Book Design 101

Taught by - Leave your thoughts

Start this course

Book design is that under-appreciated step of the publishing process that can make or break a book. A book's cover is going to determine whether the book gets picked up in a book store, or clicked upon on Amazon. A book's interior design — or typesetting — will not affect purchasing decisions, however it will deeply and subliminally influence the reading experience throughout the whole book. 

A book is a simple object, but designing and producing a professionally looking one is a complex task. It's not all up to the author, of course: there are professional designers for that; however, whether you're self-publishing or working with a publisher, you should know at least the basics of the design process. Not just for curiosity, but because the design decisions your team will take will influence the rest of your career. You want to be a part of these decisions.

What you'll learn in this course:

  • How to get the most out of a professional cover designer
  • How books are structured (front, body, back matter)
  • What typesetting is and how you can DIY typeset your book
  • How to use the Van de Graaf canon to determine margins
  • How to produce the different formats you'll need for distribution

Already a Reedsy Learning student? You can subscribe to a new course by opening up any previous Reedsy Learning email. Scroll to the bottom of the email and click on "update your preferences" to choose a new course.


Brought to you by:

Emmanuel NatafEmmanuel is a Founder and CEO of Reedsy, a marketplace that connects authors and publishers with the world’s best editors, designers and marketers. Emmanuel dedicates most of his time to building Reedsy’s product and is interested in how technology can transform cultural industries. He's one of the main thinkers behind Reedsy's Book Editor, which allows any author to produce a professionally typeset book in a matter of minutes.

Start this course

Discuss this course

Continue learning

People who enjoyed this course also looked at the following:

How to Craft a Killer Short Story

So, you've decided to write a short story! Many a published author got their starts from publishing short stories. It's the perfect medium for so many authors: succinct, clear, character-driven, and brief. Compared to the …

Taught by Laura Mae Isaacman

View course

Amazon Ads for Authors

So, you want to advertise your book? Great, you're already one step ahead of everyone else! Now where should you start getting the word out about your novel? Amazon ads are the newest big thing …

Taught by Ricardo Fayet

View course

All you Need to Know About Amazon Algorithms

Over 70% of all ebooks are sold on the Kindle Store, so wouldn’t it be nice to get your book more visibility on Amazon? Of course, that's easier said than done, with well over 1,000,000 books being …

Taught by Adam Houge

View course

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

The internet has democratized the publishing world in a big way. Now, anyone can publish a book without the “permission” of a traditional press. But with the freedom of self-publishing comes a fresh set of …

Taught by Martin Cavannagh

View course

How to Research a Historical Novel or Nonfiction Book

Historical research is a critical part of writing about the past. Finding the right details will augment the authenticity of your book. It may also act as a point of plot inspiration for historical novels. Historical research can involve anything …

Taught by Laurie Garrison

View course

How to Set up and Grow Your Author Mailing List

The mailing list is a central element of every author’s marketing strategy. It's the one main tool you’ll use to build a long-lasting relationship with your readers, turning them into repeat buyers and unconditional fans. …

Taught by Ricardo Fayet

View course