An Inspiring Graphic Designer for Husband’s Memoir Book Cover

An Inspiring Graphic Designer for Husband’s Memoir Book Cover

Hooray! In honor of International Women’s Day, the Casual Optimist has named Kimberly Glyder, one of fifty-two inspiring women graphic designers.


Kimberly is the cover designer for my late husband Charles Novacek’s award-winning memoir, Border Crossings: Coming of Age in the Czech Resistance, Ten21 Press, 2012.


She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and currently principal at Kimberly Glyder Design, her design firm based in the Philadelphia area.

Kimberly and her book covers “inspired” me and that’s why I selected her to design Charles’ independently published book.

Next to having skilled editing of the manuscript, I knew that choosing the book cover designer was possibly the most important decision I would make as an independent publisher. The cover would be the visual interpretation of Charles’ thousands of carefully chosen words.

Potential readers, reviewers, and booksellers glance at a book for just a few seconds before making their selection. I wanted to make sure they selected Border Crossings!

I didn’t have unlimited funds to spend, but I felt sure a professional graphic designer was worth saving for. I started my search with a list of specifications.  It was very important to me that the person be a reader and lover of books. Designing covers just couldn’t be a “job.”

Other specs on the list included:

  • Proven track record as book designer
  • Sensibility for marketing
  • Eye catching covers
  • Covers make a statement
  • Effective use of typography
  • Effective use of color
  • Professionally designed website
  • Willing/able to incorporate vintage Novacek family photo(s)
  • Willing/able to design cover for hardcover, paperback, and digital books
  • Willing to freelance for independent publisher
  • Met my needed turn-around time

I started my search by locating designers of book covers I liked in Border Crossings’ genre and subject matter.

Then, I did an online search for book designers from my local area and long distance. I consulted design related websites, too.  Though I liked the idea of working with someone in my community I felt working with a designer long distance would work through emails and phone calls.

From my research I created a list of potential designers and contacted them.

Ultimately, Kimberly was my choice. Kimberly met my specifications and I read interviews of her online where I learned she met the very important requirement of loving books and reading. She said:

“My mom is an artist and my dad has always been an avid reader, so from an early age I loved both art and books.”

“I was always a voracious reader, so being able to combine books and design is an ideal fit.”

“I loved making books as a kid.”

The Border Crossings cover has been recognized for excellence as a Finalist, Best Cover in the 2012 Midwest Independent Publishing Association Awards and by The Book Designer for an eBook Cover Design Award in November, 2012. The Book Designer commented, “This cover is a terrific example of how to put together historical images to make a cohesive whole. In the hands of a talented designer, all the elements have been carefully employed to tell a story without taking away from the impact of the design. A real winner!”

I love the cover, too. . . especially the way Charles’ stares mysteriously at the reader over the title of the book!



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