Sophie Burdess

Sophie Burdess – Designer

I'm a book designer with over ten years experience. Before turning freelance, I was Fiction Art Director at Hachette Children's Books.


Hello there!

I have been designing books for over ten years. Before turning freelance I was Fiction Art Director at Hachette Children's books, Designer at Little Brown, Penguin (Puffin) and Walker Books. I have designed for almost all genres and aspects of book design - one of my clients is the personalised book specialists, Wonderbly - for whom I designed the personalised Wizarding World (Harry Potter) book.

I'm good at coming up with covers that encapsulate the essence of a book - whether it's a concept to communicate the clever idea of a non-fiction book or the emotional core of a fiction title.

I enjoy the collaborative aspect of book design - taking into consideration the input of everyone involved, offering several alternatives and evolving the design through feedback, as well as offering my design expertise.

I have heaps of experience art directing illustrators and photographers too, and enjoy creative, nurturing and productive relationships with both new and established artists.

I did an interview about designing the cover: 'A Novel Cover Up: Sophie B. on the Cover for A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews'. It may be of interest to get an insight into how I work.

As you can see my experience is broad - I just love designing books! Do get in touch if you've got a project I could help out with - I would love to hear from you.

My fees for cover design start around £600 (depending on the project type) but I can be flexible if I love the sound of the project and it captures my imagination.
Health & Wellbeing Psychology Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Literary Fiction Middle Grade Young Adult
  • Shortlisted for the ABCD Children's Award 2016
  • Shortlisted for ABCD SciFi/Fantasy Award, 2015

Work experience


Jan, 2018 — Present


Mar, 2018 — May, 2018 (2 months)

Covering for the Art Director while she took a leave of absence. During my time I designed covers and page layout for the Wonderbly range of personalised children's books. I also art-directed the in-house illustrators and designers.

Hachette Children's Group

Mar, 2015 — Dec, 2017 (almost 3 years)

While I was Fiction Art Director at Hachette Children's Books I oversaw the YA, Middle-Grade and Young-Reader fiction list for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Orion and Orchard imprints.

Among my favourite covers I designed were the well-loved Abie Longstaff's 'Trapdoor Mysteries' series and Jessica Townsend's bestseller 'Nevermoor'.

Little, Brown Book Group

Jan, 2012 — Mar, 2015 (about 3 years)

I designed covers for all the genres and imprints (Virago, Abacus, Piatkus, Sphere, Orbit, Atom, LB, Corsair, Constable & Robinson) at Little Brown.

My work included the break out literary / sci-fi debut, 'First Fifteen Lives of Harry August' by Claire North and the hilarious best-selling non-fiction 'Very British Problems' by Rob Temple.

Puffin Books

Oct, 2010 — Jan, 2012 (over 1 year)

I designed illustrated fiction, teen and YA books at Puffin.

I worked on big series like 'Spy Dogs', 'Gladiator' and the 'Magics' and designed new jackets for 'The Borrowers', 'Watershed Down' and Melvin Burgess's books.

Walker Books

Jun, 2006 — Oct, 2010 (over 4 years)

During my time working at Walker Books I designed and art-directed illustrated fiction series, teen and Young Adult covers.

My work included discovering and nurturing new talent, like Lauren Tobia on 'Anna Hibiscus' series (who has gone on to do great things in the picture book world!). Among my favourite YA covers are the glorious Sonya Hartnett's 'Ghostchild' and 'Midnight Zoo'.


There's an epidemic sweeping the nation Symptoms include: -Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss' -Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake -An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology Doctors have als... read more
Seven Days of You

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