How to Create a Competitive Cookbook

There are a lot of reasons I love cookbooks. Each one is its own special focus in the world of cuisine, a filter that allows me to discover something new and interesting. The good ones have carefully selected, edited, tested, and illustrated recipes.

Caroline Hale’s book, Live Simply Plant Based is such a book—hundreds of recipes, especially appealing to anyone looking for an all vegan, all gluten-free experience. Aside from being a book designer and publishing consultant, I’m an incurable foodie always on the lookout for new recipes and cuisine. For me, one of the points of traveling is to discover and enjoy new foods. Even in my own home city, I can’t resist searching the Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, and Mexican grocery stores for something new to try.  So I was very happy to be able to help Caroline Hale put together the Live Simply Plant Based book project. While this is a vegan recipe book, it is much more than recipes. Even if you’re not interested in a vegan diet it is easy to see that this book is beautiful.

cookbook front cover design

The recipe book market is super competitive. There’s always a lot of nice cookbooks coming out.

So I was pleased that Hale was receptive to my recommendations to make sure this turned out top quality. My recommendations included hiring a skilled food photographer that could capture her recipes beautifully. Food photography is in a special category of difficulty best left to someone with experience. Continue reading “How to Create a Competitive Cookbook”

Book Design for The Joy of Creative Discovery

It is really exciting to work with authors and independent publishers who care about quality and the reader experience. Pasha Hogan’s new book, The Joy of Creative Discovery definitely falls into that category. This book is an engaging collection of interesting activities, writing prompts, art projects, nature excursions, stress-reduction techniques, and much more—all carefully put together by the author to help those who are journeying through difficulties or anyone who wants a happier life.

I first met the author a few years back when I designed her book, Third Time Lucky, an inspirational account of her journey of transformation following a third cancer diagnosis. It includes her insights for living “beyond life challenges.” Her new book builds on the groundwork of her life and experiences helping others get through similar difficulties.

Continue reading “Book Design for The Joy of Creative Discovery”

Book Design Tips

Book design project: Navigating Change

One of my recent book design projects is Navigating Change (Flame Lantern Press). This was a fun project and it was a great pleasure to work with the author, Christine Warren. This book, as I will show, illustrates some important things to consider when designing a book.

Book cover design.
Book cover design and closeup of original illustrated cover art.

Christine is a presenter of transformational workshops, a consultant, life coach, and speaker. Her book brings together teachings, stories, and tools to help people move through life’s changes or transitions. In her words, the goal is to help people move through “life transitions with magnificence.”

Book cover design
Front cover of Navigating Change.

Her book shares the principles and practices found in her workshops. Her presentation is divided into four phases represented by the four points of the compass in this diagram.

Custom diagram design for book
Compass diagram created to represent the Four Phases of Change. The interior book design is coordinated with the cover design.

Put in the simplest way, two main concepts converge in Christine’s book—navigating and wisdom. Continue reading “Book Design Tips”