1. How would you describe your role at Tellwell?
As a graphic designer, I design books. It’s really that simple. I lay out covers, format manuscripts, prepare files for our printer, and finally convert the files to eBooks. I also help the design team stay on top of technology and best practices in design.
2. What’s your favourite part of the job?
Taking our authors’ initial ideas or concepts, and creating something that they love. When I hear an author is ecstatic with their cover design or book layout, that’s the best part of my day.
3. What do think is the most important aspect of an author’s cover design?
Grabbing your audience’s attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s done through amazing typography or stunning images or dynamic use of colour; the important part is to know your specific target audience so you can get potential readers past the cover and into your book.
4. What are some tips you have for authors when it comes to cover and interior design?
Look at other books in your genre and let us know the ones that really speak to you. As a designer, I’m slightly more of a visual person. Seeing what you love helps me create something you will love.
5. What is your favourite type of book to design and why?
That is a hard question to answer. I absolutely love the variety of books I design. I can go from an illustrated kids’ book, to a 400-page fantasy novel, to a text book in a single week, so it’s really hard to select just one type of book. But I do have a knack for complex interior layouts. The challenge they present makes them fun. Frustrating sometimes… but fun!
6. What was the most gratifying project you’ve worked on at Tellwell and why?
It’s impossible to pick just one; that’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child. I have a new favourite from week to week, and it’s usually for different reasons. Sometimes it’s a great cover concept. Sometimes it’s because I got to try a new style. Recently, it was S. A. Reilly’s book, Crash and Burn, because she came in knowing what kind of style she wanted, yet was open to suggestions on the actual visual. With her cover, I also had some fun with the Photoshop techniques I used.
7. What got you interested in designing books?
I wanted to be a writer. I was terrible at writing. (Someone else will be editing these answers to make sure they’re coherent.) But what I loved about the idea of writing was the act of creating little worlds. As I always had an aptitude for design, I came to realize I could still help create these worlds, just in a different way.
8. What did you do before Tellwell?
Before Tellwell, I designed books. I worked as a freelancer for seven years specializing in page and book design, so Tellwell was the absolute perfect fit for me.
9. What do you like to read?
Post-apocalyptic science fiction. I’m not sure where my draw to dystopian fiction comes from, but I love it.
10. What do you do in your spare time?
I’m a bit of a geek and tend to pick up new hobbies every six months or so. I love to cook, I play video games, I curl, I watch a ton of Netflix, and on very rare occasions, I even read books.