Author James Ross was reprinting one of his novels with a POD (print on demand) company, and he needed new book cover art files. James owned the illustration but not the InDesign file. He asked me to help him recreate the design, and I was glad to assist.
Here is a list of improvements I made to the covers:
• Brightened the illustration and enhanced the colors
• Changed type color to white (vs. the blue with a vibrating red drop shadow for book title and author’s name)
• Used a bolder typeface and larger point size with upper and lower case, which filled the width of the cover;
• Applied InDesign’s embossing and shadow effect
• Added a ghosted gradient box over the illustration on the back cover to highlight the headline and synopsis. The previous type was blue, extremely hard to read, and covered up the illustration.
• Added a descriptive headline to attact potential buyers.
• Applied kerning to the body copy.
• Inserted a new author photo, bio, and web URL above the bar code
• Added a small credit line for the illustrator
• Left an area at the bottom of the back cover for the publisher’s imprint
• Placed a small outlined golf club icon at the bottom of the spine
James Ross was very pleased with all the improvements. “That looks sharp,” he commented.
But the story isn’t over. When the new cover was completed, I sent my files to Xlibris (a POD / author services company) per James’s request. James received a pdf proof and sent it to me to review. Xlibris had redone all of my artwork, including changing the fonts (which I had supplied) and repositioning the placement of all of the type and minute details. I could not understand why they did not use my file. This was truly disappointing, but beyond that, the work was not high quality. Small details, such as kerning were non-existent.
James’s customer service rep would not reply to my email, since I was not the customer. James went through several proofs—Xlibris could not get it right. Although he submitted my design files, Xlibris stated that the package he bought limits the cover options. James has been happy with Xlibris, however. He explained that limitations such as the cover, depended on the package he purchased. Hindsight is 20-20. It would have helped to know this upfront.
Most stories have happier endings when it comes to producing great cover redesigns. If you are you ready to showcase or make improvements to an existing cover, let Nehmen-Kodner design it for you. Call us 314-548-6001. See more book design examples on our portfolio.