Why Choose Chinook?

You spent untold hours crafting your manuscript. Now it is time to see it through the last steps and into the world as a real book. Trust those steps to someone who cares about books as much as you care about your work. I will put as much care and thought into the use of color, type, image and space as you put into choosing each word. I completely enjoy the transformation from text to an attractive, readable, professional publication, and I genuinely care about how it comes out. Each book I design is important to me. Especially yours.

I care about the look of your book, inside and out.

I understand how the book's design impacts the force and comprehension of the text, and I let the meaning of the text inform the design.

Your words, photographs, art, and thoughts are not just another job. I am interested in what you have created and in presenting it in the best possible manner.

I am pretty much impossible to offend. Your topic (no matter how far out it may be) will not affect the level of respect and care your book gets.

I listen to you, I provide options. I ask questions rather than guessing.

It is your book. There is no place in it for a designer's ego.

I understand printing and binding and I know how to deliver exactly what a printer wants. Again, I don't guess: I ask questions.

Get what you need:

  • I create books and journals: typesetting, layout, indexing, maps, figures and illustrations, covers, dust jackets
  • I am fluent in ePub, Kindle and the mysteries of ebook production
  • I am not prejudiced. I will take on any kind of book project: fiction, poetry, science, history, dissertation, atlas, cookbook ...
  • I do periodicals: scholarly journals, articles, editorial workflow
  • I transform manuscripts: give me your document and I will turn it into a fully-formatted, totally professional book or article that meets your publisher's specifications.
  • I prepare images to reproduce at the highest quality and can retouch or fix (when possible), or redraw (when necessary) damaged or low-quality images
  • I work with you and your printer/bindery to make sure they get exactly the files they need

Chinook Design has been working with books, periodicals and other printed material for well over a decade. (And I have been obsessed with books, text and images for over 4 decades.)

For almost 15 years I have responsible for the production of a biannual scholarly journal (including typesetting, formatting, illustrations, maps, prepress and more) and a series of scholarly monographs (all the same tasks as the journal, plus indexes and dust jackets).

I have done page layout and cover design for books on all manner of topics, ranging from scholarly and scientific works to textbooks, novels and memoirs to manuals, satire to self-help.

Additionally, I have produced ebooks including epub, kindle, pdf and other formats.

I also have experience creating posters and promotional materials, CD art, artist's books, t-shirts, and just about anything else that can be printed. Recently, I have added coloring book pages to the list!

A new portfolio is up and running. Check it out!

Cover Design

Your book has to look good on the outside if you want readers to pick it up and see what's inside. It needs to stand out from other books on similar subjects, without just being loud and obnoxious.

I use no templates, I never copy other books, and I actually CARE what the book looks like.

Cover design includes front and back covers and the spine, all delivered matching your printer's specifications. I will also throw in a 3D image (like the ones in the portfolio) that you can use on the web.

The process of designing a cover takes time and communication. First, I need to know what you want and what you like. I need to know if there are logos, colors, images or other elements that have to be included. There isn't space here to list all the questions you'll be asked.

Answering a bunch of questions might not sound like fun, but would you rather have someone guess what you want and deliver something you hate?

Once we have discussed what you want, like and need, you will be given several options to choose from. After you pick the basic design you like, I will revise it in consultation with you and arrive at a final cover that everyone loves.

A few more details about covers:

  • The spine thickness depends on the page count and the paper used, so the full cover will never be completed until the book is finished.
  • I will probably need to communicate with your printer to know exactly what they need and to find out the exact dimensions.
  • Finding and purchasing images for the cover (if necessary) will cost extra.

Working with authors

My experience has made me very sensitive to the needs of authors. My work with authors has included hundreds of books and articles, as well as the accompanying maps, illustrations, photos, charts, bibliographies, appendices, indices and footnotes. I am good at understanding what authors want their work to look like but I know that it's best to be sure, so I communicate with each author throughout the process. If I see something that might be a mistake, I will ask before correcting it. If I see a way to make something (whether it's a sentence, a chart or a map) more clear, I will offer a suggestion. I can scan your images for you, and can redraw maps and retouch damaged images if that's necessary.

Many publishers are cutting costs by firing designers and requiring authors to submit camera-ready copy. It is very difficult (some would say impossible) to produce professional-looking text in standard word-processing software (such as Word). That sort of software is not designed for this kind of work. I will take your documents and convert them to software which is intended for publishing, then format them to exactly meet your publisher's specifications.

Working with editors

Chinook Design plays well in any editorial workflow. Editors can pass submissions to me for initial formatting, then edit the formatted files, or can do all the editing and then give me the files for conversion and formatting. I will also handle all the front and back matter in a publication. I can create templates to fit any publication. If necessary, I can take back issues or previous titles and use them as a basis for an up-to-date template and group of styles.

I am experienced at communicating with printers and making sure all files meet their specifications. If there is a problem with a file, I will fix it.

Less expensive

Don't pay a printer/bindery to handle your complex content. Chinook can do it as well, or better, at less cost. I know that many smaller publishers do not have the time or money to invest in purchasing and learning new software that would enable them to work with complex scripts and diacritics or properly create and handle high resolution images. That's what I do. Going through multiple revisions with Chinook before sending your publication to the printer will be much less expensive than finding and fixing problems in the printer's proof.

What's It All Cost?

Pricing can vary widely from project to project. For books, my fee is calculated by multiplying a per page rate by the total number of pages in the finished book. The charge for ebooks is less than for printed books, and the best deal is when the two are combined.

For example, a book that costs $10 per page for a print edition would cost $11-$13 per page for print AND ePub AND Kindle editions. The exact price depends on factors such as complexity, graphics, and other variables.

A down payment of 50% of the total cost (based on an estimated page count derived from the number of words, images and other content) is required before work begins. When the book is finished, the total will be adjusted and a final invoice submitted. Until final payment is received, some pages will be watermarked and unusable for publication. Please don't take it personally: I have been burned in the past.

Cover design is separate from page design. Again, prices vary depending on what is required.

How much a given job costs depends on such factors as the overall complexity of the text and layout, the number of illustrations involved and the amount of work required to get them ready for publication, the size of the job, what I am delivering (printed book only or printed book and ebook), and other factors that vary from job to job.

Simple adjustments and repairs to graphic elements are generally included in the price of preparing the book. More involved work creating, modifying or repairing illustrations, photos, maps and other graphics is billed separately. Rates for such work start at $50 per hour, depending on the scope and complexity of the job. These costs can be minimized or eliminated by providing usable graphics meeting my (and the printer's) specifications. It is best, therefore, to discuss all graphics in advance and, if possible, to send samples before the job starts.

Please be sure that your text is completely edited and corrected BEFORE you send it to me! I'll be happy to fix a few typos or mistakes after the book is typeset, but if there are more than a few I will have to charge for the time involved, starting at $50/hour.

Any estimate, no matter how carefully calculated, is just that. Until I see the text and other components involved in the book, I can not give you an exact price for the job. Things such as footnotes and illustrations can make it difficult to estimate page counts, for example.

If your job is a poster, CD art, packaging, or something else that doesn't have pages, I will price the project as a whole, based on the estimated number of hours required to complete it.

I am not greedy. I will not charge extra for small tasks that crop up unexpectedly.

Some expenses (such as font and graphics purchases or shipping costs) must be billed to the client.

If you would like me to oversee the manufacturing of the book, I have relationships with several professional book manufacturers (NOT chain print shops, and not online print-on-demand sites). I will charge a modest additional fee for this service. As with everything else, please discuss it with me before the job starts.

Contact me to request a quote. The more information you can provide at the outset, the more accurate my estimate will be.