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Why Book Design Matters More Now Than Ever

posionwoodWhatever publishing route you take, you need to know what choices for book design – inside and out  – can affect your book’s success.  

How a writer thinks of design often distinguishes an amateur from an artist or professional. Why? Amateurs often fixate on what the writing does for them. Artisan-authors and professional authors, on the other hand, typically recognize that while the drafting serves them, the crafting serves their readers. They draft to discover; they craft to design.

Design what?

Emotional experiences, namely, that will delight, move, engage, and perhaps elevate their readers. Successful writers in memoir, fiction, and trade nonfiction create emotional experiences for readers, and that experience begins with two areas that writers often take for granted – the cover and interior page design.

Readers’ brains process images and color far more quickly than semantics and sentences. Within seconds, a well-designed cover can resonate with or repel a reader.  And book interior? If you’ve ever read a promising book whose compacted print strained your eyes and required a looking glass, you appreciate how interior book design can make a reader feel at home or not the way good home interior design can.

Digital publishing also has ushered in a new set of design needs that savvy authors should know, too.

To unravel and explore some of these matters and more, I wanted to put you and some of the authors with whom I work in contact with an exceptional book designer. Someone who knows the industry options. Someone who understands the importance of book cover design from a designer’s point of view and from an author’s point of view. I know that designer: Julie Metz.


Julie Metz knows books. As the daughter of two art directors at Simon & Schuster, she’s been devouring them since she was a girl. For over twenty years, she’s worked with major publishing houses to design covers for the likes of Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible), Charlie Baxter (Burning Down the House), and even her own New York Times best-selling memoir Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal. As founder of Metz Design, Julie also has finessed covers and interiors for numerous self-published authors and for independent agencies such as Booksparks that represent them.

We’re going to have a great time as we help you be the architect of a great experience for your readers – from cover to cover.


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