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Book Design

John Green Reveals the Winner of the ‘An Abundance of Covers’ Contest

Author John Green revealed that seventeen-year-old Sarah Turbin had won his An Abundance of Covers contest. Readers were invited to submit their cover designs for the new paperback edition of Green’s 2006 Printz Honor title, An Abundance of Katherines.

Above, you can see Turbin’s simple design. Green said the cover “embraced the nerdiness of the book,” and he shared this piece of advice on book design: “I think it has to look good in print; it has to look good blown-up; it has to look good on a screen and it has to look good one-inch tall.”

During the BookExpo America event, Penguin Young Readers Group gave away 150 signed copies of the new paperback edition. Several fans also asked Turbin for her autograph.

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Paperback Boxed Set Design Revealed for 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Vintage and Anchor Books art director John Gall has revealed the design for the paperback edition of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

We’ve embedded a photograph above–what do you think?

The New York Times had more details: “Gall, the art director for Vintage, designed the paperbacks to be visible through a clear plastic box, fitting together to create one image. The list price is $29.95, and Vintage will initially print 50,000 copies.” (Image link via Sarah Weinman)

Free Customized ‘Go Away, I’m Reading’ Book Covers

Wish you could tune out the world while reading your favorite book? The free “Go Away, I’m Reading” book covers will send a blunt message, customized for your book.

Erin Bowman, Sarah Enni and Traci Neithercott created the simple but inspiring dust jackets pictured above–what cover will you pick?

They have built “Climbing Mount Doom” for fans of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s Lord of the Rings trilogy,  “In Narnia BRB” for readers of C. S. LewisThe Chronicles of Narnia, “At Hogwarts” for aficionados of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter series, “In Forks, Send Help” for fans of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight series and finally, “In the Arena, BRB” for readers of Suzanne CollinsHunger Games series.

Here’s more about printing: “These covers will fit the traditionally-sized YA book. Take the PDFs to your local FedEx or Staples and get them printed on tabloid paper (11x17in). We suggest a matte cardstock (you could print on something glossy, but sometimes that causes light glares at certain angles and you want people to be able to read that Go Away message without incident). Choose a weight between 60-80lb for the paper. Anything lighter and the page will be too thin, anything heavier and folding it around your book will be difficult.”

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Self-Published Marriage Proposal

Valentine’s Day is a time in which many couples get engaged. If you are looking for a creative way to pop the question, maybe you should consider making a book.

One romantic guy named Travis Hines self-published a book to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. The book told their personal story and he gave it to her as a gift out on a date.

He explains how he came up with the content for the book on the Blurb blog: “I spent a couple weeks digging up every picture we had taken while together over the past three years – rummaging through our cell phones, old computers, Facebook and Twitter accounts. I had over 500 pictures to work with and I managed to design a chronological, full-page photo book capturing many of the wonderful moments where we were together.”

Mountains Carved Out Of Books

Guy Laramee is an artist who carves sculptures out of books.

Among his works is an incredible sculpture of the Great Wall of China, called The Great Wall (pictured).

According to his artist’s statement, Laramee is inspired by the “erosion of cultures.”

He writes: “So I carve landscapes out of books and I paint Romantic landscapes. Mountains of disused knowledge return to what they really are: mountains. They erode a bit more and they become hills. Then they flatten and become fields where apparently nothing is happening. Piles of obsolete encyclopedias return to that which does not need to say anything, that which simply IS. Fogs and clouds erase everything we know, everything we think we are.”

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Traveler Caught with Knives Hidden in Ninja Book

Dreading holiday travel? We don’t blame you, it is already starting to get crazy. Today, TSA caught a passenger flying from Washington DC to Chicago trying to smuggle two throwing knives inside of a hollowed-out book.

The knives were hidden in a copy of Ninja: The Shadow Warrior. According to The Daily Mail, “Written on the opposite page to where the knives were discovered were the words ‘concealability encapsulates the ninja philosophy.”

The Daily Mail has more: “Security staff at Reagan-Washington airport discovered the knives, which measured over half a foot long, on Monday, in a hollowed out book about Japanese ninja warriors hidden in the man’s carry-on bag.”

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Book Cover of the Future?

What if your book cover could interact with your reader? Drag your mouse over the book cover embedded above to see what the future might look like.

UK Publisher Walker Books just unveiled that cover for Daylight Savings by Edward Hogan. Impressed by the design, literary agent Jonny Geller tweeted a great question: “Better than a book trailer?”

Here’s more about the book: “Today, in fact right this second, the clocks are going back an hour. For most of us, this is a fantastic day as it means we get an extra hour to stay wrapped under the duvet, safe in our beds. But for one of the main characters in Edward Hogan’s debut young adult novel, Daylight Saving, this time of year brings nothing but fear… it’s a thriller ghost story by a new voice in YA fiction that will have you utterly gripped. We can also tell you that this very night, when the clocks go back, is one that fills the characters with dread.” (via Jane L.)

Dr. Seuss Versus H.P. Lovecraft

What if Dr. Seuss had adapted H.P. Lovecraft‘s horrific masterpiece, The Call of Cthulhu? As you can see by the pages embedded above, artist DrFaustusAU has undertaken the task of creating a Seuss-ian version of the novel.

Follow this link to read all the sample pages. Below, we’ve embedded another compelling page.

Here’s more from the artist: “More Call of Cthulhu pages will be up shortly. I have returned to my mild-mannered day job this week, so I have had to momentarily turn my attention to a classroom full of screaming teenagers. Lovecraft fans truly are some of the best people in the world, and your encouragement has been awesome – so as I say, the adaptation will definitely continue.” (Via io9)

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Kern Type: Practice Publishing the Old Fashioned Way

Think you have what it takes to be a book designer? Test your skills with the addictive Kern Type game.

The free game gives you a word, testing your ability to evenly space, or “kern” the letters, an old fashioned skill from the days of the printing press. Even though modern printers don’t physically lay out letters on a printing press, kerning is still very important for modern designers as they straighten letters in digital space.

Adobe’s glossary provides the simplest definition of kerning: “The adjustment of horizontal space between individual characters in a line of text. Adjustments in kerning are especially important in large display and headline text lines. Without kerning adjustments, many letter combinations can look awkward. The objective of kerning is to create visually equal spaces between all letters so that the eye can move smoothly along the text.” (Via Book Bench)

How Much Do Book Designers Earn?

According to the anonymous job site Glassdoor.com, the average salary for a book designer in the New York area is $58,924 a year.

The site also breaks out figures from specific companies. Below, we’ve made a list of what book designers at three book publishing companies make–all the figures drawn from anonymous users at Glassdoor.com.

Follow this link to find out how much book editors earn and this link to find out how much book publicists earn. For more details on book publicist salaries, keep reading…

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