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Book Design: Why It's Important and How To Get It Right

Design has a tremendous impact on a book’s appeal and marketability. If your goal is to sell your book, then great design--especially cover design--will be one of the most critical parts of your marketing strategy.

Hiring a professional book designer to create your cover and format your manuscript’s interior will make your book attractive to readers and set it apart from poorly designed self-published books.

Chicago book designer Merle Welkomer joins us on March 7 to discuss the fundamentals of book design, including:

• Overview of the book design process for print and ebooks
• Benefits of hiring a professional book designer
• How to choose and work with a book designer
• What you can expect to pay for professional book design
• How to prepare your manuscript design

DIY designers will benefit, too, by learning book design fundamentals and best practices from an expert.

Join us and learn how to harness the power of design to help sell your book.

Speaker Bio:

Merle Welkomer is an art director and book designer who works with small- to medium-sized publishers and independent authors. She believes designing a book is an act of partnering with authors to tell their stories and realize their vision. With 20 years of editorial and publication design, she trusts the power of images and their ability to tell the story. Merle has a Master of Fine Arts degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and favors a multidisciplinary approach to digital imaging. She uses a combination of painting, photography, and printmaking with one aim—to create a compelling cover image that draws potential readers. When asked what is most rewarding about designing books she says, “Getting to read them. I learn something new every time.”


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  • Kim B.

    Thanks so much to our speaker, Merle Welkomer, and everyone who joined us last night! And a special thanks goes out to all the people who left such great messages about the meeting -- your feedback is invaluable.

    March 8, 2013

  • Dustin W.

    I don't have much to add. I agree with everyone. Thanks Kim - you're awesome! You'll definitely see me often

    March 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Was there a presentation given that will be shared later? I'd be very much interested to hear about the information in a group e-mail, too.

    March 8, 2013

  • Brian J.

    Thanks Kim, loved my first meeting, very helpful...Merle was great!

    1 · March 8, 2013

  • Effort M.

    The Book Design session was awesome. I'm pleased with the fact that we covered so much ground! Great group!!!!

    1 · March 8, 2013

  • Jo Anne L.

    Thank you Kim for organizing this group! The connections you have are great! The support of the group is just what I need to stay inspired and get on with my book! I don't want it to take ten years to get to print!

    1 · March 8, 2013

  • Florence O.

    Great presentation by Merle Welkomer.

    1 · March 8, 2013

  • Heather M.

    I learned a lot and so appreciate you making this happen. Thank you!

    1 · March 8, 2013

  • Beth T.

    Very impressive and informative presentation. I'm so glad I came, and I look forward to future meetups.

    1 · March 8, 2013

  • Linda W.

    Great bunch of people, and I loved the presentation. Merle is a captivating and engaging speaker with wise, valuable insights and a sweet personality. Thanks for putting this together, Kim!

    2 · March 7, 2013

  • Heather

    A very nice, professionally minded group of people.

    1 · March 7, 2013

  • Brian B.

    I am wondering if this group would help for book that have already been published like mine has.

    March 7, 2013

  • Edgar B.

    Looking forward to this.

    1 · March 4, 2013

  • Effort M.

    Looking forward!!!

    1 · March 3, 2013

  • Alicia

    Hope I can make it this time.

    1 · March 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wold Merle or anyone else like to answer this question in advance of the March meeting: For those on budget constraints, what are the advantages to working with a professional book designer over using a crowsourcing service like 99designs.com? When I work on my client's book, we used 99designs for initial ideas and paid the winner, and then gave that to the publisher to have their own designer tweak it. I'm also a former professional graphic designer, so I can certainly respect having someone else with industry experience offer their talents for what really is the most crucial attention getter. It amazes me how many self-publishers fail to realize the importance of a well-designed and eye-catching book cover. T

    February 25, 2013

  • Jo Anne L.

    I'm trying to evaluate book designers so this will be perfect!

    1 · February 21, 2013

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