From the Desk of Tony Laidig...
re: Is Your Book DOA?
In 1993 I began working for a major Christian Book Publisher as their head of book design. The PROBLEM was that I had never designed any books, much less magazines, ads or anything else that was now my responsibility. While I appreciated their faith in me, this was NOT a “fake it until you make it” scenario. Being self-taught, I discovered something VERY quickly about my design abilities...they sucked! Big time!
In hindsight I feel bad for the authors of those first designs I created. As I continued to design, I got better. I figured out what worked and what didn't, and it certainly wasn't without growing pains...LOTS of growing pains. To date I've designed around 600 book covers and hundreds of book interiors as well.
Over the course of my career (now over 25 years) I've seen some great design, but MUCH more bad design. And with the advent of self-publishing, certainly more bad than good. It's not that self-published authors can't produce good designs, it's that, very often, they're missing some basic fundamentals that would take their books from horrible to spectacular!