Thursday, May 15, 2014

three designers, one book

How many book designers does it take to design a cover?

WH Chong (Text Publishing), Josh Durham (Design by Committee) and myself – have each submitted 4 cover concepts for Orwell’s classic ‘Animal Farm’. And we are talking about it on a book design panel at the Williamstown Literary Festival, on Sunday, June 1st at 11.30am.

We chose ‘Animal Farm’ not because it’s probably the most designed cover on the planet, but because it's such a familiar story for an audience, and the fact that it’s a mere 95 pages long was an added bonus. At the time, I still didn’t have time to re-read it before designs were due. Instead, the night before the deadline, I sat for an hour watching the YouTube upload. I wonder if you can tell this embarrassing research shortfall from looking at my final designs?

So . . . who’s design will go to press?

It’s likely to be a fun and fairly fluid discussion facilitated by Inkerman & Blunt’s, Donna Ward.

We discuss the design ‘process’ as part of the bigger discussion about the various designs from each of us – from getting the brief, reading manuscripts (h-hmmm), submitting concepts, the approval process and then finally, going to press.

We’ll touch on why designing covers for such a classic is very different to designing covers for an unknown author or a new piece of writing.

We’ll compare the design process for ‘big name’ authors to that of lesser known names. Indeed, we'll ask, should designers be allowed to add a ‘torture tax’ on top of their design fee for famous authors?

We may attempt keep our emotions in check, if we touch on the vexed topic of ‘kill fees’. And perhaps at great risk to our personal safety, we may delve into the hairy topic of designing for self-publishers.

Come along if you’re in Melbourne, and make a day of it by the seaside. This is the biggest Willy Lit Festival ever. Check it out the full program here.

Download the ABDA membership form

Come on. You know you want to.

Let's get this party started

It's been bubbling away for months and now the time has come to put your money behind this fabulous new initiative called the Australian Book Designers Association, ABDA.

Individual annual membership is $50.

Companies can choose to become ‘Company’ members based on the number of books they publish per annum as detailed below.

Publishers who publish less than 10 books per year    $75
Publishers who publish between 11–25 books per year     $150
Publishers who publish between 26–75 books per year     $300
Publishers who publish more than 75 books per year     $500

The ABDA annual membership fee will go towards building the virtual home. ABDA is, of course, non-profit.

FYI: this ABDA membership fee is separate from the Awards party, which is being organised now.

Awards entry has its own fee and the Awards Party has a ticket price - but for ABDA Members both Awards entry fee and Party ticket will be *hugely* reduced from last year's prices.

The 'call for entry' window will be from Jun 1 to July 2. The party will be on Friday, August 22 in Melb CBD. A call out will be announced very soon (and submitting will be much easier than in previous years).

Please email me for a membership form – individual or company.

Thanks everyone. We need you to get on board now. We've got a party to pay for.

Sandy Cull
On behalf of the ABDA committee.