Monday, March 16, 2015

Interior Design for Book Nerds

I bet you thought this was going to be a post on how to make more bookshelves fit into your home decor, didn't you? No, this post is aimed at those who enjoy the details that go into the design of the interior of the book.

They can range from little artsy accents on the page numbers, all the way up to full-blown illustrations. I personally love all incarnations of art in written works, and believe they can enhance the experience for the reader. Here are a few examples from Honey Queen, by Christina Mercer:

You'll see there's a bee hovering at the page number in the bottom right corner, and here's a closeup of the chapter headings:

Christina includes titles for each of her chapters, and I think this sort of artwork is a great way to draw the reader's attention to each one, while also tying it in with previous chapters.

For Crow's Rest, I had already bought a bunch of vector artwork of crow silhouettes and wanted to sprinkle them throughout--fortunately, Errick A. Nunnally, who designed the interior layout, went along with it and I love how it turned out:

The title page

The top of each page corner features a tiny crow, and what else do you use for section breaks but a line of crow tracks?!?

These are the chapter numberings
I know of several other books that incorporate art this way, and I love how it becomes a unique part of each story. If you have a favorite book that uses interior art, please share in the comments below!


  1. Those are definitely nice touches inside your book. Love the chapter numberings. I have a self-published book I've been thinking of having reprinted with a different cover design, but now I think it should also have more interior design as well. I'm not exactly sure what a "vector artwork" is. Can you explain?

    1. Yes, Elizabeth--depending on when you self-published it previously, you may find there are also sorts of new options available for design and distribution now. I recommend checking out Indie-Visible's website--they have a list of editors and designers they've vetted.

      A vector artwork is saved in a different format than a regular image (i.e. jpeg), so that it can be resized without losing its sharpness. Especially with dark images like the silhouette of the crow, if you tried to make a small image larger, the edges would turn pixelated (that blocky look you sometimes see on the edges of illustrations).

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  4. I want to explore the different ways to number my books; and this gives me a good example.

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