about Blue Wren Books
Hello and welcome to Blue Wren Books.
I’m Helen Christie, and I’m passionate about creating beautifully-designed and typeset books for self-published and indie authors. You can read a little more about me over there on the right.
Really though, this website isn’t about me. Rather, it’s about you and your book – that amazing, uniquely-crafted combination of words that you’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into, along with thousands of hours of your time!
Something so precious needs to be treated with care, respect, and an eagle eye for detail. And that’s what Blue Wren Books is all about.
With 8 years’ experience working with self-published authors under my belt, I can appreciate your hopes, ambitions, and – most importantly – the challenges you’re facing as you go about bringing your book to life. If you want the process to be easy and enjoyable, resulting in a beautifully-designed, high-quality book you can be proud of, you’re in the right place.
Bringing your book to life
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Nice in theory, but in reality that’s exactly what we do. Good design sells books, so it’s essential if you want your book to be a commercial success.
Even if you’re not producing your book to sell it, good design enhances the reading experience. When your book’s design details are right, readers won’t even notice them because they’ll be too busy diving into your content. But, get them wrong and they’ll stick out like a sore thumb, distracting readers from the thing that matters most – your words.
At Blue Wren Books, I put the emphasis squarely on your content by thoroughly considering font style and size, page size, margin size, chapter breaks, heading styles, preliminary pages, glossaries, footnotes, and leading – not to mention graphs, diagrams, and illustration. Of course, none of this matters if nobody picks up your book in the first place. So, I’ll also create an eye-catching cover, turning your story into a marketable product to tempt buyers and giving you a physical manifestation of your work that you’ll be really proud of.
What many don’t realise is that book design is so much more than making things look pretty. Getting your book ready to go to print is a complex process, requiring a thorough knowledge of artwork files, pre-press checks, and printer specifications. Even if they’re technically savvy, it’s at this point many self-publishers decide it’s all too hard and throw in the towel.
Don’t let your hard work go to waste. At Blue Wren Books, I take the stress out of self-publishing, thoroughly preparing your book for both the printer and your readers; which enables you to simply sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Types of books
The sky’s the limit! I work on all styles of books including novels, historic fiction, children’s picture books, non-fiction, business books, advice books, self-help, lifestyle, family history, memoir, autobiography, biography, family photo books, poetry, plays, short stories, recipe books, keepsakes, community fundraisers, remembrance, and annual reports.
Is Blue Wren Books a one-stop-shop?
Not quite … I prefer to stick to what I do best – design, typesetting and printing.
As a self-published author, you’ll need to provide your own ISBN, but I’ll happily help you with that transaction and guide you through the process of Cataloguing-in-Publication services and legal deposit, if needed.
Whilst I’m not a publisher, I can offer advice around many aspects of publishing and put you in touch with the right people if you need further assistance. Or, if you already have a publisher, I’ll happily work with them too.
In addition to book design, typesetting, and printing, I also offer a range of services to help you launch and promote your book. More info on those here.
Finally, it’s worth noting that whilst many authors start off thinking that a one-stop-shop would be most convenient, it’s often not the best solution because everything gets tied to that one company. Going with a bespoke solution gives you the flexibility to retain a bit more control (for example, choosing your own editor).
What makes Blue Wren Books different?
- Honest advice: I value open discussion and honesty. Rather than simply following popular opinion or trends, I pride myself on giving the right advice for you informed by my years of professional experience. Of course, this all starts by listening thoroughly to your ideas, understanding what you want to achieve, and then customising a solution to produce the outcome you want at a price you can afford. I will never push you into anything you don’t understand, nor coerce you into pre-budgeted packages that don’t fit your requirements.
- High-quality design: I believe in the power of quality design, and this is at the forefront of everything I produce. I’ll leverage my years of experience to create a design that’s both beautiful and functional, and – most importantly – brings to life the unique vision you have for your book. High quality also means high attention to detail. So, you can rest assured that I’ll go above and beyond to ensure your finished product is polished to perfection.
- Old-fashioned customer service: As well as ensuring a quality end result, you’ll find the process of working with Blue Wren Books easy, enjoyable, and stress free. Blue Wren Books is proudly a personal brand, so you’ll work directly with me, ensuring timely personalised service with honesty and integrity. In fact, past clients say they value the customer service I provide almost as much as the design work itself.
about Helen Christie
With over 20 years’ experience in the design industry, I have worked as a finished artist, typesetter, and graphic designer for some of Melbourne’s top design and publishing services companies. Self-employment now gives me the opportunity to develop closer connections with authors like you to bring the vision of their books to life.
When not designing books, you’ll either find me reading, or with a camera round my neck photographing the beauty of the world and life's little moments.
I live in the Yarra Ranges with my husband and two daughters surrounded by a large garden filled with birds – blue wrens being my favourite.