coffee table book

Coffee Table Book: How to Create a Gorgeous Book

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

October 12, 2023

The term “coffee table book” refers to an oversized book whose contents are mostly visual. Sometimes called an art book, it uses an attractive layout and is heavy on images but light on text. It may be a collection of photographs, a selection of artwork, or a fashion line showcase. Every year, publishers release hundreds of new coffee table books, which are a popular seller.

Appeal of Coffee Table Books

Unlike a novel or nonfiction book that’s all about the text, the art book is all about the images. People are drawn to these books for several reasons.

They add beauty to any room

Whether you are designing a comfortable living room or spiffing up your office waiting area, these books add a visually appealing element. These large books are classic elements of traditional home decor, and in recent years, they have had a resurgence in popularity. People put them on coffee tables—as the name suggests—but these books are versatile and lovely enough to place in a bathroom, on a nightstand, or even piled up to hold a candle or lamp. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and creativity.

Some examples of these lavish-looking books are:

  • Andy Gotts: The Photograph. This 2023 publication features unique photographs of celebrities by one of the best-known photographers in Hollywood. Each photo comes with a brief account of the photography session written by Gotts.
  • Carmel’s Fairy Tale Cottages. This 2011 book focuses on the stunning seaside cottages designed by Hugh Comstock and other famous architects. Carmel, California, is known for its scenic beauty and whimsical homes, and this book is a wonderful visual journey through them.
  • Venice: A Private Invitation. This gorgeous 2022 book invites the reader to explore private homes, secluded corners, and other hidden gems of Venice, Italy.

The content is often useful

Although these books are primarily visual, some have useful information that makes them helpful guides and how-to books. Here are some examples you may have seen.

  • Made for Living: Collected Interiors for All Sorts of Styles. This 2020 decorating guide is great to look at, and it shares advice from interior designers who offer tips for transforming your home.
  • Making Faces. This classic book, first published in 1999, is a collection of celebrity makeup artist Kevin Aucoin’s most stunning makeup looks. The book shows how celebrities and models wore them and offers detailed tips on recreating those looks.
  • 100 Walks of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Scenic Trails. Anyone who enjoys hiking will appreciate learning more about these scenic routes. The 2020 book features National Geographic photographs of trails all over the world.

They are a relaxing escape

Coffee table books are designed to immerse the reader in an experience they wouldn’t otherwise have. Whether they deal with interiors or outdoor settings, they provide an escape into a more beautiful world.

What Are the Features of Coffee Table Books?

Although they deal with dozens of different subjects, these books share some distinct features.

  • Large size: The average coffee table book is oversized, coming in at a typical size of 18×12 inches, 12×9 inches, or 19×13 inches. It is usually published in landscape format, but some coffee table books are in portrait formatting.
  • Content: Imagery is the focus of these books. Even those that offer useful text or how-to suggestions rely mostly on the large, striking images that make up most of the book.
  • High-quality images: Because the book is about images, it must have unique, beautiful, high-resolution photographs or illustrations.
  • Printing: Printing for these books must be professional to ensure quality and true color resolution. These books are usually printed on glossy paper.
  • Cover: The cover is the main selling point of the art book. It should be carefully chosen to reflect what’s inside.

How to Create a Coffee Table Book

Are you interested in producing your own art book? Compared to other self-published books, a self-published coffee table book demands a bigger investment of your money, time, and attention to detail. Readers of these books have high expectations, and your book must be beautiful to hold, read, and display.

Hire a book designer

If you want to create a visually arresting book, using a template or a software design program may not cut it. These books are expensive, and buyers expect a certain level of quality from them. Your book won’t measure up to those standards unless you work with a professional book designer who’s experienced in creating the layout and design for coffee table books.

Choose a photographer

Will your book feature your photographs or artwork? If not, you must find a photographer who’s familiar with the subject and whose style matches your vision for the book. Are you using photos that you’ve seen published in other books? Be sure you get all copyright and other legal issues settled before you publish.

Write the text

Although the text may not be the focus of an art book, it is still important. You must include at least a caption for most of the pictures. You will also need:

  • Introduction
  • Front Matter
  • Descriptions of each photo: What is it, why is it included?
  • Back cover copy
  • Back matter

Design the cover

The cover of any book is important, and it’s even more important when you’re trying to market a book as a visual feast for the eyes. It is a good idea to wait until the book is close to completion before you choose a cover picture. By that time, you’ll have an idea of which image you think is the best representation of your book’s contents.

Ideas for Coffee Table Books

Are you stumped for ideas for your coffee table book? If you want something different from the usual design or photography collections, consider one of these themes.

Family history

A family history is a wonderful idea for an art book. Your family probably has a huge collection of photographs, snapshots, greeting cards, and other family memorabilia. Instead of leaving these items scattered among family members, gather them into one book that every family member will enjoy reading. Include famous, funny, touching, or insightful stories from your family’s history. You could even dedicate a page or a chapter to each family member. You’ll have a treasured memento that also makes a wonderful gift.

Vacation journal

Do you enjoy traveling? If you have outstanding photos and memories of your travels, put them together in a well-written book about your adventures. Many of us take trips, take lots of pictures, and then never get around to collecting those pictures into an album. Make a resolution to change that by creating a book featuring your travel pictures and favorite travel stories. This is also a wonderful gift for family members, friends, or the people you traveled with.

Guide to your home

Do you regularly rent out your home? Instead of stapled, photocopied lists, create a book about your home that you can leave for guests. This is like the guides used in upscale hotels, which give you all the details about using the pool, calling room service, and using the hotel’s amenities. Doesn’t your home deserve the same upscale treatment? Your guests will appreciate a printed, high-quality guide to the neighborhood, the home, and places they should visit.

Coloring book

Coloring books for adults are very popular. If you’re an artist, it may be enjoyable to produce a book filled with artwork that people can color. By doing this, you invite the reader to join you in creating the final version of the book. People enjoy coloring books with varied levels of difficulty. You can create simple, appealing pictures that are fun for a child or a beginner, or you can create intricate, detailed designs that will absorb the user for hours.

Coffee Table Book Publishing

An art book or coffee table book is a wonderful project that allows you to immerse yourself in the visual world. Your book deserves the best photos, top-notch text, and professional printing. When you’re ready to print it, contact Publishing Xpress.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 Publishing Xpress. All Rights Reserved.

Email Quote