wrt fall 2011 final book design assignment

Assignment Overview

The book proofs are in and we can now hold in our hands the book that we’ve been working so hard on this semester. And though there is much to be proud of, they, like all books in the proofing stage, have significant issues that need to be addressed. We also need to add the information that is required by Composing with Images (logos, back page info, copyright page info, and so on) as well as the ISBN, LCCN, barcode, and if you have them, flap information. Accomplishing all of these is the goal of the final design assignment.

Assignment Documents and Info

CWiP Logo
(right click to download)

American Typewriter Font
If you do not already have it, download and install the American Typewriter font (.tt version, .dfont version) font on your computer before opening Blurb. See the FAQs on this page for instructions on how to install fonts.

Book ISBN Numbers
(copy number exactly)
CDF: 978-0-9835286-5-4
GLSEN: 978-0-9835286-6-1
MOD: 978-0-9835286-3-0
OH: 978-0-9835286-4-7
WCS: 978-0-9835286-7-8

Book Library of Congress Control Numbers
(copy number exactly)
CDF: 2011944468
GLSEN: 2011944469
MOD: 2011944466
OH: 2011944525
WCS: 2011944470

Book Barcodes
(See Dropbox folder by Thursday 12/8)

Assignment Specifics

One of the most difficult things to do with book design is to be able to separate yourself from the work that is in front of you—work that you spent hours creating—and critique it as if you were an external viewer. To do this, you must think not in terms of yourself or your work (or all the other work you have to do in the next week or so in other classes and finals and all the other stuff that is going on). Rather, you must consider the book an external object completely divorced from you, one that you pick up on a shelf, raise your nose at, and say, “Eh. Really?” And then put down and walk away. We must adopt this persona because that is what customers are going to do 9 out of 10 times—even with the most beautiful book in the world. If people didn’t do that then all books would be mega-bestsellers.

To do this, we must think with the eye and mind and aesthetic of a designer. Everything—every font choice, every layout choice, every order of content choice, every single thing—in your book should be open and able to be revised. It will be important to look at the big and the little things. To, for example, look not only at the font itself, but the positioning of the text on the page, the spacing between other objects on the page, the size of the font, and so on. If there are remix images that you thought would work but don’t, cut them out. Whatever makes the book better, that is what should be done.

To begin to address the revisions, I’d like each member of your group to begin commenting and suggesting ideas in their version of the using a colored pen. Do this alone, without any other group member with you. Red works best for this kind of work if you have one. (If your pages are black, you’ll have to find some sort of solution.) Draw arrows and base lines noting where to move something. Cross out text that should be deleted. Note what font size you think will be better. Write questions, concerns, thoughts, suggestions on every single page. Think about reordering the pages. This work is standard practice and must be done in order ensure that you are designing the best book you can (I will be collecting your marked-upon proofs). For some examples, here are some notations I made to the proof of Play!:

photo of corrections to Play

Once everyone has marked-up their proof copies, talk about your thoughts as a group, and then begin revising.

The Next Important Step
Upgrade your copy of Blurb BookSmart. The new version is much more stable than the prior version and integrates better with the software that converts the book. It also has cover and back cover trim guides, which were very much needed.

The Front Cover
The front cover is your book’s greeting to the world. It will, in most respects, determine whether someone will want to look at the book. Make it unique. Make it perfect. The font, the image, the position, of all the components must be perfect.

Include Edited by without a comma or a colon. Then list each group member’s name in alphabetical order by last name. Add a comma after each name, including the second-to-last name before the “and.” Do not add a period at the end. Make sure that none of the names are split in half via a line break. The byline is an important visual component of the page, as well, so it should be aesthetically pleasing.

The Inside Flap (if your book has one)
Screen shot 2011-12-05 at 12.42.15 PMAll Blurb cover dust jacket layouts have spaces on the front and back flap to include an image and a bit of text. The front flap should include:

  • You may add an image if you’d like.
  • Paragraph 1: 2 -3 sentences summarizing the contents of the book, as well as
  • Paragraph 2: This exact wording, replacing [stuff in brackets] with appropriate stuff: [Your Book’s title italicized] is one of the first five books in Composing with Images Press’s Student Books Series. This series is designed to provide students with the ability to learn about the publishing industry, book history, and book design, while working to support an important charity at the same time. 100% of proceeds of this book will be donated to [insert your cause] to support efforts [in doing. . . .].
  • Paragraph 3: Exact wording: Cover photo: “title” ([year taken]) by [add name]

Title Page
No image on the title page other than the CWiP logo. CWiP prefers the title, subtitle, and byline be in the lower right of the page, so please select that layout option.

Include the logo, city, state abbreviation, web site, twitter address, and cwip blurb web address in the bottom center. Use American Typewriter font size 8:

Bear, DE
composingwithimages.com • @cwipress

Logo box size: width 1.75 x height .53; logo image size: 89%; pushed to the bottom of the box
Text box size: 2.75 x .46

title page edit screen

Copyright Page
Here, the content is especially important because you are adding all the information that identifies the book, who holds copyright, and other important information. Here is a sample copyright page in the edit screen mode:

copyright page edit screen

There are 5 containers: 2 images containers and 3 text boxes. You do not need to touch the text box size of the lower left box (though the font should match the upper box font) or the Blurb logo box (it is locked).

Create a new box that is the same width as the lower left box (default in all books), but much larger in height. position it as above. In the upper box include the following content, replacing your book-related content with the info in brackets (justify the text to the left and position it at the bottom):

© 2011 by Composing with Images Press

Composing with Images Press <– make this line only American Typewriter font
43 Waterton Dr, Bear, DE 19701
composingwithimages.com • @cwipress

The photographers and writers whose images and writings appear in this collection retain sole copyright to their work. The contents of this book may not be reproduced without consent. Any work found online is used in accordance with its Creative Commons license or is in the Public Domain.

ISBN-13: [your ISBN with dashes] ([your cover type])
Library of Congress Control Number: 2011944471

Cover photo: “title” ([year taken]) by [add name] <– only if you have a softcover book
Back cover photo[s] by [add name or names]
Author photo by Bill Wolff.

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to [add your charity] to benefit [add a brief phrase about what they do]. See them online at [add web site without the http://].

If there is a social or environmental organization you support and you think a photo book will help their efforts, please contact CWiP with your ideas at cwipress@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter at @cwipress and Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/cwipress.

Learn more about Composing with Images Press at

Make a text box and position it directly above the Blurb logo box. Make a image container and position it directly over that text box. (Note, this structure is exactly the same for the Blurb Logo Back Page.)

Text box size: 2 x .29. Text box content should read exactly (with line break between “the” and “presses”): is pleased to take advantage of the printing presses provided by

Image container size: 2 x .69. Make the image 69% and push it to the bottom.

The Preface should appear on the right page opposite a blank left page. It should read exactly as follows (be sure to italicize the book titles), with Preface flush left and the byline flush right (just as with the Introduction below):


It brings me great pleasure to introduce the inaugural books in our Students Books Series.

  • I Have a Voice, edited by Kimberly Erskine, Erin O’Malley, Angelena Pellegrino, and Eddie Williams, with proceeds benefitting the Children’s Defense Fund;
  • Love Yourself Alive: Surviving Life as a Teenager, edited by Emily Densten, Samuel Lasko, and Tana McCormick, with proceeds benefitting the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network;
  • Moments to Cherish: A Book about Motherhood, edited by Katie Bosch, Alicia Schwartz, Maria Sebastiano, and Danielle White, with proceeds benefitting March of Dimes;
  • My Hero, edited by Haley Cossaboon, Christine Olesinski, Brittany Redding, and Lauren Tomlinson, with proceeds benefitting Operation Homefront;
  • Voices for Wild Faces, edited by Kayla Ewing, Krista Hendrickson, Jamie Mahoney, and Adam Toscani, with proceeds benefitting the Wildlife Conservation Society.
  • In the Student Books Series, students at colleges and universities under the guidance of their instructors and in collaboration with Composing with Images Press, conceive of, design, and edit books to benefit a charity of their choosing. As with all CWiP books, 100% of the proceeds from book sales and submission fees will be donated to charity.

    To create the above five books, students (all Writing Arts majors in Writing, Research, and Technology at Rowan University) researched various charities, chose one they were passionate about, composed a call for entries, publicized the call on the CWiP web site and other online venues, evaluated the submissions using a similar criteria CWiP uses for all their books, and made informed selections. To inform their book making, students learned the history of book publishing (from ancient China to ebooks); about fonts and their meanings; about how to make their own books by hand; and how to layout books to make them visually appealing. They also learned about the complexities of copyright and the burgeoning composing method of remix. Toward that end, these books also include work students found in the Public Domain and/or hold appropriate Creative Commons licenses.

    One of the beautiful things afforded by new modes of on-demand publishing is that students have the opportunity to take what they learn within the walls of a classroom, publish their work online in book format for a potentially limitless audience, and in the process use their creativity to benefit others. Enjoy their work and share it widely.

    Thank you for supporting these students’ efforts and the charity their work is benefitting.

    Bill Wolff
    Co-founder and Co-editor, Composing with Images Press
    Bear, DE
    7 December 2011

    Above your content, add the word Introduction, flushed to the left. Below your content, you’ll need room for your names. Flushed to the right, list your names in alphabetical order by last name, one line per name. Then on a new line, Glassboro, NJ. Then on a new line, 8 December 2011. Such as:

    introduction byline

    Black Flap
    If you have a dust jacket, the back flap should contain your group author picture (positioned at the bottom of the box) with a brief one-sentence bio about each person in the group. Or, a longer bio that discusses everyone in the group together. The pictures will be available for download here by class time on 12/8.

    Back Cover
    The back cover should contain an image(s) and a brief 3 – 5 sentence summary about the book and its contents. The back cover also will have the barcode and information about CWiP and a phrase about donations. The layout should complement the front cover in some way. For example, if you have a color image in the front, a few black and white images on the back offer potential read the ability to see some about what is in the book. The important thing is to ensure that the barcode is in a place that doesn’t completely interfere with the layout. For example:

    back cover edit screen

    back cover preview view

    To fit the barcode, create an image container that is exactly 1.75 x 1.00. The barcode image will fit exactly in that space. It can be horizontal or vertical in the cover.

    To create the proceeds statement and CWiP information, create a text box exactly 2.78 x 1.06 and position it in the bottom center of the cover (being careful to keep it within plenty of space of the trim line). Enter this content, using a font that matches the font on the back cover, and center justify it:

    100% of proceeds benefit
    [add your charity]

    Composing with Images Press
    composingwithimages.com • @cwipress

    Contributors Page
    Title your contributors page Our Contributors or Contributors.

    In alphabetical order by last name and/or username (of for Flickr) use the following format:

    First and Last Name or Username (page number[s] where their work appears) <– use (p. # “title”) & you may consider using ALL CAPS for the NAME
    1 -2 sentence bio (feel free to edit these for length if they are from our submitters)
    Found via [add web site] and used in accordance with their Creative Commons [add specific license name]

    There should be paragraph space between their name & the bio, but add a full paragraph space between each of the name/bio unit. If you want to add the title of the images, please do, as well.

    If your contributor was submitted by a teacher, use the following structure:

    Student Name (page number[s] where their work appears) <– use (p. # “title”) & you may consider using ALL CAPS for the NAME
    Student in [teacher’s full name], [grade level, such as 4th] grade, [school name], [town and state name].

    Publishing Your Work

    In class we discussed that the ideal option would be for the book to be online before 12/11 so we can take advantage of the lowest shipping rate. While this is still ideal, it is more important to create a book that is perfect and that we can all be proud of—you as designers and editors, me as your instructor, CWiP, and the charity that is being benefited. These books will live on long after these holidays and CWiP will market them vigorously during the times when they will be interested to buyers: Mother’s Day, for example, Veteran’s Day, and so on. So, we are going to have to extend the final version to the following:

    Book Due date: 12/12, at the beginning of class
    Reflections due date: 12/16 Saturday, 12/17, by 11:00pm via email to BW. Your reflection should be 2-3 pages long (Times New Roman, Font size 12, double space, 1″ margin; no .wps files) and address the following:

    • How your book changed from proof to final draft. Discuss in detail 2-3 specific changes you recommended and why you recommended them in terms of both the overall goals of the book and the theories on design we learned about.
    • Your specific role and contributions to the creation of the book. Discuss both how you contributed to conversations about the book’s overall goals and the specific hands-on things you did to design the book.
    • I’d like to discuss your book in the context of the overall theme of the course, as written on the syllabus: “what it means rhetorically to create and publish that ultimate object that all writers strive to publish: a book.” That is, if all potential authors have the ability to create, publishing, and sell a book a print book with a LCCN, ISBN, and bar code, what does it say about the present and future of publishing? For one take, you might see this short article, “Clive Thompson on the Future of Printed Books.”

    The Publication Process

    1. Export the final version of your book to a computer.
    2. Put that version on a USB drive and bring it to class.
    3. View it one last time on the school computer and make any last adjustments.
    4. If there were changes, export it to the computer and then put it on your flash drive.
    5. Transfer that file to BW’s computer so he can look it over later in the day to check for typos and any minor formatting issues.
    6. Upload it to Blurb in class and complete the book page on the Blurb site. Keep the book private.
    7. Once BW has reviewed it (as any publisher would do) he will make it public or re-upload it with the changes.
    8. BW will notify you when it is public. Then, begin marketing it on Twitter, Facebook, etc., in ways similar to when you solicited the call for entries.

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