Book Design Terms Defined

Every skill has it’s own language. Here are some common terms you might not be aware of their meaning.

1. Barcode / ISBN: a barcode is made from your ISBN and identifies/connects your book, ebook, audio book to the publisher. It will usually contain the price.

2. Complete Ownership of Book Design: it is important for the author to know that they have the rights to the final creative concept, title design configuration, and all files used in their book. If images from a stock photo site are used they would fall under separate agreement whether the author or designer purchased them, be sure to check the photo site for information.

3. Book Cover Design Layout: this is the concept that the designer comes up with based on the creative discussion with the author.

4. Proofs: this is the file you will receive once the designer has created the layout of the cover or interior. Be sure to print it out and read it over carefully. They are still a work in progress minor changes can be made.

5. Cover jpg thumbnail image files (72dpi and one 300dpi): these files are supplied to help make posting the book to websites or use in printed flyers, postcards, bookmarks etc. they will still need to be adjusted based on the type of use… so be sure to double check with your printer or other designer down the road when you plan to use them on anything.

6. Production Files delivered by download: these are the source, jpg, and pdf files for  you book usually available as a downloadable zip file that might be large, like 300MB or so depending on the files included. Be sure you back it up to CD/DVD and to your hard-drive and go through the files carefully to be sure you are aware of what is there.

7. 3D version of Cover (72dpi and 300dpi): not all designers make this image. 3D images are made to look like a paperback or hardcover for use on website and promo materials.

8. Consultation: there are always questions to be answered… best to organize them into one session and get the full picture of what is needed at one time about marketing, promotion, blogging, social media or related subjects.

9. Photo Research: this is a very important part of your book project. Finding the right image(s) can really enhance your cover getting the attention you want for it. There are plenty of stock photo sites that offer beautiful images at reasonable pricing.

10. Photo Montage: the blending of several images together to create the cover image. This is used a lot on fiction book covers.

11. Retouching: the fine tuning of the image…every so often an image will need some touch up, the back-ground enlarged or something taken out of it that doesn’t go with the creative concept.

12. Print-ready pdf per printer instructions: pdfs are not all made equal… the ones that your designer makes for the printer will have a different spec than the ones you make to just send a doc to a friend or for an digital download. Final pdf files contain all elements of your book cover design in a format that all printers can read.

13. Turn-around: be sure to let your designer know what your deadline is. This way you will both be on the same page and have a common goal to work toward.

14. Hardcover (instead of paperback): Hardcover book can be either a case-bound which is when the design is glued to the board or when a dustjacket is wrapped around the cloth covered book. A dust-jacket is more involved because it will have inside front and back flaps and board measurements. Both require more design attention than a paperback book.

There are more and I’ll be putting together another post to share them.