How to create and publish a coffeetable book.

How to Create and Publish a Coffeetable Book

how to create coffee table book

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think of a coffee table book? When one thinks of a coffee table book, the picture that comes to mind is a huge book filled with images and is usually placed on a coffee table. There is a sense of aesthetics and attraction associated with these books.

coffee table book


What is a Coffee Table Book?

A coffee table book is an illustrated book, filled with images, artwork, or photographs. It is aesthetically pleasing, and unlike other books, it is mainly created for a visual appeal.

These books are meant for casual reading where people can go through it while having their coffee. Coffee table books usually come in hardcover and contain amazing photographs or artwork, and quotes, or blocks of text. The subject of these books are generally non-fiction, and the topics range from art, architecture, landscapes, travel, films, fashion, interior design, personalities, places, and more.

Some of the bestselling and iconic coffee table books include Bill Cunningham: On the Street: Five Decades of Iconic Photography, Great Women Artists by Phaidon, Rarely Seen by National Geographic, etc.

How to Create and Publish a Coffeetable Book

How to Create a Coffee table Book

If you are an art lover and want to be on the opposite of reading a coffee table book, here are some tips on creating one:

Choose a Subject/Theme

Luckily for you, there is lots of scope for coffee table books and can be about anything you think is interesting enough. From photography of flowers and houses with beautiful windows to hotels with most beautiful carpets and the world’s most funky bookmarks, it’s all about honoring your favorite form of art via photographs, painting, illustrations, and etchings.

Research your Subject

The internet contains an endless amount of information. To write on a particular subject, one must be fluent in it. For instance, if you want to make a coffee table book of photographs and facts about the world’s most beautiful buildings, you must go back to where it started. Research on the building you think is pretty. You need to become an expert on those buildings you want to use for your book.

Use a Professional Photographer

A coffee table book consists 90% of pictures. Invest in a professional photographer to capture photographs that are attractive to your readers. A picture speaks a thousand words, and in this case, it must. Poorly taken photos will reflect, so don’t be stingy.

Write Captions or Quotes that Compliment the Images

Some coffee table books have an introduction, captions for every picture, essays in between photographs, indexes, photography credits, and a bibliography. Just because the major portion of your book consists of photos does not skimp the text’s quality. Yes, pictures will get your readers hooked, but you do want them to read what you’ve written, too, right? Make your texts enjoyable as the pictures.

If you choose to write any of the texts mentioned above, you need to work as a professional editor. You don’t want your writings to have errors, do you?

Here are some pointers to remember while including text:

  • Some photos need a blank space to breathe.
  • Not all pages in your book need words.
  • Always respect a blank space.

Design & Layout of the Book

The design and layout have to be in line with the size of the book. Many publishers have design and layout teams of their own, so have an outline of what you want. It will help them get a clear picture of how you want your layout and help you achieve it. To make things easier, make sure your photos have been converted to the specific format requested by the publisher.

design & layout of the book

Always opt for high-resolution digitized pictures for a neat effect. The design must be in sync with the theme of your book. You might like a particular design more than the other, but stick to what fits your book best. This will make it more interesting for the readers.

Here are a few cost-efficient ways to design a book:

If you’re worried about spending too much, here are some ways to be cost-efficient.

  • Paper:Paper is an essential element that contributes to the looks of your book. You can choose a standard size which ranges from 8.5 x 8.5 to 8.5 x 11.
  • Black and white photos:Printing colored pictures are more expensive than black and white, but it doesn’t mean they are stylish.

Methods of Publishing

Once you have decided on the images and content for the coffee table book, you need to decide whether to choose traditional publishing or self-publishing. Traditional publishing houses offer great deals for designing, printing, and distributing your book. It is crucial to note that the book’s rights would be shared with the publisher as well.

When you decide to self-publish the book, you don’t have to worry about the book’s rights since it lies entirely with you. You can choose a self-publishing company to design, market, and distribute your coffee table book. You can also opt for a print-on-demand option, which saves you a lot of money and paper. So, when you look at the collective cost of self- publishing a book, it is comparatively lower to traditional publishing.

Now that you are aware of the steps involved in creating and publishing a coffee table book, go ahead and start planning the book. Good luck!