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Topics - Gessert Books

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Writers' Cafe / Stock Art Site Featuring POC
« on: June 28, 2017, 08:27:55 PM »
Thought this might be of use to the community, as I've seen posts mentioning scarcity of stock art featuring people of color. This site cropped up in my Twitter feed as newly launched. I haven't used it, but wanted to share:

ETA: is another.

Writers' Cafe / Gessert Books: Book Layout and Ebook Formatting
« on: April 11, 2016, 08:04:57 AM »
I'm Phillip Gessert; and I'm a book designer, typesetter and print/ebook formatter in Amarillo, TX. I've been a graphic designer for over ten years, I began building books full time in 2011, and am especially passionate about page typography. I pride myself on building books to the highest standard of quality, both aesthetically and functionally.

I've been a member here for around a year, but I wanted to take a moment to re-introduce myself and describe my service.

I provide fully validated ePub and MOBI files, suitable for publishing on the Kindle Store and other retailers. All ebooks are created using hand-coded HTML & CSS, and take the unique considerations for different devices into account. The books are built to be flexible and render predictably across a range of e-readers. And I use traditional and classical typographical principles to give the books an appealing look.

I also provide PDF files suitable for print. I'm happy to build to Createspace or Ingram specifications, or simply build to industry-standard print-readiness. I use my pre-press experience to preflight and prepare PDF files that most any print service provider would be delighted to receive.

I've launched a new website with lots of details about my service. It also includes a number of testimonials like these:

Quote from: Kwasi Konadu, Diasporic Africa Press
Phillip and I have worked together for a few years now and with each project he has devoted himself to the task and will not quit until the job is done to satisfaction. Very personable and detailed-oriented, I recommend him highly!

Quote from: Nazli Ghassemi,
Phillip is the miracle worker every author dreams of when it comes to creativity, patience, understanding and collaboration, efficiency and delivery on a book design. He has full command of the design process and is one of the most reliable professionals Iíve worked with. His passion for his work and superhuman turn around time make him an even more exceptional designer. It has been a great experience and delight to have Phillip design my book Desert Mojito, and I look forward to working with him again and again.

You can check out my site here:

Why Choose Me?

I pride myself in finding high-quality, low cost solutions to common design problems. I aim to find a good nexus between quality and cost. This means I am not the cheapest book designer, but I do deliver bang for your buck.

I do not treat your book as a rote technical task. I am a designer, first and foremost, and strive to create tasteful and elegant designs.

I've created a survey to help me identify any issues with the site. If you choose to check out my website, and have any feedback that might help me make it better, please consider filling out this survey:

A few months back, I worked a design for Frankenstein. If you'd like a hands-on look at my work, you can download it on this page (download links are at bottom):

And if you'd like to use my service, you can contact me here or by email. I am currently scheduling for May. I hope to work with you!

On Mary Shelley's birthday a couple months ago, I started work on an ebook edition of Frankenstein in time for Halloween. I just finished it and it's up at

There's also a big writeup with my thoughts on the book, and some ideas I had about designing it. I used thematically appropriate dropcaps throughout, and I explain a little bit about that.

This was a really amazing project for me and I really got close to the book, I hope folks will like giving it a read. And I want to talk about the book too; so if you read it or have read it, then you should give me a holler. And if you know anyone that might want to check it out, feel free to shoot them a link.

Writers' Cafe / Phillip Gessert: Ebook + Print Formatting
« on: April 20, 2015, 11:31:14 AM »
Hello, my name is Phillip Gessert and I'm a designer in Texas. I specialize mainly in cover design and interior page layout for books, and would love to offer up my services if anyone's got a need. I provide print-ready PDFs suitable for most any vendor, and build files to spec for CreateSpace, IngramSpark and other POD book shops. I also provide ebook versions suitable for Kindle as well as standard EPUB ebooks.

My focus is on elegant design, legibility, and production-readiness. And I strive to put your content first.
My approach is consultive, and the work is completely custom. I typically begin by reading your book--though if this is impossible, we can sometimes proceed on just a synopsis. Once I feel like I've got a good understanding of your message, I'll begin thinking of visuals that support that message for the folks you'd like to reach. I include up to three major revisions for style--so if our first design draft doesn't quite hit the right notes, we can go back to the drawing board twice more before re-addressing scope.

I've got many more work samples up at, along with a number of testimonials. Several of the work samples I've got on my site, such as this one, describe my process in a bit more detail.

Please feel free to shoot me an email anytime: I'd love to help.

Introductions & Welcomes / Hello from a Graphic Designer
« on: April 20, 2015, 09:43:11 AM »
Hello, I'm new to the forum, and I'm a graphic designer that works with books quite a lot. I hope to contribute to discussions about cover design or typography.

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