look like, you could be pleasantly surprised by a design that seems unconventional. By granting your designer a license to play around and be imaginative, you are showing them that you trust their judgment, which will make your collaboration all the more successful and enjoyable.

You want to make sure you and your designer have the same interest in and share the same goals for the book. A designer who has your best interests at heart will continue to work hard and make suggestions to improve the book at every level. They will invest time and effort above and beyond what is required to make sure you are satisfied with the results.

Step 3: Communicate frequently and show respect

If your designer is in your area, it may be easiest to set up in-person meetings. However, in most cases today, authors and designers work remotely. From the start, you will want to establish a preferred mode of communication. It usually works best to choose one and stick with it (whether that be phone calls, emails, or texts) so that your communication isn’t scattered all over the place. Agree on check-in times or dates to ensure that an issue doesn’t go too far before it is caught. After receiving any communication, try to respond as soon as possible so that work can continue.

It is also crucial to show respect for each other. Make sure you thank your designer every chance you get and compliment their well-received suggestions and additions. If they put extra time into something, let them know you appreciate their hard work. If you don’t like something, give gentle constructive criticism and nudge them in a different direction. Appreciation breeds respect. You want to foster a good partnership with your designer, so be courteous in your communications with them.

Step 4: Realize when you need a specialist

Most of the time, you and your designer won’t be able to do everything alone. It is imperative that you realize and accept this. A good designer will know their limitations and inform you when another person’s expertise is necessary. For example, you may need to decide whether to hire photographers or illustrators or seek the help of professional editing and marketing specialists. An experienced designer will know when to bring in other professionals, and they will usually have a list of skilled people to contact. 

Collaboration with an experienced book designer is key to ensuring the success of your book. If you follow the steps above, you’ll be on your way to making sure you are in sync with a designer who can help you reach your goals. Why not contact us and get started with professional cover design today?

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