About Precocity Press

The Artists Way

Susan Shankin is a publisher, creative director, and book designer. Susan has been a publisher for almost a decade and has worked in the industry three times as long. Known for her exceptional creative ability and unrelenting commitment to excellence, Susan is highly experienced in all aspects of publishing. She provides a full range of services that include project management, research, idea development, cover and interior design, PR, and the creation of marketing collateral, including websites, brochures, and social media/email campaigns.

Susan began her career as a graphic designer, specializing in book design for one of the few publishers in Los Angeles, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc. (now part of Penguin Random House). During her seven-year tenure with Tarcher, Susan became the art director and designed hundreds of books, including Susan Wittig Albert’s Writing From Life and Esalen founder Michael Murphy’s The Future of the Body. Most notably she was the art director for Julia Cameron’s best-selling book The Artist’s Way.

Susan has designed books for Harcourt/Brace, Beyond Words Publishing, Renaissance Media, and many other publishers. More recently she has worked with authors who have chosen to independently publish or self-publish their books in genres such as business, self-improvement, spirituality, and memoirs, to name a few. Susan is passionate about transforming an author’s idea into a high-quality, creative, and distinctive cover that connects their message to a targeted audience.

Susan works with writers, authors, and corporate clients to develop their ideas, design their covers and interiors, and publish their books. She has collaborated with authors who have been entrepreneurs, artists, thought leaders, and business professionals.

One of the biggest areas Susan can help authors with is that of understanding the marketplace for their book within a specific genre. Susan takes great care to guarantee that the book covers she designs truly stand out in the marketplace. As a result, Susan’s titles and interiors pop and get noticed due to her strong sense of design and expertise in typography. Likewise, her comprehensive research process includes an exploration of other books in the same genre and extensive communication with the author regarding their goals and vision for the project. Susan’s keen eye and creative spirit truly set her books apart from the competition amid the clutter of the marketplace.

Crafting the Nonfiction Book Cover by Susan Shankin. Click here to read more.

Susan Shankin

Cover Design Process

It is often said that the eyes are the “window to the soul.” In the same way, a good book cover can reflect the soul of a book. We are told not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality we do exactly that. Indeed, a cover is  an author’s most important marketing tool. Why not harness this power?

A book cover is the one element that catches the most attention of potential readers and can leave a lasting visual impact. Don’t risk putting this important first impression in the hands of a generic template or unprofessional design. You’ll want your cover to attract readers like a magnet, drawing in their eye and piquing their curiosity to buy your book.

We are experts  in creating breathtakingly beautiful, poignantly powerful, and unquestionably unique book covers. We involve you every step of the way in our thoughtful multi-round process:

  • Round 1: You choose a design that best reflects your book from an initial presentation that includes between two and four potential covers.
  • Round 2: We refine your initial design choice
  • Final Cover: With your input, we finalize the chosen cover design

There are specific points to a cover that attract the most attention. Title, choice of imagery, clarity of the text, color choice, and the dimensions of the book are among the top five. Your title should not only represent your book’s contents, but it should be clear and accessible to the potential buyer. Writing your book has no doubt been a labor of love. It’s important to give your work the professional cover it deserves.

Independent Publishing

Let me clarify, we are not a traditional publishing company that pays authors an advance or royalties. 

Precocity Press is an independent publishing company where the author pays upfront for all editing, design and marketing services. The author then keeps 100% of the revenues earned. 

Independent publishing is an investment that works well for clients who want more control of the outcome of their work yet want high-quality New York style publishing services. Our principal, Susan Shankin, came from a traditional publishing background and has extensive editing and design experience. She worked at Jeremy P. Tarcher, a major LA publishing house in the 1990s and many of the authors she has helped publish have had their books win design and editorial awards in book competitions. 

A major advantage of independent publishing is that it takes a fraction of the time when compared to traditional publishing. We can help you get your book out in 3 to 6 months rather than the 12 to 18 months it takes with a traditional publisher. 

Please let us know if you are interested in having a conversation with us to discuss your needs and our services.