Ciociaria – book cover proof

Douglas Stockdale Ciociaria, copyright 2011 Edizioni Punctum

The pace for my book design is beginning to accelerate. We are now working on a deadline for the book launch: FotoGrafia Internazionale Festival di Roma that opens September 23rd in Rome Italy.

One important aspect of the book design is the cover, in my case a combination of photograph, text, font style, font size, font color and the text’s location on the cover. For publishers, this is almost always their decision and in some cases, will listen to the photographer as to their thoughts on the publishers choice.

The key reason that this is the publisher’s decision is that the book cover is critical to marketing and selling the book; it is the first decision point for a book buyer. There is a strong desire that this cover will be more appealing than the competing books in the bookstore and on the web, and the book cover needs to intrigue the buyer’s interest to open and investigate the book, one step closer to the buying decision.

For me, I have a concern that the book’s cover will fully integrate with my vision of the book and be aesthetically complementary with my concept for this photo-project. I am also very fortunate to be able to have a say in the cover. While I was in Rome last week, I was able to discuss with Marco the four possible photographs that he was interested in for the book cover, which I posted about here. I think Marco made an excellent selection with this photograph. BTW, this cover photograph was a back-up option to another photograph that I had included in my book dummy, which interestingly did not make the final cut. So you could say that although I really like this photograph, it was off my radar as a possible book cover image when I flew to Rome.

While in Rome, Leonardo, the book designer has worked up at least six options, which he and Marco continued to tweak after I had left. Shortly after returning to my California studio, I received an email from Leonardo with the final two PDF options, both of the same photograph, but different font treatments in the same relative location. After a little back and forth, I made my recommendation (proof above) but with a slight location change of the text to raise it up a kernel or two, and to the left margin about the same couple of kernels to move parts of my name (the “gl” of my first name) away from a white area within the photograph. Hey, you gotta protect the “brand”, eh?

Now that I am getting very close to finalizing the book cover and having the book’s interior photographs selected, this is an opportune time to update my website (  for Ciociaria, which I just completed, here. So check it out and if you like what you see, don’t hesitate to tell your friends about this project and book. Thanks!!!

We now have established the book’s price, which in the USA will be $55.00. Hard cover, 97 pages and 50 color photographs, printed offset in Italy, the two essays texts in both English and Italian.

I am publishing the Limited Edition books, two print versions of 25 each plus 5 artist proofs (A/P), with a slip cover which will house the signed and numbered books and prints and sell for $250.00 (USD).

Oh, and this time, I will also publish how you can contact me to reserve either book: and for a pre-sell promotional deal, if you reserve now and I will pay the shipping cost!! (Make nice Christmas presents if I say so myself!)

Last point, after returning home and seeing the cover proof, I realized that the Madonna is appearing to gaze down on my book title and be directing the viewer to “look at this”. nice.

Best regards, Doug

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