My wife loves to cook. And I am very grateful for that. I get to enjoy some really amazing meals each night. I watch sometimes as she takes all of the varied ingredients, carefully putting them together in just the right quantities and order, and then producing a meal that looks great, smells great, tastes great, and is healthy for me!!
So, I was thinking about book design and how I go through a very similar process in creating a book. I first consider the final outcome, and then collect all of the ingredients, making them all work together to produce a cohesive product.
The authors provide me with the ingredients to use and the kind of meal they want. It is up to me to use my pantry of goodies to make it taste great, smell great, look great, and be healthy for the reader.
And so, after all these years of "cooking books," I can consider myself the book's cook! And I don't have to worry about cutting myself! Well, paper cuts . . .