The Design of Books: An Explainer for Authors, Editors, Agents, and Other Curious Readers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) (Paperback)

The Design of Books: An Explainer for Authors, Editors, Agents, and Other Curious Readers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) By Debbie Berne Cover Image

The Design of Books: An Explainer for Authors, Editors, Agents, and Other Curious Readers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing) (Paperback)


On Our Shelves Now at:
Politics and Prose at 5015 Connecticut Avenue NW
4 on hand, as of Jul 13 9:20pm
Seasoned designer Debbie Berne presents an accessible introduction to book design for authors, editors, and other book people.
Design is central to the appeal, messaging, and usefulness of books, but to most readers, it’s mysterious or even invisible. Through interiors as well as covers, designers provide structure and information that shape the meaning and experience of books. In The Design of Books, Debbie Berne shines a light on the conventions and processes of her profession, revealing both the aesthetic and market-driven decisions designers consider to make books readable and beautiful. In clear, unstuffy language, Berne reveals how books are put together, with discussions of production considerations, typography and fonts, page layouts, use of images and color, special issues for ebooks, and the very face of each book: the cover.  
The Design of Books
speaks to readers and directly to books’ creators—authors, editors, and other publishing professionals—helping them to become more informed partners in the design of their projects. Berne lays out the practical steps at each stage of the design process, providing insight into who does what when and offering advice for authors on how to be effective advocates for their ideas while also letting go and trusting their manuscripts with teams of professionals. She includes guidance as well for self-publishing authors, including where to find a designer, what to expect from that relationship, and how to art direct your own book.
Throughout, Berne teaches how understanding the whats, hows, and whys of book design heightens our appreciation of these cherished objects and helps everyone involved in the process to create more functional, desirable, and wonderful books.
Debbie Berne has been a professional book designer since 2002 and has designed hundreds of books and book covers. This is the first book she has both written and designed.
Product Details ISBN: 9780226822952
ISBN-10: 0226822958
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 256
Language: English
Series: Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing
"Professional book designer Berne debuts with her first self-authored (and designed) title that seemingly anticipates every question people curious about book production might ask, as well as many they probably hadn’t thought about. . . . This title illuminates all that goes into producing and designing a book. A must for authors, editors, designers, and curious readers."
— Library Journal

"From the printer’s specifications—choices about size, binding, and other physical characteristics that dictate the look and feel of the finished product—through typography, layout, and cover design, Berne gives the reader an insider’s look at how a manuscript becomes a book. . . . A must for aspiring authors, this accessible, even entertaining guide will also appeal to book nerds who read the 'About the Type' page when it appears at the end of a book."
— Booklist starred review

"Catnip to booksellers, this is an introduction to how books are designed, both from aesthetic and commercial considerations. The author is a book designer herself and this is a practical guide for all involved in the production process, exploring how design can enhance the appeal and usefulness of books."
— The Bookseller (UK)

"The Design of Books delves into the art and craft of book design. [Berne] sheds light on how book design plays a crucial role in achieving publishing success and elevating a reader’s overall experience. Whether you’re a self-publishing author with questions or a book editor looking to bond with your art director, [Berne's] accessible and insightful guide unveils the secrets behind creating visually stunning and functionally effective book designs."
— I Need A Book Cover

"Berne has an impressive ability to write for nondesigners, to explain and demonstrate concepts that might, in other hands, seem technical and boring. I love how this guide is both approachable and authoritative."
— Jane Friedman, author of "The Business of Being a Writer"

“Berne is an extremely engaging and approachable writer, and her book is valuable for the inviting, excellent, and unpretentious introduction it offers to the craft of book design. I learned a lot from The Design of Books, including some things I should have known but did not.”
— Gita Manaktala, executive editor at large, MIT Press

 “Finally, a book that illuminates the most mysterious warren of publishing—design. For all those seeking to understand the visual language of books, here’s your soup-to-nuts translator.” 
— Danielle Svetcov, agent, Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary

“A fascinating insight into the hidden world of book design. Invaluable for those who want to create beautiful books.”
— Joanna Penn, author, podcaster, and blogger at The Creative Penn