Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s what’s inside that counts—like typesetting, layout and all the other aspects of book design. In the publishing industry everyone focuses on a book’s content, but its technical design also has a great impact on the experience, just from behind the scenes. We take it for granted that a book is easy to navigate or even legible, but it’s all due to the concerted efforts of the book layout designer.

Looking for a book cover designer? Here are our recommendations ->

There are a lot of considerations to book publishing aside from actually writing a book. You not only need to think about typesetting and page spread, but also need to understand how different formats (physical paper vs pdf ebook vs responsive ebook) may impact the book’s layout and readability. If you want your book to be successful, you need to hire a freelance designer who understands each of these areas. So to save you some time, we list the top freelance book layout designers available now.

The 10 best freelance book designers to hire in 2019

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    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Typesetting with imagery
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    • Poster
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    • Logo design
    • Other design
    • Menu
    • Other book or magazine
    • Infographic
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Typesetting
    • Other web or app design
    • Magazine cover
    • Card or invitation
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    Top Level
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    • Menu
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Brochure
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • Other design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other book or magazine
    • Infographic
    • Business card
    • Sticker
  3. 3
    • Infographic
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • PowerPoint template
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Typesetting
    • Brochure
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Poster
    • Logo design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Magazine cover
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & business card
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Other web or app design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Business card
  4. 4
    Top Level
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    ( 21 )
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Product label
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Typesetting
    • Other design
    • Magazine cover
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Other business or advertising
    • T-shirt
    • Print or packaging design
    • Product packaging
    • Business card
    • Brochure
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    Top Level
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    ( 204 )
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Banner ad
    • Other web or app design
    • Brochure
    • Stationery
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other art or illustration
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Icon or button
    • PowerPoint template
    • Typesetting
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Poster
    • Infographic
    • Book cover
    • Social media page
    • Landing page design
    • Logo design
    • Brand guide
    • Web page design
    • Print or packaging design
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Email
  6. 6
    Top Level
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    ( 63 )
    • Book cover
    • Magazine cover
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Poster
    • Typesetting
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other book or magazine
    • Brochure
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Product label
    • Product packaging
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    • Other business or advertising
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Stationery
    • Other design
    • Brochure
    • Logo design
    • Email
    • Other book or magazine
    • PowerPoint template
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Poster
    • Business card
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Landing page design
    • Card or invitation
    • Merchandise
    • Menu
    • Infographic
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Banner ad
  8. 8
    Top Level
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    ( 48 )
    • Logo design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other art or illustration
    • Poster
    • Logo & business card
    • Book cover
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Icon or button
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • T-shirt
    • Sticker
    • Brochure
    • Product packaging
    • Other design
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Infographic
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Business card
    • Brand guide
    • Banner ad
    • Typesetting with imagery
  9. 9
    Top Level
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    • Book cover
    • Banner ad
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Print or packaging design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Other design
    • Signage
    • Brochure
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other web or app design
    • Social media page
    • Flash banner
    • Logo design
    • Icon or button
    • Email
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Magazine cover
    • Landing page design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Facebook cover
  10. 10
    Top Level
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    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Logo design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Product packaging
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other art or illustration
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Facebook cover
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Brochure
    • Poster
    • Banner ad
  11. 11
    Top Level
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    ( 42 )
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Print or packaging design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Other design
    • Magazine cover
    • Product label
    • Brochure
    • Web page design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other art or illustration
    • Logo design
    • Button or icon
    • Menu
    • Product packaging
    • Logo & business card
    • Card or invitation
  12. 12
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 141 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Poster
    • Magazine cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other art or illustration
    • Typesetting
    • Product label
    • Other web or app design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Stationery
    • Signage
    • Other design
    • Icon or button
    • Character or mascot
  13. 13
    Top Level
    4.9
    ( 31 )
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Other book or magazine
    • Signage
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Banner ad
    • PowerPoint template
    • Landing page design
    • Facebook cover
    • Magazine cover
  14. 14
    Top Level
    4.9
    ( 33 )
    • Logo design
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Print or packaging design
    • Business card
    • Poster
    • Web page design
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Banner ad
    • Merchandise
    • Other art or illustration
    • Icon or button
    • WordPress theme design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Other design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Sticker
    • Card or invitation
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Brand guide
    • Product label
    • Other packaging or label
    • Book cover
    • Stationery
    • T-shirt
    • Signage
  15. 15
    Top Level
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    ( 151 )
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Product packaging
    • Other business or advertising
    • Email
    • Brochure
    • Logo design
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • Infographic
    • Other packaging or label
    • Business card
    • Product label
    • Other art or illustration
    • Menu
    • Typesetting
    • Signage
    • Poster
    • Other web or app design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Card or invitation
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • PowerPoint template
    • Book cover
    • Web page design
    • Sticker
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Logo & business card
    • Icon or button
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • T-shirt
    • Stationery
    • Social media page
    • Merchandise
    • Brand guide
  16. 16
    Top Level
    4.9
    ( 89 )
    • Brochure
    • Other design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other book or magazine
    • PowerPoint template
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Menu
    • Signage
    • Stationery
    • Infographic
    • Poster
    • Web page design
    • Logo design
    • Icon or button
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Book cover
    • Social media page
    • Other web or app design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Banner ad
    • 3D
  17. 17
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 139 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • Poster
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • WordPress theme design
    • Other packaging or label
    • Brochure
    • Web page design
    • Social media page
    • Product label
    • Merchandise
    • Logo design
    • Card or invitation
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  18. 18
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 413 )
    • Brochure
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
    • Infographic
    • Other design
    • Print or packaging design
    • Signage
    • PowerPoint template
    • Logo design
    • Other web or app design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Poster
    • Banner ad
    • App design
    • Business card
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Stationery
    • Product label
    • Web page design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Book cover
    • Email
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Logo & business card
    • Landing page design
    • Brand guide
    • T-shirt
    • Product packaging
    • Other packaging or label
    • Flash banner
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Sticker
    • Other art or illustration
    • Magazine cover
    • Icon or button
    • Card or invitation
  19. 19
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 233 )
    • Logo design
    • Banner ad
    • T-shirt
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Other business or advertising
    • Icon or button
    • Brochure
    • Logo & business card
    • Product label
    • Other web or app design
    • Other design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Character or mascot
    • Typesetting
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Signage
    • PowerPoint template
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Infographic
    • Stationery
    • Poster
    • Other packaging or label
    • Facebook cover
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Business card
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Sticker
    • Social media page
    • Product packaging
    • Other book or magazine
    • Merchandise
    • Menu
    • Landing page design
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Brand guide
    • Book cover
  20. 20
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 172 )
    • Stationery
    • Other business or advertising
    • PowerPoint template
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Web page design
    • Brochure
    • Other design
    • Product packaging
    • Business card
    • Banner ad
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Logo design
    • Landing page design
    • Logo & business card
    • Brand guide
    • Print or packaging design
    • Infographic
    • Other web or app design
    • Card or invitation
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • T-shirt
    • Product label
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Typesetting
    • Email
    • WordPress theme design
    • Signage
    • Poster
    • Other book or magazine
    • Merchandise
  21. 21
    • 3D
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Icon or button
    • Card or invitation
    • Typesetting
    • Product packaging
    • Product label
    • Poster
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo design
    • Infographic
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Book cover
  22. 22
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 17 )
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Typesetting
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other design
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting with imagery
  23. 23
    Top Level
    4.9
    ( 74 )
    • Other book or magazine
    • Magazine cover
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other design
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Brochure
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Book cover
    • Other web or app design
    • Typesetting
    • Stationery
    • WordPress theme design
    • PowerPoint template
    • Banner ad
  24. 24
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 213 )
    • Logo design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Brand guide
    • Business card
    • Web page design
    • Other design
    • Product packaging
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other business or advertising
    • Stationery
    • Product label
    • 3D
    • PowerPoint template
    • Other web or app design
    • Facebook cover
    • Other packaging or label
    • WordPress theme design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • T-shirt
    • Signage
    • Other book or magazine
    • Landing page design
    • Banner ad
    • Other art or illustration
    • Icon or button
    • Brochure
  25. 25
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 68 )
    • Other design
    • Logo design
    • Stationery
    • Other business or advertising
    • Web page design
    • Business card
    • Other book or magazine
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Logo & business card
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Typesetting
    • Icon or button
    • Email
    • Brand guide
    • Product packaging
    • PowerPoint template
    • Other web or app design
    • T-shirt
    • Social media page
    • Poster
    • Facebook cover
    • Card or invitation
    • Car, truck or van wrap
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Banner ad
  26. 26
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 81 )
    • Book cover
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Magazine cover
    • Social media page
    • Other web or app design
    • Logo design
    • Brochure
  27. 27
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 79 )
    • Illustration or graphics
    • T-shirt
    • Logo design
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Other art or illustration
    • Other design
    • Character or mascot
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • App design
    • Icon or button
    • Business card
    • PowerPoint template
    • Other business or advertising
    • Infographic
    • Tattoo
    • Sticker
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Signage
    • Product packaging
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Merchandise
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Facebook cover
    • Card or invitation
    • Book cover
    • Banner ad
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting
    • Poster
  28. 28
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Typesetting with imagery
  29. 29
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 138 )
    • Logo design
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Signage
    • Stationery
    • Product label
    • Other business or advertising
    • Logo & business card
    • Brochure
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other packaging or label
    • Book cover
    • Banner ad
    • Brand guide
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Social media page
    • PowerPoint template
    • Other art or illustration
    • Business card
    • Other design
    • Infographic
    • Facebook cover
    • Email
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Web page design
    • Typesetting
    • Sticker
    • Icon or button
    • Car, truck or van wrap
  30. 30
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 84 )
    • Logo design
    • Logo & business card
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Logo & hosted website
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Other design
    • Business card
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Infographic
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Brochure
    • App
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Stationery
    • PowerPoint template
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other art or illustration
    • Web page design
    • Signage
    • Print or packaging design
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • App design
    • Landing page design
    • Icon or button
    • Button or icon

How did we choose these as the top book layout designers?

At 99designs, we work with designers of every field and skill level. We’ve devised a reliable system of evaluating and ranking our designers, according to three criteria:

1. Quality

book design
by Marcy_McGuire

First, we sort freelance designers into Top, Mid and Entry Levels so our clients know their caliber of skill from the beginning. Our in-house team of design experts review the work of each and every designer, paying close attention to their understanding of design principles, capacity for conceptual thought and technical proficiency.

2. Experience in book layout design

Next, we track a freelance designer’s performance with book design. If a certain designer frequently works on book design projects, and gets great reviews, we notice.

3. Professionalism

Last, we consider how well a designer interacts with clients. We emphasize professionalism here, so we pay attention to how well a designer satisfies client’s requests, communicates and meets deadlines.

What to think about when hiring a book designer or typesetter

Book layout design is a specific discipline that draws on a knowledge of up-to-date standards. Because it deals so much with sizes and proportions, there’s a lot of technical expertise to consider that’s not always apparent to outsiders. That’s why we came up with a quick list of areas to keep an eye out for when you hire a book designer or typesetter:

book design
by YaseenArt
  • Typography. How does the designer deal with fonts, text sizes, line spacing and other typographic choices? The thing about typography is that when it’s done well, you don’t notice it at all.
  • Images. Book designers oversee all the visuals in a book, including the cover, which they sometimes even design themselves.
  • Typesetting and layout. There’s a lot of technical aspects to consider, such as margin space, trim size and common mistakes like “widows” and “orphans.” Brush up on these trade skills by reading this quick article on book layout design.
  • Reader experience. How does reading the book feel? Are you distracted by anything, or are you free to get caught up in the content? Does the feeling match the theme of the book?

For each designer that catches your eye, browse their previous work and pay attention to the categories above. A lot of choosing whom to hire depends on how closely their style matches yours.

Are you ready to hire a top-notch freelance book designer?

If you’re serious about publishing, you need to be serious about hiring a designer. Skills like typesetting and book layout design aren’t things you can pick up over a long weekend—they’re career disciplines and they directly impact your book’s success. Don’t settle for any quick-and-easy solutions; browse the portfolios above to make sure you hire only the best.

Want to browse through a whole library of book designers?
If none of the book layout designers above caught your eye, you can conduct your own search of our database by your own criteria.