Book design: working small to go big
Thumbnails - sometimes smaller is better
Early in my graphic design career I was taught to use thumbnail sketches to work through ideas. They're small (as the name indicates), and a rapid way of generating prototypes and work through ideas. This is the thumbnail of my latest (and final!) cover design.
This week and the coming weeks mark the final stretch for getting my book done. It’s gratifying to be so close.
A new cover design
I wasn’t as thrilled as I should have been with my early cover designs—I knew I was close, but something was off. When I put the covers out there and asked for your feedback you came through. The cover that got the best response was the one that featured a cursive letter with arrows indicating how to write the letter.
A new title
The title needed work, too. Ultimately, it’s a workbook that suggests the better, more interesting way to practice and improve your cursive writing skill is to do it with snail mail: to send letters, cards, and notes. It was clear from the feedback I received and reading I’ve done that cursive writing and snail mail needed to be in the title.
When I played around with titles and the order of the words, it sounded better and more interesting to start with “A Snail Mail Guide ...” rather than "Cursive Writing Practice..."
With the new title, it all came together. The A is a beautiful letter that has movement and style, providing the cursive example I needed that worked with the title.
The next step is to have a few people read through it. I got feedback on an early draft of the book, but this time it’s for the whole book. I’ve been doing a lot of research on self-publishing and this is a big part of getting it right. Beta readers: readers who read your book when it’s ready to go—but before it’s published. I’ll ask for feedback and reviews. The reviews can be used to help preview and promote the book.
There’s so much to consider, but as I learn more, it becomes less and less intimidating and overwhelming. Of course, being nearly there helps, too.
There are three sections to the book:
1) a detailed guide to writing cursive letters,
2) the I Write Letters to Say section that features handwriting samples from different people—apparently, if you haven’t been taught cursive writing, it can be difficult to read it.
3) and the third section—all about snail mail: how to address an envelope, where to put the stamp, and of course, the elements of a letter and who to write to.
Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. You’ve helped me sort things out and make a better book. I can’t wait to share the finished product with you ... in September(!)?