{Book Redesign} Project Spotlight: Behind the Scenes of The Balance Point

The Balance Point, published May 2018

The Balance Point: A Missing Link in Human Consciousness, 2nd edition, by Joseph Jenkins

Book redesign is tricky…especially for books with an established and growing following. Stories are eternal no matter how you package them, but updated packaging (book design) offers a way to introduce a story to new readers and new generations.

Originally published in 2000, Joseph Jenkins’ The Balance Point was very well received and gained a large and loyal following. That’s not surprising, as the story provides can’t-put-it-down entertainment while also delivering an important message.

Now 18 years later, much has changed in our world and Joe wanted to republish a second edition of the book with updated information. In that process, he decided to get the book design updated as well.

Original Balance Point Cover from 2000

The book needed something more modern—something that would speak to a new generation as the audience—and yet, something that would still convey the original message that spoke so successfully to the audience 18 years earlier.

Fact or fiction?

There are certain design trends that categorize a book as either fiction or nonfiction. Designing a cover for this book was a challenge because it’s a mixture of both!

The Balance Point is written as creative nonfiction. It is based on the author’s real experiences and adventures, but some details, chronologies, and names were changed in such a way that the book reads like fiction.

Which parts are fact and which are fiction? I can’t give that away in this article—you’d need to read the book. All I can say is this: the back matter resources are fact, but the actual story line is a mix between real and imaginary. Regardless of how fictionalized the story may be, the message is very real and affects everyone on this planet (including the bear on the redesigned cover).

So, while most book covers clearly define a book as either fiction or nonfiction, the new cover for The Balance Point needed to hint at both simultaneously.

Before we get into the design, here’s some more information about the book…

About the Book

(Excerpt from the Amazon detail page)

The Balance Point is a story of a search for something so mysterious that the main character doesn’t even know what it is, or how to recognize it if he finds it. It touches on science, mathematics, economics, religion, and spirituality, in a manner that is both illuminating and disturbing.

Based on actual occurrences and factual scientific and environmental information, The Balance Point weaves a compelling adventure story into an ominous tapestry of planetary degradation. Jonathan is reluctantly goaded into satisfying the conditions of his deceased Aunt’s cryptic Last Will, sending him on a puzzling journey to perplexing destinations. What he finds is worrisome, yet hopeful: something has gone missing in our collective human consciousness.

The timely message takes a critical subject and handles it in a clever way. This is an uncommonly provocative educational and spiritual journey which ingeniously captivates the reader from the beginning. The story is so engrossing and the author’s writing style so light and breezy that only after finishing the book will it hit the reader just how much information had been conveyed. The Balance Point is intriguing and suspenseful; all in all, a fascinating read.

About the Author

(Excerpt from the Joseph Jenkins’ Amazon Author Page)

Joe began self-publishing when he turned his masters thesis into the non-fiction Humanure Handbook and published it in 1995. The first edition of the book was execrable, but it developed a life of its own somehow, and has gone on to sell 65,000 copies so far and be translated in whole or in part into 19 languages over three editions. The book has received numerous book awards and been mentioned on such places as the Wall Street Journal, Howard Stern, Playboy, NPR, BBC, CBC, etc.

The next book, the non-fiction Slate Roof Bible, also in three editions, full color, and now in hardcover, records decades of work within the slate roofing industry worldwide. The first edition received the National Roofing Contractor’s Gold Circle Award, and the 2016 edition received 10 book awards.

The latest book, The Balance Point – a Missing Link in Human Consciousness (May, 2018) is an experimental book, a blend of fact and fiction, or what the author refers to as a “fictionalized” book. The author states on the title page, “This book is based on actual occurrences, although some characters, chronologies, and details are rearranged and/or fictionalized for literary purposes. Names of the individuals in this book have been changed to protect privacy. All the scientific and environmental data is factual.” The Balance Point is available as a print book, or a Kindle book. It is also available on Smashwords.

Please visit the author’s web sites at JosephJenkins.com, SlateRoofCentral.com, SlateRoofWarehouse.com, SnowGuardWarehouse.com, SlateExperts.com, SlateRoofTrainingCenter.com, TraditionalRoofing.com, HumanureStore.com and HumanureHandbook.com.

 

Book Redesign

So, what’s a designer to do with an experimental, fictionalized blend between environmentalism, spirituality, mystery, and adventure?

The design process for this book involved a few different cover samples, discussion, and revisions. Our standard design package offers 5 unique samples and revisions thereafter. Between the brainstorming and revisions, the author had about 10 samples to choose from. A few of these are shown below.

Which one would you have chosen?

 

The author’s final choice was…

Balance Point

Balance Point

To see the redesigned interior, please visit our portfolio page. Or better yet, see it in the actual book. I highly recommend reading it—you won’t be able to put it down!

The book is available on Amazon or at the author’s online store.

 

Are you writing a book?

Tell us about your project

Elena is founder and creative director at DTPerfect. She loves collaborating with authors to create books that inspire, teach, and leave a legacy. When she is not working with authors, she writes and illustrates a few of her own stories and is the award-winning author of Thank You, Me, a children’s book created to inspire gratitude and self-care.

Project Spotlight: The Parallel Entrepreneur

The Parallel Entrepreneur

The Parallel Entrepreneur: How to Start and Run Companies While Keeping Your Day Job

This month’s book design project spotlight focuses on The Parallel Entrepreneur, a new book by serial entrepreneur Ryan Buckley. Having started multiple very successful B2B companies, Ryan generously shares his knowledge in this book. I say generously because he goes into great detail on how to build a company from the ground up. The book contains tips ranging from inspiration and ethical considerations to technical details and actual tools.

Our role in this project included: interior book design and layout, creating some charts and graphs, e-book conversion, back cover design and sizing for print production. A few images of the interior are included below.

The cover design and infographics were created by Chris Cole of chrisandstuff.com.

 

More about the book…

“The Parallel Entrepreneur is to B2B startups as Rich Dad Poor Dad is to real-estate. It’s a manifesto to entrepreneurs that you don’t need to raise venture capital to build a profitable business; that you can be your own boss; that you can control your own destiny—and still be successful. Ryan is one of the few folks who’ve successfully navigated this path, and in this book he shares his hard-won experience. If you are thinking about starting a business to generate some cash, you owe it to yourself to read The Parallel Entrepreneur.”
– Jon Miller, CEO of Engagio and Co-founder of Marketo

“The Parallel Entrepreneur is a fantastic resource for anyone who has faced the conundrum of wanting to stay at their current job while starting one or multiple companies in parallel—and my experience at Upwork shows me that a lot of people are trying to do this. Ryan, himself a parallel entrepreneur, describes his best practices as well at those collected from others in a compelling, down-to-earth book that will walk the reader through why and how to become a parallel entrepreneur.”
– Stephane Kasriel, CEO of Upwork

 

Connect with the Author

You can learn more about the book and connect with the author at parallelentrepreneurship.com or visit his Amazon Author page.

The book is available on Amazon here.

 

Are you writing a book?

Tell us about your project

Elena is founder and creative director at DTPerfect. She loves collaborating with authors to create books that inspire, teach, and leave a legacy. When she is not working with authors, she writes and illustrates a few of her own stories and is the award-winning author of Thank You, Me, a children’s book created to inspire gratitude and self-care.

Project Spotlight: Behave! (And Why We Always Do)

Behave! (and Why We Always Do): Communication and Behavior: Your DISC Pattern

Are you a type D, I, S, C, or a combination?

As Abdul Turkistani explains in his new book, Behave! (And Why We Always Do), getting to know this method does wonders for understanding the self and relationships.

Continue reading to learn more about the book and see the book’s final design.

From the Back Cover

He admits it himself: Abdul is very bad at time management. To learn to manage his time better (at least to get this book finished and published!) he took countless courses, only to find that after a short time, he was back to his old, more natural, time-spinning habits. He loves to talk and loses track of time so easily! What is more, he talks a lot and finds himself becoming enthusiastic and impulsive…and forgets to listen to others.

He studied many courses in time management, but also in behavior, communication and active listening that—in the end—didn’t leave him feeling he had made any progress at all. It was bewildering that after so much study he did not feel any improvement.

That all changed when Abdul studied and became certified in DISC training. He suddenly saw the missing piece of the puzzle. All the answers he’d searched for in those other endless courses were embedded right in the DISC approach.

From the day he learned DISC, he understood what his strengths were, but also came to grips more clearly with his weaknesses (time management, chattering, not listening…). Abdul realized, given his DISC results, that he might never become great at time management! It was devastating, and he readily admits that he felt depressed for a while about it.

Now, he knows and understands himself. He has a toolkit of workaround techniques adapted to his DISC-revealed behavioral style that help him strengthen those weak spots. He uses what works for his style when he needs to be an active listener or get going to meet a deadline.

Since mastering DISC, Abdul has less stress, more harmonious relationships which enjoy real give-and-take communication, and more enjoyment from interactions with people and in doing tasks he didn’t have the time to get to before. This new awareness of his natural behavioral responses, motivations, and reactions was a big relief indeed.

With this book, Abdul wishes to empower you to do the same: To understand yourself, your behaviors, and your interactions with others.

About the Author

Abdulbaset Turkistani originally trained and worked as an electrical engineer (and later as an instrument engineer) in the petrochemical industry. Since those days, he has been active as a trainer, entrepreneur, public speaker, and corporate training manager. He is an ICF-certified coach and a member of the International Coaching Federation. Currently, Abdul is a Training Manager with National Petrochemical Corporation (NATPET). Abdul is also a business partner with the Inscape/John Wiley & Sons, Inc. publishing house, which distributes the DiSC assessment programs.

For generations, Abdul and his family have lived in Saudi Arabia, and in his leisure time, you’ll find him jogging, traveling internationally on vacation trips, or just curled up with a good book.

Discovering the DISC patterns of human behavior (notably his own) changed Abdul’s life—at home with his wife and children, and in his interactions with work partners and clients—and it is to share this life-changing, eye-opening information with as many people as he can that he has written this book.

Learn more about Abdul at his Amazon Author page or at www.discarabic.com.

Design

The design of this book consisted of creating: covers for paperback and hardcover, interior with custom icons, and e-book conversion. Below are a few images of the final book. To see more, visit our Portfolio page.

 

This book is currently available on Amazon and other retailers.

 

Are you writing a book?

Tell us about your project

 

Elena is founder and creative director at DTPerfect. She loves collaborating with authors to create books that inspire, teach, and leave a legacy. When she is not working with authors, she writes and illustrates a few of her own stories and is the award-winning author of Thank You, Me, a children’s book created to inspire gratitude and self-care.

Project Spotlight: Inspired Affirmations Weekly Planner 2018

Inspired Affirmations Weekly Planner 2018

This week’s project spotlight is on one of our own creations. Since we love books and design so much, we can’t let authors have all the fun. So, we at DTPerfect sometimes publish things too.

This planner was created primarily because I (Elena) love to plan, love colors, and love inspirational quotes. Based on the idea of positive affirmations, the planner has spots for writing affirmations to repeat throughout the week and month. The idea is that the more we repeat positive affirmations, the more we begin to believe them, and the closer they become to our reality. Even if you don’t believe that, the planner is at least eye candy for your desk.

The first few pages in the planner include a “How to Use This Planner” and “How to Create Positive Affirmations” so that you are set up and ready to go. The rest is up to you and your imagination.

The planner is currently available on Amazon.

 

Loving the colorful edge! (There’s a different theme for each month.)

Inspiration for your desk. Plenty of space to write, as the planner measures 8 x 10.88 inches.

Design Notes

If you’re curious about the production details of this planner, here’s what we did:

The planner is hardcover with matte finish, printed on-demand through IngramSpark. The hardcover makes the book sturdy and easy to write in, even if you’re not at a desk. The matte finish adds a very nice feel to the cover. If you haven’t printed matte through IngramSpark, try it! I highly recommend it. (Their gloss finish is nice as well.)

Why print-on-demand? While this does make the the production cost-per-book higher, it means that I did not need to invest into printing 1000+ copies. While I wouldn’t mind selling thousands of copies of the planner, that was not my priority. The priority was to create it, no matter the sales volume. Printing on demand gives me the flexibility of selling a high quality item without storing any inventory (or shipping, for that matter).

Another note: the planner uses IngramSpark’s standard color printing on 50# paper. Though this is usually advertised as their lower quality printing, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. The color printing is not coffee table quality, but it’s very nice for a planner! The paper is on the thinner side, but that also works quite well for this purpose, as the thinner paper makes the planner lighter and easier to carry (as compared to using the 70# paper). At 246 pages, the planner is already quite large, so keeping the spine thickness down was a big consideration.

Overall, I was quite happy with the production quality and color printing (even on 50# paper). If you’re considering a print-on-demand production through IngramSpark, we’re happy to answer questions about the process. Contact us to learn about various consulting options.

Design

Below are some images of the planner. Each day gets a half vertical page (so 2 spreads per week). There’s plenty of space to write, plan, and reflect on your day. For more images, visit our Portfolio page.

  

 

Are you writing a book?

Tell us about your project

 

Elena is founder and creative director at DTPerfect. She loves collaborating with authors to create books that inspire, teach, and leave a legacy. When she is not working with authors, she writes and illustrates a few of her own stories and is the award-winning author of Thank You, Me, a children’s book created to inspire gratitude and self-care.

Project Spotlight: The Wealthy Intentional Entrepreneur

The Wealthy Intentional Entrepreneur: How to Build Financial Wealth One Step at a Time

This month we wrapped up an exciting book project for Natalya Itu, an expert CPA practicing in Colorado.

We are very excited that Natalya decided to share her wealth of knowledge. As an entrepreneur and business owner herself, she provides valuable insight and inspirational tips for new and established business owners. If you live in the state of Colorado and need a fantastic CPA, contact Natalya at www.coloradobusinesscpa.com.

Our role in the development of this book included interior design, cover design, and e-book conversion. The main goal in the design was to communicate the in-depth information in a way that was easy to understand, inspiring, and not overwhelming. The book contains pull-out quotes and plenty of white space to give the readers space to breathe and time to assimilate the detailed, valuable knowledge. Continue reading to see the cover design evolution and interior below.

From the Back Cover

A no-nonsense, step-by-step guide to take your business to the next level. Make an intention to grow your net worth and start by learning the steps to make that a reality.

You will learn:
• How to utilize the trifecta (business ownership, retirement accounts, and real estate) to build sustainable wealth.
• How to facilitate business growth, use leverage, and move from owning your “job” to owning a business with systems, processes, and the right people.
• How to increase your business net worth, and thereby, your self-worth.
• How to approach business finances to bring your organization to the next level.
• How to maximize your retirement planning.
• How to implement smart tax strategies to make the most of your income.
• How to choose the right CPA to help with your financial goals.

Complete with action steps & worksheets, this book will guide you step-by-step through your journey of intentional entrepreneurship.

Starting and running a business is one of the most challenging endeavors for new and experienced entrepreneurs. As you continue to push yourself forward, your business growth directly mirrors your personal development. This is both exciting and challenging, and if you follow the right steps and focus on being intentional about this growth, the rewards can be incredible. In this comprehensive and step-by-step guide, Natalya Itu, CPA provides the resources, facts, inspiration, and concrete action plans to guide entrepreneurs and business owners to the next level.

 

About the Author

Natalya Korobkova-Itu, CPA is an entrepreneur at heart. She never stops learning about other business owners’ best practices and strives to be a better business owner herself. She came to the USA from Russia in 1998 with her mother, very little money, and no English language skills. Despite those circumstances, her strong will and resilient nature makes her an inspiration to many. She thrives in showing others the power of being intentional and how it can help take them wherever they want to be in life. As a long-time business owner, she shares her best practices from experience and constantly strives to uplift, inspire, and help guide entrepreneurs to success.

She has been a Colorado-licensed CPA for over eight years and an accountant for over twelve years. Her CPA firm, Colorado Business CPA, is located in Englewood, Colorado and specializes in offering business packages including tax, accounting, payroll, and coaching support for small business owners.

You can find her at  www.ColoradoBusinessCPA.com or visit her Amazon Author page.

 

Design Evolution

As usual, the cover for this book went through many rounds of revisions until we found that one that clicked.

Our team provided these as the initial concepts:

  • (Side note: If you’re wondering about watermarks in stock images, that’s because we purchase images after our design concepts are finalized. That way, we can explore many design concepts without wasting the author’s or publisher’s stock image budget. After the cover concept is set, we finalize all image purchases for correct licensing.)

 

The third design was the favorite, but both our team and the author felt that it needed more energy. Taking the tree element and playing with the energy of arrows and exponential growth (to echo wealth-building), we came up with a few variations of a new design.

After some fine-tuning, we reached the final cover design:

And here is the full back/spine/front spread:

Here are a few images of the interior:

If you’re interested in growing your business and becoming an “intentional” entrepreneur, check out this book! It’s currently available on Amazon.

 

Are you writing a book?

Tell us about your project

Elena is founder and creative director at DTPerfect. She loves collaborating with authors to create books that inspire, teach, and leave a legacy. When she is not working with authors, she writes and illustrates a few of her own stories and is the award-winning author of Thank You, Me, a children’s book created to inspire gratitude and self-care.