Susan Malikowski

Susan Malikowski - Designer

Downingtown, PA, USA

I’ve designed covers for 20+ years, with award-winning and bestselling titles in management, leadership, self-help, spirituality in work.

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Overview

I’ve found the most important aspect in book design is open communication and an effective, enjoyable working relationship with clients. Putting the right cover to a manuscript is so essential and I understand how much work has already been done by the time it hits my desk. Together we’ll discuss your goals, visual preferences, timeline and budget. It’s crucial to your cover’s success to be eye-catching, polished, and professional. I offer a variety of concepts to nail down the message, and strong design and imaging skills to accomplish this. My interior designs are clean, clear and inviting.

An obsession with great book covers and love of art and design fueled my enthusiasm for breaking into the book design industry in the 1990s, and I haven’t looked back. I’ve worked with creative, art, and marketing directors, project managers, editors, as well as directly with authors. Clients include Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Thomson Learning/Wadsworth, Jossey-Bass, Brooks-Cole, Key Curriculum Press, San Francisco Book Council, New Leaders Press, non-profit Heifer International, and self-published authors. My cover work has been in management, business, self-help and spirituality in the workplace, and also fine art, biography and children's fiction works.

Some bestselling titles include Repacking Your Bags, Humble Inquiry, and The Power of Failure. Design, business industry, and publication awards include titles such as Networking for People Who Hate Networking, Wired and Dangerous, Humble Inquiry, The Power of Having Fun, Owning Our Future, and Ask Outrageously!

Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, or consult about your book project.
Languages
English
Non-Fiction
Business & Management
Self-Help & Self-Improvement

Awards

  • Winner, book design, Bookbuilders West Annual Book Show
  • LDSPMA Praiseworthy Award winner
  • Independent Publisher Book Award, Self-Help

Work experience

Lead Designer

Self-employed
March, 2011 – Present (over 10 years)

Own and operate graphic design studio. Work closely with publishers in book design. Creative direction, concept development, design, illustration and production services for book covers, interiors, catalogs, newsletters and marketing pieces. Client, talent and vendor communication and management. Projects also include identity packages, web design, digital advertising.

Senior Graphic Designer

Verve Marketing & Design
August, 2006 – August, 2009 (about 3 years)

Design and production of fine art books, children's books, trade magazines. Art directing, concept development, design, traffic management, and production of creative work, in a team environment. Brand identity—logo and stationery design, advertising campaigns, website design, signage, brochures and email promotions. Digital illustration. Project management, client, talent and vendor communication, management and direction.

Lead Designer

Self-employed
January, 1995 – March, 2011 (about 16 years)

Own and operate graphic design studio. Work with publishers in book design services. Creative and art direction, concepting, design execution, scheduling, illustration and production services. Client, talent and vendor management and direction. Projects include book covers, interiors, catalogs, newsletters, promotional marketing pieces, identity packages, digital advertising, web design.

Portfolio (17 selected works)

Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Good Life

Richard J. Leider, David A. Shapiro

In this revised and updated new edition of a classic—over 560,000 copies sold and translated into 18 languages—is a practical guide for "unpacking" your physical, emotional, and intellectual baggage and "repacking" for the journey ahead. People everywhere feel overwhelmed today—weighed down by countless responsibilities and buffeted by never-ending changes in their personal and professional li... read more

In this revised and updated new edition of a classic—over 560,000 copies sold and translated into 18 languages—is a practical guide for "unpacking" your physical, emotional, and intellectual baggage and "repacking" for the journey ahead. People everywhere feel overwhelmed today—weighed down by countless responsibilities and buffeted by never-ending changes in their personal and professional li... read more

Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity Off the Mat and On the Job

Maren Showkeir, James Showkeir

Everyone knows that yoga helps reduce stress and increase the body’s flexibility and strength. But the physical aspects barely scratch the surface of yoga’s transformative powers. The poses are only one part of a larger philosophy offering profound insights for confronting the complexities of daily life. Yoga can help you remain centered, compassionate, positive, and sane every hour of the day... read more

Everyone knows that yoga helps reduce stress and increase the body’s flexibility and strength. But the physical aspects barely scratch the surface of yoga’s transformative powers. The poses are only one part of a larger philosophy offering profound insights for confronting the complexities of daily life. Yoga can help you remain centered, compassionate, positive, and sane every hour of the day... read more

Networking for People Who Hate Networking, Second Edition: A Field Guide for Introverts, the Overwhelmed, and the Underconnected

Devora Zack

Would you rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase “working a room” make you want to retreat to yours? Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and successful consultant who gives presentations to thousands of people at dozens of events annually, feels your pain. She found that other networking books assume that to succeed, you have to act like an extrovert. Not at all. ... read more

Would you rather get a root canal than face a group of strangers? Does the phrase “working a room” make you want to retreat to yours? Devora Zack, an avowed introvert and successful consultant who gives presentations to thousands of people at dozens of events annually, feels your pain. She found that other networking books assume that to succeed, you have to act like an extrovert. Not at all. ... read more

The Power of Having Fun: How Meaningful Breaks Help You Get More Done

Dave Crenshaw

Fun is the key to success! If you want to be successful, having fun is not an option. It’s a necessity. By making fun a top priority—taking meaningful, enjoyable breaks each day, week, month, and year—you’ll not only be happier but be more productive, too! Using scientific evidence, real-world case studies, and a healthy dose of wit, bestselling author Dave Crenshaw shows that a regular respit... read more

Fun is the key to success! If you want to be successful, having fun is not an option. It’s a necessity. By making fun a top priority—taking meaningful, enjoyable breaks each day, week, month, and year—you’ll not only be happier but be more productive, too! Using scientific evidence, real-world case studies, and a healthy dose of wit, bestselling author Dave Crenshaw shows that a regular respit... read more

Wired and Dangerous: How Your Customers Have Changed and What to Do About It

Chip R Bell, John R. Patterson

In an era of economic stress, rapid change, and social networking, customers are distracted, disgruntled, and harder to please than ever. Picky, Fickle, Vocal, Wired, and Vain – they have very little tolerance for error and are ready to spread the word quickly over the internet when things go wrong. If a companyÆs customer service doesnÆt adapt to these new conditions, they will get burned by ... read more

In an era of economic stress, rapid change, and social networking, customers are distracted, disgruntled, and harder to please than ever. Picky, Fickle, Vocal, Wired, and Vain – they have very little tolerance for error and are ready to spread the word quickly over the internet when things go wrong. If a companyÆs customer service doesnÆt adapt to these new conditions, they will get burned by ... read more

Dig Your Heels In: Navigate Corporate BS and Build the Company You Deserve

Joan Kuhl

What if you could transform your company from the inside out? Biased, male-dominated corporate cultures have forced far too many women out of the companies they've aspired to work for. Dig Your Heels In is a first of its kind playbook that empowers women to disrupt the corporate achievement game and be catalysts for positive change. Joan Kuhl helps women create a clear vision of what their car... read more

What if you could transform your company from the inside out? Biased, male-dominated corporate cultures have forced far too many women out of the companies they've aspired to work for. Dig Your Heels In is a first of its kind playbook that empowers women to disrupt the corporate achievement game and be catalysts for positive change. Joan Kuhl helps women create a clear vision of what their car... read more

Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling

Edgar H. Schein

Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people—especially those who report to us—we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry. Ed Schein defines Humble Inquiry as “the fine art of dra... read more

Communication is essential in a healthy organization. But all too often when we interact with people—especially those who report to us—we simply tell them what we think they need to know. This shuts them down. To generate bold new ideas, to avoid disastrous mistakes, to develop agility and flexibility, we need to practice Humble Inquiry. Ed Schein defines Humble Inquiry as “the fine art of dra... read more

Ask Outrageously!: The Secret to Getting What You Really Want

Linda Swindling

Stop Holding Yourself Back—It's Time to Go Ask!The strongest relationships, top sales groups, and most successful organizations have one thing in common: people who have the courage to ask outrageously. This doesn't mean being obnoxious or taking advantage of people. It means not compromising, taking a risk to get what you know you need, not what you think you can get. Based on Linda Swindling... read more

Stop Holding Yourself Back—It's Time to Go Ask!The strongest relationships, top sales groups, and most successful organizations have one thing in common: people who have the courage to ask outrageously. This doesn't mean being obnoxious or taking advantage of people. It means not compromising, taking a risk to get what you know you need, not what you think you can get. Based on Linda Swindling... read more

Faster, Fewer, Better Emails: Manage the Volume, Reduce the Stress, Love the Results

Dianna Booher

Business communication expert and bestselling author Dianna Booher shares practical wisdom on how to write effective emails that get results and how to organize documents to gain control and increase your productivity.Today, most business writing is email writing. We handle even our most important customer transactions, internal operations, and supplier partnerships solely by email. Yet many o... read more

Business communication expert and bestselling author Dianna Booher shares practical wisdom on how to write effective emails that get results and how to organize documents to gain control and increase your productivity.Today, most business writing is email writing. We handle even our most important customer transactions, internal operations, and supplier partnerships solely by email. Yet many o... read more

Downshifting: How to Work Less and Enjoy Life More

John D. Drake

Today's organizations put extraordinary pressure on their employees to work harder and longer. This book shows readers how to resist this pressure and actually spend less time in the office. John Drake, who successfully downshifted his own work life, examines the frantic pace of today's business environment, helps readers overcome the fear of working less, and shows them how to make the change... read more

Today's organizations put extraordinary pressure on their employees to work harder and longer. This book shows readers how to resist this pressure and actually spend less time in the office. John Drake, who successfully downshifted his own work life, examines the frantic pace of today's business environment, helps readers overcome the fear of working less, and shows them how to make the change... read more

Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution

Marjorie Kelly

As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing financial income for the few, our economy will be locked into endless growth and widening inequality. But now people are experimenting with new forms of ownership, which Marjorie Kelly calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. These designs may hold the key to the deep transforma... read more

As long as businesses are set up to focus exclusively on maximizing financial income for the few, our economy will be locked into endless growth and widening inequality. But now people are experimenting with new forms of ownership, which Marjorie Kelly calls generative: aimed at creating the conditions for life for many generations to come. These designs may hold the key to the deep transforma... read more

Be a Project Motivator: Unlock the Secrets of Strengths-Based Project Management

Ruth Pearce PMP JD

How do project managers achieve spectacular results when they have no direct authority over their team members? Here's a foolproof process for engaging your team: one that begins with engaging yourself.Ruth Pearce knows project management from the inside out. She knows the best project managers use their influence to engage their teams--and with that engagement comes motivation and commitment ... read more

How do project managers achieve spectacular results when they have no direct authority over their team members? Here's a foolproof process for engaging your team: one that begins with engaging yourself.Ruth Pearce knows project management from the inside out. She knows the best project managers use their influence to engage their teams--and with that engagement comes motivation and commitment ... read more

The Power of Failure: 27 Ways to Turn Life's Setbacks Into Success

Charles C Manz

""Failure"" is one of the most dreaded words in the English language. The very idea of failing is enough to stop most people in their tracks. It can cause the majority to simply pack up, turn around and retreat without even trying. Yet it is through seeming failure that most of life's greatest successes are achieved. The Power of Failure is designed to provide simple yet profound ways to turn ... read more

""Failure"" is one of the most dreaded words in the English language. The very idea of failing is enough to stop most people in their tracks. It can cause the majority to simply pack up, turn around and retreat without even trying. Yet it is through seeming failure that most of life's greatest successes are achieved. The Power of Failure is designed to provide simple yet profound ways to turn ... read more

The Socially Intelligent Project Manager: Soft Skills That Prevent Hard Days

Kim Wasson

This no-nonsense guide to social intelligence for project managers gives you a step-by-step process for building a bulletproof project team--no matter what gaps exist in personality, geography, culture, or communication style.High-performing teams don't happen by magic. You need processes that are designed in a socially intelligent way if your team is going to overcome the modern world's tough... read more

This no-nonsense guide to social intelligence for project managers gives you a step-by-step process for building a bulletproof project team--no matter what gaps exist in personality, geography, culture, or communication style.High-performing teams don't happen by magic. You need processes that are designed in a socially intelligent way if your team is going to overcome the modern world's tough... read more

Courageous Training: Bold Actions for Business Results (Bk Business)

Tim Mooney, Robert O. Brinkerhoff

All too often—maybe even most of the time—training doesn’t stick. But Tim Mooney and Robert Brinkerhoff have discovered that some iconoclastic trainers achieve breakthrough results by having the courage to break away from the usual approaches and identify what really works. In simple and engaging language they lay out the Four Pillars of Courageous Training, illustrating each with real-life ex... read more

All too often—maybe even most of the time—training doesn’t stick. But Tim Mooney and Robert Brinkerhoff have discovered that some iconoclastic trainers achieve breakthrough results by having the courage to break away from the usual approaches and identify what really works. In simple and engaging language they lay out the Four Pillars of Courageous Training, illustrating each with real-life ex... read more

The Fox in the Henhouse: How Privatization Threatens Democracy

Si Kahn, Elizabeth Minnich

Privatization has been on the right-wing agenda for years. Health care, schools, Social Security, public lands, the military, prisons—all are considered fair game. Through stories, analysis, impassioned argument—even song lyrics—Si Kahn and Elizabeth Minnich show that corporations are, by their very nature, unable to fulfill effectively what have traditionally been the responsibilities of gove... read more

Privatization has been on the right-wing agenda for years. Health care, schools, Social Security, public lands, the military, prisons—all are considered fair game. Through stories, analysis, impassioned argument—even song lyrics—Si Kahn and Elizabeth Minnich show that corporations are, by their very nature, unable to fulfill effectively what have traditionally been the responsibilities of gove... read more

Beyond Juggling: Rebalancing Your Busy Life

Kurt Sandholtz, Brooklyn Derr, Kathy Buckner, Dawn Carlson

If you're one of the millions of people who are feeling overcommitted, overworked, and overtired, you've probably already learned that you can't juggle your way to a balanced life. With ever-increasing demands at work and at home, juggling only leads to exhaustion and frustration. Beyond Juggling presents five alternative strategies--Alternating, Outsourcing, Bundling, Techflexing, and Simplif... read more

If you're one of the millions of people who are feeling overcommitted, overworked, and overtired, you've probably already learned that you can't juggle your way to a balanced life. With ever-increasing demands at work and at home, juggling only leads to exhaustion and frustration. Beyond Juggling presents five alternative strategies--Alternating, Outsourcing, Bundling, Techflexing, and Simplif... read more

Susan has 7 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Julie Hickey
I have now worked with Susan on two books and she is amazing. I plan on making my books a series and can't wait to use her for the whole series. She is not only extremely talented but she is so nice and easy to work with. As a first-time author, she helped me to make sure I was doing everything right. I can't recommend Susan enough.

Julie Hickey, January 2021

Susan Malikowski
Thank you Julie! Your review is very much appreciated. You've been a delight to work with, in every aspect. I look forward to the chance to work together again.

Reply from Susan Malikowski


Ashleigh Walters
Susan did an excellent job designing the cover and interior of my book. She even gave me advice along the way on ISBN and bar code issues. Susan was the perfect person to lead the way on a first time author’s journey.

Ashleigh Walters, January 2021

Susan Malikowski
Dear Ashleigh, Thank you for your great review. It was a delight to work together. Your professional, friendly, thinking-outside-the-box approach to our work was refreshing. I’m very happy that you...
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Reply from Susan Malikowski


Julie Hickey
This is the second book that Susan has done the cover and interior design for me. This book was a family collaboration as my 91 year old father wanted to publish his memoir. Susan was so amazingly patient as there were lots of us giving feedback and approving every round. Her professionalism, talent, patience, and kindness cannot be put into words. If she is available to work for you, hire h...
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Julie Hickey, December 2020


Tom Butler
Susan was a consummate professional throughout the process of my book design. I liked the amount and clarity of her communication. As a first time author, she helped guide me through the process of book cover design. I appreciated her design process and how we went from 6 options down to the one I finally chose. She incorporated my "wish list" of design elements while also pushing me to inc...
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Tom Butler, November 2020

Susan Malikowski
Tom has been a wonderful client to work with. He’s been very responsive, professional and personable. He’s made the work process very smooth and offered great information to help us hit our “target...
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Reply from Susan Malikowski


Ryan Kemp
Susan is great. I worked with her a second time doing the the internal typography of the book after she designed an amazing cover for my book as well. She is responsive, diligent and caring, really taking responsibility for her abilities to create something beautiful. Highly recommend and hope to work with her in the future again as well!

Ryan Kemp, September 2020

Susan Malikowski
Dear Ryan, I very much appreciate your great review. It was a pleasure working together, as we navigated through your book project—from cover design to interior design and production. Your flexibil...
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Reply from Susan Malikowski

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