Monday, 2 April 2012

Visit with Serpent's Tail Book Publishers

I was so pleased to have the opportunity to visit Serpent's Tail as the spaces were limited. We met Niamh Murray who is the Marketing Director. Niamh spoke about the process of book publishing, from selecting an illustrator, to finalising the cover and what decisions have to be made. We discussed how much an illustrator would expect to get paid for designing a book cover (around £500), and that you would expect to get paid even more if you handled the typography as well (an additional £250). Niamh displayed a selection of books on the table and they all looked lovely, not main-stream which I really liked. Niamh explained that the finishing details such as embossing are decided by herself and the team, not the illustrator. We were also told that the book titles had to be legible when displayed as thumbnails on Amazon, as this is where many books are sold and it needs to be clear and eye-catching. We were all handed a Jacket/Cover Design Brief which was very useful as we may be presented with this one day soon..hopefully!

We were all very fortunate to get a few moments with the Art Director Peter Dyer, and I value his feedback as he was kind about my work. Peter asked me why I have shadows in my work and perhaps he'd like my cut-outs arranged as a flat collage, which is easily achieved. Maybe I should show the elements flat so it's the same picture just with a different background and without the shadows, this will show it's versatility. I am very interested in the three dimensional aspect though and would like to venture into designing shop windows and events so I would definitely still keep my present works in my portfolio. Something to consider is having two portfolios; one for flat collage and one for the more three dimensional work. Both Niamh and Peter suggested contacting book publishers with a design of an existing book cover to show what you can do, they said a series works well for showing continuity within your work. Hopefully after graduating I will have the time to do this but right now I am just too busy! It's a great piece of advice though and worth baring in mind.

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