CREATIVE PRO HAS AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE TODAY on poster design. I mention this because authors without the trained eye of the designer make embarrassing design mistakes because this knowledge is not part of their understanding.
Self-publishers must train their eyes
Books like Ellen’s shown above are a real help as you expand your knowledge beyond the narrow confines of writing and editing. What writers are normally not aware of is the constant visual input which is the norm for artists and graphic designers. When you start formatting your books, you’ve entered the world of graphic design and you need a trained eye to do that well.
Design books for books are rare, and they are usually academic, technical works with absurd levels of dryness and boredom. But reading graphic design books in general will really help you train your eye.
One of the things I have discovered is that the best resources for keeping my eye current are these two apps and Websites. The Pinterest app is superb, and I spend hours browsing beauty and finding ideas. I find it visually refreshing in a world gone mad with professional ugliness. I have a board with nearly a thousand posters, for example.
Behance is great for checking out the latest fashions in graphic design and illustration. It really needs to be accessed through the Website. Their app is not easy to use at all—but that may be my personal issue.
If you’re taking self-publishing seriously, training your eye is essential!