by Len Lear
Over the years I have had occasion to write about many self-published authors. Some of their books look amateurish, in my humble opinion, and others look as professional as the books turned out by the nation’s top publishing firms. Some of those in the latter category were produced by Bethany DiLello, a graphic web designer whose office was at 8327 Germantown Ave. for two years and whose husband, Louis DiLello, is an attorney who owns Chestnut Hill Legal at 40 West Evergreen Ave.
In the past year, Bethany has consulted with several people who are in various stages of completing their books. To date, she has completed three books and has a few others in progress. Why do they look as professional as they do?
“I rely on my love of books,” said Bethany, “my lifetime of reading books, and my design training to make sure that the content of a book is presented in a way that will make people want to look at it. I look at existing books in the genre to see how the interiors are laid out and look for any commonalities among the cover designs. There are also some ‘rules’ for laying out type — font choice, margin size, etc. — that I think make a big difference in whether a book looks professional or not.”
Unlike so many other businesses that have plummeted since the pandemic started, Bethany’s has stayed afloat. “After a slight dip in work at the very beginning of the pandemic,” she said, “my workload has risen back up to its normal level. I may have lost some work due to in-person events being cancelled, but that work has often been replaced by virtual events that also require graphics in one way or another.”
Some local businesses that Bethany has worked for and continues to work with are the Chestnut Hill Business Association, KidneyCAN, Jonene Lee Photography, Christopher Ridenhour (motivational speaker), Benedum Law and Blue Hill Partners. The rest of her clients are spread throughout the country.
Bethany, 32, grew up in Springfield, Delaware County, and attended Springfield High School. She earned a BA degree from Temple University in elementary education in 2010 and in 2013 got a certificate in graphic and web design from the Boston University Center for Digital Imaging Arts.
The graphic web designer, who has also taught English as a Second Language to adults, did not always plan on the career she is in now. “As a child, I always thought I wanted to be a teacher, but after studying education for four years in college and teaching for a couple of years after college, I realized it wasn’t for me. I wanted to do something that was independent, creative and used technology.”Bethany is very fond of Toby, her three-year-old Labrador retriever, and of Alice Rose, a good friend and partner on the self-publishing side of her design businesses. She is a concept coach, helping clients take the big ideas they have for books and focus them into actionable, manageable projects.
On another issue, what was the hardest thing Bethany ever had to do? “Potty training a puppy while living on the third floor of an apartment building is definitely high on the list! But I think in reality the hardest thing is ongoing; figuring out where I belong in the world and what my larger contribution is going to be.”
What is the best advice Bethany ever received?
“’Trust your gut.’ My husband has taught me this lesson over and over again throughout our eight-year marriage. I have learned that our bodies often know important things before our brains do, and it’s important to pay attention to what your gut is telling you. Using that advice, I think a lot of the major decisions I’ve made in my adult life (marriage, career change, where to live, etc.) have turned out to be the best choices for me.”
If Bethany could live anywhere on earth, where would it be and why? “I would like to try living in England. I visited several years ago and really fell in love with Oxford and York. I am drawn to any story that takes place in a cozy English village. I think it’s the combination of lush greenery and deep history that attracts me.”
If Bethany could meet and spend time with anyone on earth, who would it be? “Anyone who is different from me.”
For more information, visit dilellodesign.com. Len Lear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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