Defining Your Book Style

Congrats! You’re ready to make a book and have everything you need. It’s just that designing your masterpiece can seem daunting. It’s got to grab attention immediately. It’s got to be created with an audience in mind. And it has to support the story you are trying to tell. How do you make sure all that happens?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but let’s talk through what options you have and when you might decide to use them.

As an example, we’re going to take a look at a project by friends of ours called Chinatown Pretty. It celebrates the street style of seniors living (and grocery shopping) in San Francisco’s Chinatown. We’ll take a look at five different ways the book could be designed depending on what the creators want to accomplish. Can you tell we really want them to make a book?

Rest easy because all of the examples you’ll see are easily achievable using BookWright, our powerful (and free!) publishing software. Those familiar with Adobe® products may also want to check out the Blurb plug-in for Adobe® InDesign® or the Lightroom Book Module.

Photo Journal

 

Chinatown photo journal

Why It Works

Chinatown Pretty is accompanied by rich stories about its subjects and their encounters with the project creators. The photo journal is an excellent choice to divide equal real estate between the story and photography. It also lends itself to our Trade book format, an affordable bookstore-quality product, which makes it a great choice for those looking to sell their books.

Lookbook

 

Chinatown fashion lookbook

Why It Works

Chinatown Pretty is also interesting and eye-catching as a lookbook to place emphasis on the subject’s style and clothing. The creators have taken both portraits and tighter shots to show the detail of their subjects’ outfits, so they could opt for full-bleed photos or juxtapose the two.

Photos with captions

 

Chinatown photobook

Why It Works

A photographer may wish to capture their projects in a portfolio style book to showcase their best work and get more business. They can choose from larger volumes that make a statement or smaller, more affordable books that make great leave-behinds and speak louder than a business card.

Instant Book

chinatown instant photobook

Why It Works

Chinatown Pretty has an active Instagram account which can easily be leveraged to create a photo book in minutes. They could also make a book from Facebook photos to include selected photos, photo captions, and comments from their timeline.

Unique Styles

chinatown photobook unique styles

Why It Works

Chinatown Pretty may have a creative idea in which they want to present their project. For example, they may wish to concentrate even more on the articles of clothing their subjects wear. This could be done by contrasting a close up of a fabric with subsequent images zooming out to unveil the entire subject.

As you can see, there are a lot of ways to present the content of a book, no matter what the genre. And while there is no one correct choice, your purpose, audience, and personal preferences may dictate your final choice.

For more bookmaking inspiration be sure to check out the Staff Picks in our bookstore.

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