I love doing things for the first time, and in the world of design, there is always first time for everything...seemingly on a daily basis.
One of my most recent projects was to design the interior and covers of a self-published music instruction book for Brooklyn-based guitarist Adam Douglass.
Along with the core elements of any design (fonts, colors, composition, photography, etc), I was also charged with other logistics that don't commonly come with this territory...such as securing a copyright certificate from the government, acquiring the necessary ISBNs/barcodes, producing web video content as bonus material for certain editions of the book, sourcing cost-effective printers, and other related tasks.
And of course, there is the matter of photographing the final product and getting it ready for live sale on the website (copywriting, calculating pricing structures, choosing a release date, pre-sale methodology, etc, etc)...then editing the website.
And even though we are not quite at that point yet, there are still BIG next steps that we will be tackling next: distribution and marketing (oh, new adventures!)
Suffice it to say, producing a self-published book and all of its supplementing content is a LOT OF WORK. And, if you are smart about your resources, it doesn't need to cost a small fortune.
(At the bottom of this post, I have listed some of the tools that we use to for creation and budgeting)
And this is precisely what I excel at.
I believe my biggest strength as a creative professional is my very broad set of skills, which I grow every single day by tackling unknown territory with new projects, basically....learning by doing. Every new endeavor is a trial by fire, and I like it hot.
People who inhabit roles like this are often referred to as polymaths, which is a term that I fully embrace. Skills and talents are often cross-compatible between disciplines, and often lend themselves to creative solutions in unknown territory.
If I don't already know how to do something, I will research it and practice it until I get it figured out, which is precisely what this required as neither the client or I had any prior publishing experience, but a little faith and a lot of sweat tends to go a long way.
It was a true collaborative effort from start to finish, and those are the best kind.
So, without further ado, I am very proud to present the fruits of my first book design: Beginner Guitar Etudes for Pop and Rock Music, by Adam Douglass.
This book is currently scheduled to be officially released on May 22nd, but we are running a special pre-order for two weeks so that excited students and teachers can reserve their copy with FREE PRIORITY SHIPPING prior to the day of release.
Helpful resource list for self-publishing:
Copyright: US Copyright Office, $35 for each application
Accounting: Freshbooks (varies), Mint (free)
ISBN: isbnservices ($19 ea)
Printing and binding: DigiTech (varies)
Website: Squarespace (varies), Google Analytics (free)
Payment Processing: Venmo, Stripe, Paypal (all free with per-transaction fees)
Filesharing: Dropbox (free and paid plans)
Scheduling: Acuity (free and paid plans)
Email marketing: MailChimp (free and paid plans)
Photography, videography/editing, web design, graphic design: JI[N]YC (me!)
Software: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Guitar Pro
Promotional materials: Vistaprint (varies)