Book Covers & Page Layout

Are you ready to self-publish that book that you’ve always dreamed of? I specialize in book layouts and design for self-publishing authors. As an author myself, I have done the design work, illustration and print preparation for each of my own titles and also take on projects for other independent authors. With the greater availability for authors to self-publish and distribute their books, professional layout and design is imperative. So many publishing houses make it easy for writers to do their own layouts using templates for Microsoft Word which give them the most rudimentary of tools with equally rudimentary results but the cost of using the publisher to do the layout work can often be prohibitive. That’s where I come in.

A book really is judged by its cover so I design covers to be eye-catching to arrest the attention of book shoppers both on line and in brick-and-mortar book stores. I create illustrations, do watercolor paintings or hire out with other artists. I hire models and photographers to shoot dynamic images and work my magic in PhotoShop to create unique and arresting images. Some projects can be quite simple, others quite complex, but whatever the case, I bring decades of experience to the table each and every time.

Photo images can be realistic looking, even if it’s an astronaut on the moon in a space running suit. A time machine on a workbench can be had with a prop built in my studio and some PhotoShop work to finish it off or a secret Russian nuclear base with some fake signs hung on a rusty old fence and some satellite dishes photographed behind a local radio station.

Original artwork hired out from an artist. A composite of a royalty-free photo combined with photos of a helicopter at the airport laid over the ghosted image of the CIA logo. An original painting done in my studio, a radical manipulation of one by a renaissance master or even a photo of a mossy, old graveyard taken on a gray, foreboding day (with the main character’s name added to one of the distant headstones). There is almost no limit to the sorts of things that I can do in my studio and with an accomplished photographer. The only thing consistent with each image and each finished cover design is a powerful impact that grabs the attention of the reader and sets the mood for what they can expect between the pages.

Illustrations can really help to tell the story. They make good backdrops for title pages, end pages, tables of contents and other places where an illustration that seems simply decorative can help to set the tone for the book. Much of the illustration work that I do today is photographic but often requires props for the photos. A bloody garden claw with an evidence bag and biohazard tag created in my studio. A toy police car with some extra details painted on it and lighted up in PhotoShop. Fake passport covers from various countries (some that don’t even exist). Coasters for bars that appear in the story with a drink filled with apple juice and glass “ice” cubes that won’t melt under photo lights. Toy guns, photo manipulations, fake signs put on the front lawn of someone’s home that looks right for the story. The possibilities are almost endless.

Text pages are laid out for the greatest readability and with a certain style that is consistent with the story. Photos and other illustrations are prepared and inserted with adjustments made for optimum printing results. Authors can provide images or I can create them. I’ll give you advice to help you along in the process and help take the mystery out of it all.

The phenomenon of self-publishing has grown so much, in fact, that I now teach seminars on preparing manuscripts, design and layout and even promotional strategies for writers who are anxious to get their work published. If you are a writer looking for a real, professional layout and design service to prepare your book for publishing (and don’t want to put yourself in the hands of an assembly-line publishing graphic artist), get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to answer your questions – I’m always happy to work up a free quote – and you’ll find out it’s far more painless than it may seem.

All images on this website are copyrighted by Bob Pierce and cannot be used or duplicated without prior written permission.