Why is book design so important?

I'm a book designer with a published mystery novel. My second novel will be published later this year. I've looked at books and design from both sides of the publishing biz. I've worked in-house for large and small publishers, where I apprenticed and learned the editorial and book design trades. I've also freelanced for authors, publishers, nonprofits, and academic houses. In the many years I've been in publishing, I've seen first-hand the pitfalls of inexperience.

And I'm here to help.