It's good to know how work gets done, especially in this day and age of the internet, where everyone's anonymous and people promise big results but don't give any details about how we get there.
My process is built on the belief that every book, and every author, needs to be understood before I begin designing. That's why, for my template and custom design, both, I want to get us on the phone or a live chat to discuss you and your book. This doesn't have to take long; 10-20 minutes is pretty common, but that's the talk where we'll get to know each other, your goals, the content, the impact you want to have when you publish, as well as some technicals like publishing dates, whether or not you have a cover, desired dimensions, stuff like that. After this talk, I send the 50% invoice.
For my template design:
This is also the talk where we'll look at my template examples and let you chose your favorite. I keep my templates pure and simple, appropriate for all genres, but depending on the effect you want your book to have, I might have some input on which is a better choice.
Then I get right to it! First I clean up your manuscript, style it with the template, review the interior 4-6 times, depending on how complicated it is, and send it back for you to review.
We get three review sessions between ourselves, back and forth, and by the third review, we're done! (You can make up to 25 proofreading corrections to the content at this time as well.) If you've chosen to do the ebooks at this point, I'll start the ebook here. We'll get three review sessions of the ebook, too. The final invoice comes at the end of the third pass for the ebook (if we even need that many), and you can start uploading your files.
"I found working with Colleen to be a delight, and she has a great sense of book design. Very happy with her designs, layout and typography. She is prompt and stays in contact. She's a no-worries designer!"
– Giles Becker
For my full custom design:
This is where I sit down with a printed version of your book and actually read it. Yes, front to back, cover-to-cover. I get myself into the story, to understand it down to the punctuation, marking important notes to myself and taking it all in. Not a lot of book interior designers or typesetters do that, but in my opinion it's vital to understand the project. After all, you spent months or years of your life on it; surely your interior designer can spend a day or two getting really acquainted.
Once I read it, I'll begin drawing up potentials on my end and doing any research I might need to get your interior exactly right. We'll have another call or chat when I'm ready to present these ideas to you in a series of mockups and also in a plain PDF so you can see the bare page. The design ideas will include the title page, copyright page, one or two sections of front matter, and a whole chapter, designed and fully typeset.
We discuss, I make any requested adjustments, and we settle on the final design. And then I get to work, cleaning up the manuscript according to our agreed-upon style, and typeset the whole work as well. I'll review the manuscript 6-8 times, including printing it again to manually typeset, to make sure all of the typesetting is correct, and then I'll send it to you for your first review.
We get four reviews total, allowing us to proof our work thoroughly. You can make up to 50 proofreading corrections to the content at this time as well.
Once we've agreed we have our final, print-ready interior, I'll send you a link to a Google Drive folder that will hold our final PDF, a packaged InDesign file with all of our design elements inside, technical information for your cover designer, as well as a statement that you hold the copyright to the book interior design (with the two caveats that I can use a small sample of our interior design on my social media for marketing purposes, and also that every book in the series will be done by Ampersand Book Interiors). At this point, you'll be able to upload your book interior to your distributor or printer of choice.
At this point, I'll start the ebook. This will be much simpler and faster than the above, so we'll get three rounds of revisions on this. Once it's done you'll be able to upload the ebook for publishing at your preferred distributors whenever you're ready.
And that's it! If you're ready to begin, just send me the form below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't wait to talk!