Solutions Showcase: Covering All the Possibilities
The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” may be sage advice, but the publishing community knows better—that it is an intriguing cover that catches the potential reader’s eye. Indeed, a title’s cover is its most valuable marketing tool—an integral part of the publisher’s and author’s brand. So it makes sense that great thought typically goes into a book’s cover design and production.
So was the experience for Walter T. Shaw, a first-time author whose nonfiction book, “A License to Steal,” is being published this year by Omega Publishing Group and manufactured by HCI’s print services division in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The book tells the true story of the tumultuous relationship between Shaw and his father, Walter L. Shaw, one of America’s most prolific inventors.
While it’s not often an author’s role to be hands-on with the design and manufacturing of a book, Shaw says, “I learned all I could about publishing and manufacturing a book. … I looked at books and more books. I saw how some were done inexpensively, and some were over the top.”
In search of guidance, Shaw contacted renowned memoir author Mary Jane Robinson, who gave Shaw some sound advice. “She said, ‘Listen, Walter. You can make a book that costs 30 cents or [one] that costs $150 to manufacture. You need to find a balance,’” recalls Shaw.
With guidance from Robinson, his publisher and his print supplier, Shaw painstakingly chose the materials used in the Smythe-sewn construction—a #1 grade Cougar paper for the pages, and Pearl Linen in Indigo Blue (from LBS) for the cover.
“First and foremost, I wanted to make a book that would stand the test of time. …, ” says Shaw.
A Long, Healthy Life
For a publisher, the cover aesthetic—the type of substrate used, the color palette, the specialty processes deployed—is often dictated by two key factors: the title’s intention/audience and budget.