Publishing FAQs: Book Covers

12 July 2017

The cover design for a new book is something I really enjoy working on, and it’s often one of the author’s favourite parts of the production process too. However, it’s not without its challenges, such as choosing a good image (particularly as a lot of the subjects of our books are quite abstract), and the cover design process can be an unfamiliar and daunting prospect for some of our authors. In this post, I answer some frequently asked questions about the book cover design process.

The series design for SLA is possible with or without an image

Will I be able to choose my own cover design?

We have standard designs for all our series, so the design itself will be predetermined, but this doesn’t mean that you won’t be involved in the rest of the process! There’s usually flexibility regarding colour and image, and even more scope for creativity if your work is out of series.

Do I have to have an image?

Not necessarily. Some of our series designs are possible both with and without an image, so you may be able to choose, depending on which series your book is in. If you opt for a cover without an image, you can still get involved in the design process by letting us know your preferred colour scheme. And if the series requires an image, we’re always happy to help you choose and source it.

The cover art for Wei Ye’s book was created specially by an artist she knows, Mu Zi

Will I be able to choose the cover image?

Yes! We like authors to have plenty of input when it comes to deciding on the image for the cover, as ultimately we want them to have something they’re happy with and can be proud of. We receive all sorts of different images, including photographs taken by the authors themselves, artwork commissioned specially for the cover, “word clouds” and more! We will do our best to accommodate your choice, although there are a few criteria it will need to meet…

Can I use this photo of people on a beach I took on holiday?

That depends – do you have permission from the people in the photo to use it for this purpose? If not, I’m afraid we won’t be able to put it on the cover. Furthermore, when submitting a photo as a cover image, you need to be careful not only of the people visible in the photo but also any logos or branding that are central to the image.

What about this drawing my child did?

Absolutely, providing it will work for the cover of an academic book and the image is of a high enough quality. Our designers need the image resolution to be at least 300 dpi for it to be usable, as lower resolution images will quickly become fuzzy once they’ve been enlarged to fit the cover. What looks good on screen may not come out as well when printed by a high-quality printer, so we have to check that the quality is sufficient.

A cover that uses a stock image

What if I don’t have an image of my own?

Not to worry – we regularly use stock image libraries like iStockphoto and Shutterstock to source images for our books, so we always encourage our authors to have a look through them when they have an idea in mind but no image of their own. The sheer amount of choice the image libraries offer can be quite overwhelming, and it can be a bit of a treasure hunt sifting through all the generic or staged images to find what you have in mind. However, they have an incredibly wide range of images available, and we’re sure to find the right one with enough digging!

An informal photo-shoot arranged by the editors

None of the stock images of children look natural, what can I do? 

You might be able to set up an informal photo shoot – perhaps you have young family members, friends or neighbours who’d love to feature on the cover of a book! We can provide a template letter of permission for you to give to parents or guardians to sign and are always happy to give the models a copy of the printed book in thanks.

 

Flo


A visit to one of our printers, CPI

27 June 2017

This post was written by our intern, Alice, who recently joined Sarah and Flo on a trip to one of our printers, CPI, to learn more about the publishing industry as a whole.

Last week Sarah, Flo and I met at the train station, ready for a day trip to one of our printers, CPI. We got the train to Chippenham, so the journey wasn’t too long, and were kindly collected from the station by James, who Channel View has been working with for about 10 years. James drove us over to CPI’s Melksham factory, which is one of 17 factories spread over 7 different countries.

Sarah, Flo, Alice and James with the inkjet printer

Firstly, we sat down for a brief overview of the printing process and how their printers work. It was great to get a detailed description of the difference between printers and James showed us examples of what they can do, as well as giving us a mini presentation. After tea and a chat, we left the office to see first-hand what goes on in the factory. We began our tour with the plain paper rolls, ready to go – these are huge and fill a large portion of the first factory room, so we were very surprised when James told us how quickly they get through them! The rolls are then set up on the printer, which they go through at an overwhelming speed. The inkjet machine prints an entire book at a time, one after the other, on the roll. Once the paper has the text printed on it, it is then folded into its book form. It was amazing seeing how precise and fast the machines were – little need for human hands! The books are then glued and bound, before being trimmed to size. If it is a hardback book, it then carries on to a final stage where the cover is added and, if necessary, a jacket is added as well. It was all very exciting – thanks to everyone in the factory for letting us be nosy!

After the grand tour, we collected our account manager, Katie, from the office. We then all drove to Lacock, an amazing village owned by the National Trust, where we had a wonderful lunch and more of a catch up. There was just time for an ice cream (it was a very hot day!) before heading back to Bristol. It was overall a great trip and so interesting to get an insight into the journey our books go on before they arrive at the office.

Alice


Channel View Team at London Book Fair 2017

11 April 2017

Last month Sarah and Flo popped down to London for the day for the London Book Fair at Olympia. It’s always a good chance to meet and catch up with all our publishing contacts in one place and we see everyone from reps and ebook providers to distributors and designers.

Flo at London Book Fair 2017

After a pretty civilised 11am arrival, we had a bit of time to wander around and acclimatise to the hustle and bustle before meeting our UK distributor, NBNi. After a quick catch-up with Juliette Teague and Matt Devereux, there was time to grab some lunch before our meeting with Kelvin van Hasselt, our rep for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.

Covers designed by Latte Goldstein at riverdesign

After our appointment with Kelvin, we were due to meet our new book cover designer, Latte Goldstein from riverdesign. After some confusion and a couple of incidents of walking past each other (it’s surprisingly difficult to get a proper look at people’s name badges!), we eventually managed to meet up and had a useful discussion about the current projects he’s working on for us. We now have two books in the pipeline whose covers have been designed by Latte, International Student Engagement in Higher Education by Margaret Kettle and Early Language Learning edited by Janet Enever and Eva Lindgren.

In the afternoon Flo went off to explore while Sarah had a meeting with Darren Ryan, the CEO of one of our suppliers for copy-editing and typesetting, Deanta Global. Darren was showcasing DeantaSource, their web-based project management portal, where authors can login and make corrections to the proof file. Another meeting followed with James Powell of ProQuest, one of the library ebook aggregators we distribute ebooks to. James was very happy that our ebooks are often distributed before the print book is available.

We then came back together for a meeting with Andrea Jacobs from our US distributor, NBN. It was nice to be able to put a face to a name you email on a regular basis and we had a good chat about our experience of moving over to a new distributor.

Our dedicated and diligent Production Manager

With all our meetings over, we went to the IPG drinks reception where we fought our way through the crowds to the stand of our database provider, Stison, to have a quick catch-up with them and take advantage of a great photo opportunity (see right!). When the drinks had run out, there was just time for dinner with one of our printers, CPI, before we caught the train back to Bristol. We look forward to seeing everyone again at London Book Fair 2018!


The Life of a Book – Post-production!

27 May 2016
Laura showing off some newly arrived books

Laura showing off some newly arrived books

Arguably the most exciting days in our office are the days when new books arrive. We love receiving such packages from the printer and having the final product in our hands, and we’re sure that our authors feel a sense of joy and achievement on receiving their copies. To some, this is seen as the end of a journey – the editorial and production work has been successfully completed and the job of publishing the work is done. But as a publisher, we’d be pretty useless if we saw this as the time to stop working with a book. In fact, for us in the marketing department, this is our moment to shine!

Elinor and I will have been busy in the run-up to publication setting things up ready for the book’s publication. This means that we will already have let all our distributors, wholesalers and sales reps know that the book is on its way; we will have ensured that the book has a complete listing on our website; and we will have provided the author with marketing materials, such as information sheets and discount flyers for them to give to any interested potential readers.

The ground has then been properly laid for us to start the immediate marketing of a book on publication. We announce that the work has been published to as many people as possible. We inform all industry members, such as wholesalers and sales reps, that the work is now available for their customers and try and reach as many customers as possible directly. This might be done by posting on listservs, such as Linguist List (Multilingual Matters titles) and Trinet (Channel View Publications titles), sending a newsletter to our email subscribers, sharing the news with our Facebook and Twitter followers and informing journal book reviews editors and authors of related blogs, for example.

All our new books are available simultaneously as print and ebooks, so there is also work to be done to get news of the ebook out. Sarah, our production manager, ensures that the book is available to purchase on a variety of platforms, and we ensure that it is also available on our own website. At this stage we also start to send out inspection/desk copies to those who have requested one from our website and we give the option of an ebook rather than a print copy. This means that course leaders get the text immediately and can start considering it for adoption on a course much quicker than the traditional way.

Anna and Tommi promoting our books at AAAL earlier this year

Anna and Tommi promoting our books at the AAAL conference earlier this year

Once the initial marketing has been completed and the buzz may have quietened down, we continue to publicise the work through other avenues. Common ways of doing so are through our catalogue mailings, and additional flyers and materials we produce for our sales reps, series editors and authors to distribute. We also attend many conferences throughout the year and always have lots of our recent and relevant titles with us on display. On occasions when we can’t attend an event in person we frequently send display copies and discount order forms to continue to make potential readers aware of our books.

When a book reaches 6 months old we review its progress at an editorial meeting. We look at the sales figures and discuss how its early sales are looking. This is a useful stage to review a title as it is still young enough to be of interest to booksellers and so we give a title a marketing boost if we feel that we may have missed an opportunity. This is the time when we start to see the very first reviews of a book appear in journals and these continue to appear over the course of the next few years.

On a book’s first birthday we again review its progress and might even start to think about reprinting copies of the work if it has been particularly successful. We monitor our stock levels each month so we try and ensure that we are on top of demand and that a book is always available, but occasionally we’ll receive an unexpected order, perhaps if it is suddenly adopted for a course and we receive a bulk order from a university bookshop preparing for the start of a semester.

Chinese translations of several books from our Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education series

Chinese translations of several books from our Languages for Intercultural Communication and Education series

We continue to monitor sales annually and promote the book when appropriate for as long as there is demand for it – often for many years after publication. Occasionally a book will receive additional attention, such as from a foreign publisher wishing to buy the rights to translate it into a foreign language. This is a really exciting time and such news is always greeted enthusiastically both in our office and by an author who is usually chuffed to hear that their work is to be translated and published for a new audience. We have recently sold our books for publication into languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Bahasa Melayu, Arabic, Korean, Macedonian and Greek. Of course at this point, the book gets a second lease of life and it’s down to the foreign publisher to repeat the life cycle of a book as outlined in this post!

Laura


Getting to know the Channel View team: Sarah

12 November 2015

Sarah is our Production Manager and has been with the company for well over a decade. She is in charge of producing all our new books; this means that every author who publishes with us works together with Sarah at some point during the publication of their work, that’s quite a claim! People who work with Sarah may have noticed that she’s an early bird and is often the first into the office in the morning and busy replying to emails even before the rest of us are out of bed! In this post we’ll be getting to know our early riser better!

Aside from the lure of the office(!), is it the thought of breakfast, coffee or the sports news that will get you up early in the morning?

Definitely breakfast – cereal is always exciting (Frosties are currently my cereal of choice). I do love my Sky Sports News morning bulletin but it’s very dependent on the previous day’s results as to whether it gets me out of bed early!

Sarah at Wembley

Sarah at Wembley

Yum, I’m a cereal person too! So, are there any sports or clubs in particular that you listen out for on the sports news?

Huge football fan – Manchester United and Bristol City. United not playing amazingly well this season (or last!) but after 20-odd years of success I can’t really complain. At least Bristol City got promoted last season which is very exciting as the stadium is about 10 mins from my house so I was able to hear a lot of distant cheering last winter! I also love cricket but following England can be a bit of a downer – at least we can beat Scotland!

Yes, as a sports fan I guess you have to deal with mixed successes! You must have been to lots of sports grounds in the UK, but have you been to any stadia abroad, any particular highlight?

I’ve been to watch cricket in a few different places – Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa. Think my favourite ground has to be the MCG in Melbourne – just so big and a great atmosphere! But Newlands in Cape Town was pretty amazing too with the backdrop of Table Mountain. I’ve also been to Yankee Stadium in NY and saw the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in September.

Wow, you really are a well-travelled sports fan! When you’re not spectating sports, do you also like to play them, or what are your other favourite ways to spend your free time?

I’ve been playing ladies cricket for past few summers which I’m really enjoying – last summer I played for a men’s team which was a little scary but also a lot of fun – managed to get a few wickets and catches! Apart from doing the Bristol 10k every year with my lovely colleagues I have to confess to being a bit of a recliner-in-front-of-the-tv slob!

Good for you – show the men how it’s done! There’s nothing wrong with an evening in front of the television. Aside from watching sports (!), are there any programmes or series that you rate as “not to be missed”?

So true. I am a sappily huge fan of Downton Abbey – Scandal, Supernatural and Parks & Recreation among my other faves! I also have a cross-trainer next to my TV which I sometimes gaze at in contemplation of future exercise. One day it will happen.

Nice selection. Ok, now it’s time for the curveball final question! If you could have a super power, what would it be and why?!

Hmm, I’d have to go for super speed like The Flash – you could get all your work and household chores done in no time!

Good choice, I love that idea! Just a few more questions and then you’re done:

Ice cream or yogurt? Ice cream – always go for the unhealthy option!

Mountains or beach? Beach! I come from a seaside town so it has to be beach every time.

BBQ or picnic? Hmm, as I usually spend at least a couple of weeks in Australia every year I’ll have to go for the barbie option!! And they smell good.

Comedy or drama? This is tricky, probably lean more towards comedy in general.

Football or cricket? So tough! Football just shades it – I think I like cricket better in the cricket season but I know I love football the best when it returns!!

Facebook or Twitter? I have different answers for these depending on what kind of mood I’m in! Currently it would have to be Facebook.

Thanks Sarah. There’s still a few more posts about the team to come so keep an eye out for them!


From Word file to printer’s file: Copy-editing, typesetting, proofreading

20 May 2015

There are many people who are part of the publication process other than the Channel View team themselves. Ralph Footring is one of these, providing key copyediting, typesetting and proofreading services for many of our books. In this post, he explains what his job involves and why his services are so important.

I am one of Channel View Publications’ suppliers. I take an author’s Word file for a book and give the publisher a file to hand over to the printer. In between, there is the copy-editing, dealing with author queries, setting up the book’s fonts and page layout, typesetting, sending out proofs, taking in corrections and doing some final checks.

Ralph at work

Ralph at work

Why not just send the author’s Word file to the printer? It can be done and is much cheaper, but it is difficult to get good-looking pages out of Word. Most authors set their files up for A4, which isn’t a good size for a book. And authors do make mistakes – spelling, grammar and some of a more general nature (the name of the guitarist and songwriter for The Who is Pete Townshend, with an ‘h’). I once worked for a publisher who used authors’ print-outs to produce short-run books that wouldn’t have been published at all otherwise. At first, they didn’t trouble to have anyone read through the typescript, but then they produced one too many books with a missing page. Once someone is turning over the pages to make sure they are all there, they might as well look to see if a diagram is there if one is referred to in the text. And does that diagram show what the text says it shows? And then you are slipping into copy-editing.

Needless to say, I think copy-editing is a vital part of the publishing process.

A couple of recent books that Ralph has worked on.

A couple of recent books that Ralph has worked on.

That sentence might set my stall out. Do I delete ‘Needless to say’ (it isn’t needless to say it) or the whole sentence (because it is needless)? But if it’s not my own text, what am I doing interfering with it all? And what about ‘set my stall out’? If a book is intended for a readership that will likely include a lot of people whose first language is not English, there would be a good argument to avoid such idioms, and it might be better phrased as ‘make my position clear’. And what about beginning a sentence with ‘And’? Perhaps with spelling we are on safer ground, but that leads on to a question of consistency. It seems undeniably better not to mix -ize spellings and -ise spellings (sometimes ‘recognize’, sometimes ‘recognise’), but what about ‘though’ and ‘although’? Is it really only cramping an author’s style to insist that only one is used throughout a text?  Most authors seem grateful to have someone read their work carefully, to check that the references are all there and that they haven’t made spelling mistakes and grammatical slips, and perhaps that what they have written makes sense, if it’s done respectfully and without undue interference.

Larger publishers tend to have rather rigid production processes, and it is hard to cross the boundaries between the editorial department (copy-editing) and the production department (design, typesetting, proofs). I like working for smaller publishers like Channel View Publications who can look at each book as an individual project.

My production process usually looks like this: copy-edit in Word, with ‘track changes’ on and author queries raised in ‘comment’ notes; send file to author for review of copy-editing and to answer queries; get file back from author, make any further changes (in response to queries and so on) and tidy it up; import the text file into the typesetting software (Adobe’s InDesign is pretty much the industry standard); place the text onto the page template and assign all the correct styles (chapter heading, sub-head, sub-sub-head, body text, and so on); produce proofs; take in corrections; produce the ‘press ready’ pdf file for the printer. The job satisfaction is in seeing it through from beginning to end. After many years, I still get a thrill opening a new book and thinking I’ve been part of the process.

For more information about Ralph and the services he offers please take a look at his website.


Designing book covers

31 March 2015

The book cover design process is one of the parts of production that usually gets our authors excited and I really enjoy working with them, together with Sarah (our production manager) and our external designers on the covers.

We start designing the covers right at the beginning of the production process, as soon as the book has been approved for publication in fact. The reason for this is that we like to get the blurbs and design confirmed early so that we can start using them in our marketing materials.

TCC booksEach book series has a standard series design and each book in the series must have a cover which conforms to this design. This gives the series a strong identity and makes our books easily recognisable. Anyone who has several of our books on a similar topic on their bookcase will soon see how similar the spines are! This conformity does not restrict the process however, and there is still plenty of opportunity for some creativity and fun during the design process!

Most of our series allow for a cover with or without an image and we give our authors the choice between having an image or a plain cover. Some authors opt to have a cover with no image as it can be hard to find an image which effectively sums up the contents of the book. In this case we at least give them a say in the colours we use!

Tourism and HumourOther authors are keen to have an image and we always make sure that they are then involved in deciding the artwork. Over the years that I have been doing covers we have been provided with all sorts of pictures, ranging from photographs taken by authors themselves to sketches done by a child of an editor to artwork created by the subjects of the book’s study, and everything in between! Where possible we try and use the authors’ first choice of artwork, but there are occasions when this is not possible, perhaps when permission can’t be secured from the copyright holder or the subjects of the image or a high resolution file can’t be obtained.

Teachers as Mediators in the Foreign Language ClassroomWhen authors want an image but don’t have one themselves I usually help them search image libraries for suitable artwork. Browsing image libraries can be quite fun and the wide range of images available is incredible. However, searching image libraries can also be quite stressful! This is because we sometimes struggle to find an image that looks natural and not too staged or because we have a clear picture in our mind of exactly what we want but simply can’t find it. On one occasion I actually went out with my own camera and set up the photo that was used on the cover!

Once the image has been chosen our designer draws up a proof, selecting colours which match the artwork or those that the author has suggested. The proof is then sent to the authors for checking and revisions are made before the cover is checked again. The front cover is then made into a jpg and we send it off to retailers and bibliographic databases as well as uploading it to our website.

Tommi with our beautiful display of books at a conference

Tommi with our beautiful display of books at a conference

At this stage the back cover doesn’t have any reviews on it, as these are requested at the time that the design process is started and we usually give people a couple of months to read a manuscript and provide an endorsement. Once the quotes are received they are then added to the back cover and then the whole cover is checked by the authors, Sarah and me; and then finalised for print. The most rewarding part of the process for both us and the authors is, of course, finally receiving the printed copy of the book. People often come by our stand at conferences and tell us how colourful and attractive our books are, and that really makes our day!

Laura


Frankfurt Book Fair 2013

30 October 2013
Sarah, Laura and Tommi on the ferry to the Netherlands

Sarah, Laura and Tommi on the ferry to the Netherlands

For many people in the book trade, October is almost synonymous with the Frankfurt Book Fair and it is no different for Channel View/Multilingual Matters.  For us, the only change this year was that Tommi, Sarah and I decided that we would drive to the fair as we wanted to see some of Europe, rather than fly straight to Germany as usual.  On our way to Germany we visited the site of the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium and had lunch in Luxembourg City before finally arriving in Boppard, a small town approximately 75 miles west of Frankfurt where we stayed a couple of nights.

The view towards the Moselle from our hike

The view towards the Moselle from our hike

We spent a day hiking in the hills between the Moselle and Rhine Valleys which was beautiful, especially as the trees were just beginning to change colour.  We walked about 12 miles and although Tommi had sensibly chosen paths that were mainly downhill (!) Sarah and I were still extremely tired afterwards – perhaps not the best preparation for a busy week of work!  It took a traditional German dinner, good night’s sleep and excellent breakfast before we’d recovered enough to drive across to Frankfurt where we met Elinor ready for the start of the book fair.

Laura, Elinor and Sarah having lunch at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Laura, Elinor and Sarah having lunch at the Frankfurt Book Fair

The fair provides us with an annual opportunity to meet and discuss business with others working in the industry.  Tommi and Elinor meet with our sales reps who sell our books in less directly accessible markets, such as India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia and distributors and wholesalers who make sure that our books get to our customers, and that our customers know of our books.  Sarah meets with those involved in the production side of the industry, such as printers and typesetters, as well as an increasing number of people working on digital projects who she may collaborate with on ebooks and related matter.  Finally, I meet with representatives from foreign publishing houses who are interested in buying the translation rights to our titles for publication in languages other than English.

In between meetings we nibbled our usual selection of German snacks (we’re big fans of Rittersport and Gummi bears) and made the most of the sausages and schnitzel available for lunch!  We spent the evenings sampling yet more traditional German food and we enjoyed the annual drinks reception held by the Independent Publishers Guild, which we are members of.  As ever, we made the most of the opportunities that the fair offers us to meet colleagues from around the world; talk about what’s happening in the industry and discuss future projects and partnerships.  We have all made it safely back to the office and it won’t be long before it’s time to think about next year’s trip!

Laura


A day in the life of an intern

14 March 2013
Tom hard at work

Tom hard at work

Our current intern Thomas Williams tells us a bit about what the position involves…

As I’d been interested in a career in academic publishing, last year whilst at university I emailed Tommi, the Managing Director, about any possible work experience. Whilst at the time they weren’t able to offer a placement, they did invite me over for an afternoon in the office to sit in on an editorial meeting, which was really interesting.

A few months later I received an email from Tommi about an internship here – which I decided to apply for.

Before I began, I thought ‘intern’ was a euphemism for ‘person who makes coffee and shuffles paper around’. But that was wrong (because everyone here prefers to drink tea and most documents are on the computer system). Sure, it is mainly administrative, but then there is a lot of admin in publishing!

Day-to-day I deal with incoming emails and post, keep the in-house database up to date, process royalty payments and liaise with referees for the manuscript review process.

I’m not stuck doing the same repetitive tasks every day. As a small company, I’ve had a chance to undertake tasks in or shadow pretty much every aspect of publishing: the commissioning and editorial stages, production, marketing, permissions, foreign rights and getting involved in the weekly editorial meetings.

Channel View Publications has been a great company to work with, and I’ve had a great time working with Tommi, Sarah, Anna, Elinor and Laura. I genuinely look forward to Monday mornings here, which I think says a lot! The last two months here has flown by.

So, what next? I know I’d like to pursue a career in academic publishing, but I have no set plans exactly where I want to go. I’ll just keep my eye out for another exciting job somewhere. But I’ve had a great time here, and gained a lot of experience in a lot of different aspects of publishing – so I guess I’ve got a good start!

If you’re interested in applying for an internship here, keep an eye out on the careers page, which is updated from time to time with any new opportunities.


Ebooks and CoreSource

30 August 2012

MM/CVP have partnered with CoreSource to ensure you get our ebooks faster! CoreSource is Ingram’s digital asset management and distribution (DAM/DAD) service which saves a lot of my valuable-Production-Manager-time in sending metadata and files to each of the platforms/sites we sell our ebooks from.

Our ebooks are now available from 18 different vendors including Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Nook by Barnes & Noble, Kobo, eBooks.com, and for libraries EBL, ebrary, EBSCOhost, DawsonEra and MyiLibrary. Our chapters are available to purchase for use in course packs at AcademicPub – we now have chapters for over 150 titles available so go and visit!

Often ebooks can be purchased before they’re available in print so do look out for them if you can’t wait to read one of our many fascinating titles!

For more information on our ebooks please visit the ebooks page on our website or if you have any queries please email info@channelviewpublications.com.


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