Help wanted: designer for next book (updated)

Update: this job was filled and the book was published!

This is an updated and sanity enhanced job description (backstory here).

I’m looking to hire someone to play a unique role in my next book: The Designer.

The plan is to self-publish a collection of my best writings, from essays, to blog posts, to magazine articles. But to avoid the traps of “blog posts in a bundle” books. I’ve hired an awesome editor as the first key member of the team. Now it’s time for the next key member: the designer.

The role:  A book is a kind of user experience, starting with the cover, but extending to every font, every layout, every chunk of whitespace. Typically designers come in late, are forced to work quickly and without much input – it’s no wonder most books are so ugly, so sad, so unloved. Why can’t we make a book where fantastic writing is matched with a simple, bold, and clean visual design?

This role will different. You’ll be involved early. You’ll have power and influence over what’s in the book, not just how it looks. There will be no bureaucracy: it’s just me, you, Krista (editor) and a few other hand-picked people we choose.

Here are the responsibilities:

  • Drive the visual design and user experience of the book
  • Have authority over the cover design, typography, layout and interior choices
  • Manage challenges of print & e-book (kindle/pdf) design
  • Contribute to the vision for the book itself
  • Suggest and provoke me to write new material
  • Collaborate with me, Krista and other team members
  • Use readers of to contribute ideas and feedback

Here are the rewards:

  • More influence over a book’s design than you will ever have
  • The potential to do great work with great people
  • Redefine the contribution of design to modern book publishing
  • If you’re a fan, you’ll get a unique opportunity to define one of my books
  • You’ll be paid a negotiable fee. But as a self-published book it may be less than you’re used to.
  • I’m considering a bonus structure for team members based on how well the book does (a bonus when the book breaks even, and another if it makes a significant profit).

Requirements (read them all – it’s a test):

  • You understand the power of clean, simple, bold design
  • You enjoy collaboration with smart, fun people – good feedback inspires you
  • You are organized, self-directed, and can lead a project with many parts
  • You’ve wanted to contribute to a beautiful, well-crafted, book that defies convention in favor of smart, clever ideas for book design
  • You are psyched about this for reasons other than money
  • Bonus points for being a fan, or being familiar with my work

To Apply:

  1. Email me: info at scottberkun dot com
  2. With the subject:  I want this book
  3. Must include: a link to your design portfolio and the name of your favorite cartoon character
  4. Deadline: apply asap (already reviewing applications – rolling hiring process)

6 Responses to “Help wanted: designer for next book (updated)”

  1. Marc-Oliver

    I am sure you will find a designer or student who wants to do the job. As for me, I am one of the best designers in the world, won several international design awards and can also design the cover of a book, layout the pages and make typography look nice and readable (Jan Tschichold, Erik Spiekermann and would love me for that). But I have to warn you: I’ll charge you a lot. More than you can imagine. And YOU won’t tell me HOW I have to do my work.


  2. anonymous

    douchebag alert right there

  3. Spencer

    Good luck finding a qualified and friendly designer. My friend Teak told me he has submitted his name to you and I can’t submit my name simply because of that. I can, however, vouche for Teak’s being one of the nicest people I know, and a great designer.

    Something tells me Marc-Oliver must know you and be making a joke, because otherwise… damn.



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