The details are not the details. They make the design.
Ray & Charles Eames
Because we deal directly with authors and publishers we can keep our prices low. Whatever your budget, you should be able to access our services
We put the needs of our clients first. Our standards are high, and whatever package you choose we guarantee the same level of quality and commitment
Our mission: ‘It’s not good enough to follow conventional methods of design. It is essential to invent & evolve new methods & new ideas’ (R.G. Mitchell)
Over 25 Years Experience
Our team are all highly qualified professionals, with over 25 years of combined publishing experience as graphic designers, writers, and editors
Our Design Services
Even though we are told to never judge a book by its cover, the truth is that everybody does. The immediate visual appearance of a book is hugely important, and market surveys show repeatedly that purchasing choices are influenced more by cover than by the name of the publisher. Individual authors and small publishers often do it themselves, but having Photoshop on the Mac does not make you a graphic designer. Commissioning a cover costs less than you think, and at Green Door it’s never been easier to get your book (or e-book) cover designed to suit your budget and look professional and sleek. Since the e-book revolution, book publication has soared internationally, with an estimated 450,000 books going into print in some form in the UK and US every year, which means your book needs to stand out. In this Darwinian marketplace an amateur cover can kill an otherwise brilliant book. Green Door offers a series of design packages to suit your budget, with the number of design choices increasing with each price band, from two draft designs in the ‘Basic’ package to eight in the ‘Premium.’ But whichever option you choose, rest assured that you will receive the same level of professionalism and quality. Our Senior Designer liaises with authors and/or publishers in person, working with you to develop your vision into an effective and stylish design concept.
Every cover uses stock imagery unless it is purely typographical, or the image is an art print, custom illustration or painting. Stock imagery is visual material – such as photographs and original artwork – that is licensed for specific uses in publishing. Some stock imagery is free, but the good stuff has to be purchased. Green Door has a variety of accounts to ensure you get what you want, and will help you to find the right stock imagery for your project. Each of our design packages has a set number of stock images included in the cost, but any of the packages can be upgraded to use more for a small fee. We do not trade in stock imagery ourselves, or impose any brokering or handling charges. We ask only that if our clients require stock imagery outside that included in our package then they cover the charge themselves.
Authors of history and historical novels, in particular, often request a painting, a detail of a painting, or a montage of several paintings from the period in which their book is set. Although a lot of pre-twentieth century art is in the public domain and thus free to use, the quality of the accessible images is often very low and therefore a print is required. The standard package is recommended to authors who require an art print, as the cost of the print is covered by our fee. The basic package can, however, also be adapted for a small increase in price.
Green Door works with a number of notable artists and illustrators, and if you would like to commission an original painting or illustration for your cover we will do our best to find the right artist for your book. There will be a separate fee agreed with the artist in question for this service, and this will differ from artist to artist depending on the individual commission. A high quality digital copy will be provided for your book, while the original will remain with the artist unless a purchase agreement is made (unless the ‘original’ is a digital illustration rather than a physical drawing or painting) – such purchasing agreements are nothing to do with us, and we do not expect to gain financially from any such transaction between author and artist. If you are using your own artist, we ask only that you provide us with a high resolution scan of the image with which to work and a licensing agreement that gives you permission to use the artwork. Please view our Terms & Conditions and FAQs for more information.
Green Door has a large collection of different fonts to use for design purposes at no additional cost to the client. Like stock imagery, however, some covers require fonts that need to be purchased from outside Green Door. As with covers using art prints, the standard package is recommended in this case, although the basic package can, as ever, be adapted with a small increase in fee.
Since the advent of tablets and the meteoric rise of the Amazon Kindle, the electronic book is as significant, if not more so, as its traditionally paper published counterpart. As it becomes increasingly difficult for new or early-career authors to get a literary agent or a mainstream publisher, the e-book format is also the fastest way to reach a wide audience by publishing it yourself. E-book formats vary across different devices, and, as with covers, there are many disadvantages to doing it yourself. Here at Green Door we can inexpensively convert your manuscript to any number of e-book formats, including Kindle, such as: epub, pdf, mobi, and many more (please see FAQs for a full list). Not only do we convert, but we set up your e-book to have an interactive contents page, and we can even include illustrations and tables, foot or endnotes, appendices, and bibliographies. Why worry about e-book software and formatting – let us take the pressure off while you join the digital publishing revolution. We are happy to simply convert your manuscript, by the way, but we recommend that you combine the e-book conversion service with our standard page layout and typesetting service to ensure that your e-book looks as professional as the ones put out by mainstream publishers.
Typesetting & Layout
Whether on paper or a screen, the printed page – the so-called ‘graphic surface of the text’ – should be a comfortable space in which your reader can become completely lost: entertaining, edifying, and easy on the eye. There is more to this than default settings, with different types of publication suiting particular presentational styles. We will take your manuscript and make it look professional and unique, while you maintain full control of content and the end product. Typesetting and layout includes the following typographical features: font style and size, leading, content, front matter, chapter breaks, index, footnotes, glossary, and any graphs, glyphs, diagrams or imagery that may be required; in the case of book blocking (where a manuscript is prepared for paper publication), the page size is also a factor. For more complicated projects, such as Art Books and Graphic Novels, we can also work side by side with the author, artist or creative team, either by brief or from a blank canvas, to create the perfect showcase for the work. Green Door always ensures that all our clients are as involved as they want to be, which could be very little, or every step of the way. This is your project; our job is to listen, understand and facilitate.
Websites, Marketing & Promotion
In most cases, small, independent and self-publishers will not have the backing of an art or marketing department. Let us help. Green Door can provide you with promotional material, such as advertisement, posters, press packs, and leaflets for digital and print media. We can also help authors and companies set up stylish and easy to use websites and blogs, and help you make the most of social media as a promotional tool, with practical help to raise your online profile. Love it or hate it, you need to embrace social media, and if you’re unsure of Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and all the rest, don’t let this be a barrier to success. It’s easier and less annoying than it looks, and once we get you started you’ll be tweeting like Stephen Fry in no time. All of these services are available individually.
Red Room: New Short Stories Inspired by the Brontës
I really wanted Red Room: New Short Stories Inspired by the Brontës to be as engaging and intriguing on the outside as I hoped it was going to be on the inside. Green Door’s ideas for the cover included having a design that mimicked the way Victorians – and, therefore, the Brontës – used paper. As paper was a precious commodity at the time, people would work their way down the page, then turn the paper 90 degrees and continue writing – creating a beautiful quilted effect. They suggested including extracts from the book as well as some of the contributors’ names, writing everything in a font inspired by Charlotte Brontë’s handwriting...
...I thought it was a brilliant idea and when they sent their design through soon after I was thrilled with it. It’s eye catching and clever and I think it’s the perfect cover for the book...I’ve had lots of very nice comments from readers saying how much theylove it and how beautiful it is. Not only does Green Door have great ideas, they are also very professional, efficient and lovely to deal with. I highly recommend them.
– A.J. Ashworth, Editor of Red Room: New Short Stories Inspired by the Brontës
Why Choose Green Door
Even though the digital self-publishing revolution has given authors control of the means of production, consumers expect a book to look good as well as read well. While the majority of readers do not care who publishes what, they can immediately tell the difference between a professional publication and something homemade. Do not do it yourself. A weak cover and poor page layout can kill a brilliant novel. With the success of Amazon Kindle, meanwhile, there has been a positively parasitic proliferation of ‘author solutions’ companies. These will throw your book together for a fee, often contracting out to students and freelancers with little industry experience. Green Door is not one of these companies. Our team has a long record of excellence in book design, editing, and publishing, and we are affiliated with some notable publishers, consultancies, and academic creative writing programmes. We understand your needs because we are writers ourselves, and we have a life-long passion for good literature and innovative and professional book design.
Related Blog Post
By Gracie Carver, Senior Designer
People always say that you should never judge a book by its cover, but actually they do. The cover of a book is the first thing that catches the eye (and you want this to be because it is gorgeous rather than a disaster); the potential reader will then look at your ‘blurb’ – or to be fancy, your ‘jacket copy’ – and at this point a decision to buy it will hopefully happen. Market surveys show repeatedly that purchasing choices are influenced more by cover than by the name of the publisher. Although I do work with small to medium sized publishing houses, most of my commissions come from authors choosing to self-publish, which, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle, is now a credible and accessible path to take for new and early-career authors…