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Founded in 2011, BookBaby has grown to become the nation’s leading self-publishing company. We’re dedicated to making your journey from writer to published author as easy as possible. From first-timers to veterans, novelists to photographers, we’ve helped many thousands prove that it doesn’t take a traditional publishing deal to bring ...

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Publicist
Ben Michaels
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Build a Better Book: Indie Publishing Thought Leader and Book Designer Joel Friedlander Teams up With BookBaby to Create Book Construction Blueprint

Independent authors don’t just toss their works online anymore. They are increasingly learning to act as publishers when they decide how to design and print their books. And like publishers, they need to make sure their products are the best they can be.

Joel Friedlander knows just how important this is. With decades of experience as a book designer, he has been involved in nearly every aspect of creating beautiful, market-savvy physical books. He’s distilled his knowledge for authors into an ebook, exclusively available at BookBaby, Book Construction Blueprint: Expert Advice for Creating Industry-Standard Print Books.

The Blueprint examines each part of the book, explaining its logic and structure, which in turn influences each part of the book’s design. “I tried to bring all the writing I’ve done on book construction and offset printing to the table,” explains Friedlander. “Offset printing should be on the minds of every independent author. If you want to move past selling a couple dozen books, if you want to see your books with the widest possible distribution, you have to start thinking like someone who makes products. You’re need to put yourself in a “B2B” mindset. The Blueprint is designed to help authors understand how print books are put together. If you want to take the next step, it helps you do that.”

Friedlander is intimately familiar with the inner workings of books, as a designer, publisher, and prolific author. Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer, sprang from two years of soul searching about how to best help today’s independent authors, and intensive freewriting. The blog became a hub for independent authors looking to understand exactly how to deal with issues as diverse as copyright and cover illustrations.

With more than 20,000 books published from his designs, Friedlander has grappled with all these topics extensively. “The consideration that guides me in my work and my writing is that from a design point of view, books are schizophrenic,” notes Friedlander. “The cover jumps and shouts, ‘Read me!’ Inside, the designer needs to get out of the way and let the author communicate with the reader, punctuated by open space to give the readers rest. Whatever else will suit that book, that fits its market niche and reaches its target audience, is the right design.”

Design and book production advice includes:

  • How to pick fonts for your book interiors and covers, including lots of free options
  • Why readers expect your books to be "industry-standard"
  • Step by step instructions for dealing with short-run offset book printers
  • Keys to understanding the "language of printing"
  • Almost 100 illustrations clarify many topics
  • Making the decision between print-on-demand and offset production
  • How to design details like running heads, text breaks, and indexes for your book
  • Expert tips on preparing your Word files for book production

“We’re thrilled to partner with Joel and to launch his latest book,” says Steven Spatz, BookBaby President. “Joel is a great example of a self publishing expert who pushes and encourages authors to take their publishing career seriously - just like we do at BookBaby.”

Friedlander is particularly excited about sharing the potential of offset with the independent publishing community. “There are lots of creative things offset printers can do that you can’t do any other way, like using different papers, incorporating etchings or engravings into your book, or adding gilt edges to pages. There are so many different ways to spark creative potential. I could go on all day!” Friedlander enthuses.

In the end, Friedlander has always had one hope in sharing his wisdom with fellow book makers: “I want people to produce better books.” The Blueprint lays out exactly how.

Friedlander will be presenting at BookBaby’s first-ever Independent Authors Conference this November in Philadelphia. The Blueprint is available here