Book Design Steps

Book Design Steps

Your book design begins today. Let’s plan a compelling design strategy together and develop an influential book title.

With over 150 award-winning book design projects published, lead by Mark Murphy, we have compiled eight steps to help make your book stand out from start to finish. And of course, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Step One

The first step in any book project is to survey the title, final manuscript, or the most recent draft. Assess all available book assets, including ephemera, photography, illustrations, digital files or dimensional objects. 

Step Two

Step two is an essential team building step. Who is going to do what, while contributing to the ultimate success of your book title. This stage also plans out a project calendar and attainable milestones. Benchmarks may include scheduling: final draft, preliminary design development, look and feel of the book, cover concepts, book marketing and promotion, printing and digital fulfillment, crowdfunding and budget, asset development, if required, and book project management. 

Step Three

Step three starts to translate your plan into a visual outline. Upon receiving approval, the design, editorial, curatorial, and publishing teams all move forward. Design and production work in parallel. Taking important milestones and working backward, the design team drafts a print specification form for the printer to solicit a competitive bid for your book printing and manufacturing. Design determines the layout style of your manuscript while addressing the front matter, chapters, index, and needed book packaging materials. 

Step Four

Step four streamlines the rhythm and functionality of the book. Completed pages are reviewed, edited, and approved version by version. Often, there are 2 to 3 rounds of editing before letting the final manuscript move into final production.

Step Five

Step five moves the book into final production. This stage is also crucial in reviewing any needed material samples aiding in the visualization of the final manufacturing process. When making a digital book, make sure all production standards procured in advance, as each resource for distribution is uniquely different.

Step Six

Step six procures final production, including digital images, and print prepared layout documents. Double-check all project approvals. Upload all required files to the printer, typically requires hi-resolution PDF, and any data requiring closer attention. Let the production process begin.

Step Seven

Step seven is all about remote management. Managing the printer, managing expectations, and coordinating final delivery to your location.

Step Eight

Step eight is an emotional one. Books are a labor of love, and when the final document delivers, it is often overwhelming. There is nothing better than seeing ink on a page, pages sewn all together for ages, and bound by a devoted team who made the impossible, possible. Let the accolades begin.

Please contact Murphy Design, Mark Murphy, at 619-743-0405 for additional information and to begin your book project today.

Featured photos, Behind Photographs by Tim Mantoani, book design and contemporary art exhibition. Read more here.

Photographer Tim Mantoani shares, “Mark has an amazing way of seeing the world, art, design and human interaction. He has helped re-brand my business and forced me to look at the advertising industry through new eyes. Thanks Mark, you da man!”

Book Design and Packaging
Limited edition book design with signed photo prints by Tim Mantoani
Tim Mantoani Behind Photographs
Tim Mantoani signs Behind Photographs sold out edition
Tim Mantoani Behind Photographs
Page layout begins with curation, and a careful selection of visual relationships on each page
Tim Mantoani Behind Photographs
Featured photographers on 20 x 24 inch polaroids by Tim Mantoani