I have a passion for what I do, which is graphic design with a focus on book design. It is very gratifying to design a new author’s book. They are usually stunned and so excited when they get the first drafts of their book, seeing how it will look in print! Another facet I love about book design is that every time I work on a new project it is a brand new subject, whether non-fiction or fiction, memoirs, poetry books, textbooks, manuals, and coffee table books which are so especially beautiful with all the photography or original artwork.
In the fifteen years + that I have been a book designer, I have worked on literally hundreds of books, including non-fiction books about spirituality, diet, health, dogs and pets, chakras, nature, allergies and natural remedies, financial planning, travel, mythology, gratitude, angels, bush plane flying, fundraising, how to survive cancer, sound healing, being a great mother, to name just a few. I have helped with the publishing of lots of wonderful fiction books as well.
Variety truly is the spice of life when it comes to book design. Never a dull moment and no repetition. I can’t read every word while working on a book, but I get a sense of the work, and the books I work on are almost always intriguing. Many times, the author sends me a complimentary copy of their book, and I take my time savoring it later.
A niche for me is helping new authors. Here are just two of the powerful testimonials from my site that I’m especially proud of:
“As a brand new novelist, the process of finding a graphic artist appeared daunting. Boy, did I ever luck out! My first phone call was to Deborah Perdue at Illumination Graphics and my search was over! From that moment on, I was in great hands. The wealth of talent, experience and patience that Deborah brings to her clients is truly AMAZING! Talk about holding a first time author’s hand and helping them navigate through the confusing maze of the publishing world. The final product exceeded my wildest expectations (And I’m fussy!), and I am now pretty well versed in this fun new world. Thank you, thank you, thank you Deborah! I’m presently writing my second novel and will definitely use Deborah, once again! FIVE STARS!”
Christopher Morosoff, Author, The Boxcar Traveler
“They say (whoever “they” are) that one is never too old to learn! Well let me tell you that this 1944 baby has had one devil of a steep learning curve over the last few months. Why? Because I have joined the ranks of those who have published their first book. It is called Learning from Dogs and, frankly, I couldn’t have produced such a good-looking book, if I am permitted to say that, without the design of the cover and the book itself being placed in the very capable hands of Deborah over at Illumination Graphics. Not only were the designs fabulous but the advice and recommendations from Deborah for others to help me in other vital areas connected with getting a book published, in both print and digital formats, were priceless.”
Paul Handover, Author, Learning from Dogs
Because I am an author myself, and actually have my own publishing company, Applegate Valley Publishing, I can guide new authors to obtaining their ISBNs, submitting their copyright information, and help lead them to the proper printer or POD for their book. It is a joy for me to hold the hand of an author who is unsure about what they are doing, because it is their very first time. I often feel like a book’s midwife, as I help the author’s “baby” to be born.
My favorite books to design are those where I have more creative license and can really spread my design wings and soar! It is a bit more constraining if someone has a specific vision, though I am good at taking direction too.
I love to design book covers, and also the interiors of books. My very favorite interiors to design have photos or illustrations along with text, and I am masterful at that type of designing.
With cover design, whether for print books or e-books, I always make sure that the cover stands out as a thumbnail, with an easily read title. At such a small size, this is especially important these days, with so much online ordering of books. If custom illustration is needed, the artist I have worked with for over 8 years, Tara Thelen, can do a phenomenal job on the painting, and we work exceedingly well together as a team.
So, my favorite aspects of book design include the variety of eclectic subjects, with creative license awarded to me to design a cover that “POPS” online or on a bookshelf. Also, helping new authors to self-publish is a specialty and something I really enjoy. Another definite perk is meeting and getting to know a variety of folks, usually personable and easy-going, during the design process.
Designing books is fun and sometimes challenging, and I just love my freelance profession!