We are a small firm—just Dede, and her trusted team of freelancers.

Here are some things we offer to our clients—independent authors, foundations, and publishers—who are an important part of the book publishing business!

Book cover design
We work really hard to design and develop the best possible covers for our clients, both publishers and authors. A cover is extremely important, especially in thumbnail size these days with on-line sales, and needs to really stand out.

What we do
We have a thorough cover design questionnaire that our clients fill out. A mission statement is established and often referred back to, along with the description of content (back cover copy), target audience, market, and most importantly the book blurb and reader’s line to help categorize the book in its genre and entice a browser to purchase.

Our process involves reading the book (as much as we can, if not, we have a thorough questionnaire that vividly describes the characters, plot and a clear synopsis. We work with the author and publisher (if needed) to create the jacket or back cover copy from this questionnaire.

  • 3 rough comps are provided for the cover, and submitted for Round 1
  • Round 2 begins with feedback from our client, and in some cases we work with focus groups, starting with a selection of the best options (usually, we find that our first comps are combined to make even a better, more developed, second round comp
  • Round 3 is when one cover design is chosen, and carefully refined—color, font choices, image selection and purchase, Adobe Photoshop detail work, and a lot of back and forth
  • Round 4 is when we take the front cover and develop a full cover mechanical. This process involves creating a spine that really pops out on a bookstore or library shelf, and designing a back cover with copy that describes the book, or blurbs about the book that serve to actually sell the book. We work with the same theme as the front cover, and create a seamless piece of art that works as a whole.
  • For interior design of books, we create sample ages that reflect the elements in the particular book. We show the title page, and try to link the cover design and titular type to reflect the seamless whole of the book, and augment the reader’s experience (of course!); we will design a Contents age, dedication, part and/or Chapter opening pages, text spreads, and multiple text spreads showing the elements in the particular book (lists, footnotes, illustrations, for example), along with the backmatter of the book (Index, references, glossary, notes). Once the sample pages have been approved, we go to flow the text (usually coded and from MSWord) into our template and submit first pages for review and proofreading. Assuming the book has been wonderfully edited, there are usually minimal changes at this time, but there are always changes in the world of book, publishing, and we accomplish these changes with good humor and respect while working with the editor and author (major character name change? Not a problem! Moving an entire chapter—easy! Line corrections and editing while in the first pages is done smoothly and expertly using Acrobat reader commenting tools . . . bottom line is that we love to read, and getting in deep with a book allows us to really ponder the words and better understand the book itself (which helps us later in marketing!).

This gives you an idea of our design process, and we welcome your feedback at all times!


Publicity & Website Design

This same process applies to our design of websites—we work closely with the company, the foundation, the artist, or the writer, to create a site that reflects their work, their mission, and their brand. We also offer marketing and publicity packages for our authors and publishers. DCDesign has their own imprint and our books are distributed by IPG/Chicago, along with Green Writers Press/Green Place Books. We can publish your book, or series, under our own imprint and gain national distribution along with online sales. We work to offer e-books and audiobook for our clients as well.

Here are a few examples
David Blistein—work included book cover design, interior design, pagination, and all facets of marketing, including consulting on book trailer.
Other book design projects and additional website work include the following:

Writing & Healing

Meditative Gardener

Cardy Raper, PhD

I Love Dirt!

Let’s Go Outside!

Treasury of the True Dharma Eye

Website design examples
Design, creation, development, and programming (with support from Bahman Mahdavi of Webwerk):

A few covers and books designed for Alice James Press and Tupelo Press.

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