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“I help musicians and authors fulfil their dream of releasing their own album or publishing their own book.”
“I help musicians and authors fulfil their dream of releasing their own album or publishing their own book.”

About me, Paul Jackson, and how – as a designer, typesetter and German to English translator – I make it easier for you to realise your album or book project

 

I’m Paul Jackson, a British designer and translator who has lived in Essen, Germany since 2015.

I help musicians and authors fulfil their dream of releasing their own album or publishing their own book.

You’ve come to the right place if:

  • You want your music release to not only look great, but you also want the artwork files to print without problems
  • You want your book to look wonderful and convey a professional impression. And you also want your ebooks to work properly
  • Your mother tongue is German, but you want to reach an English-speaking audience, in order to sell more albums, books, products or services
  • You would like an appealing, functional website in order to inform your fans, readers or prospective buyers, and to stimulate sales
Paul Jackson, Designer Und Übersetzer Für Musik, Bücher Und Websites

During the course of my 20 years’ self-employment, my customers have secured:

  • Appealingly designed album covers and music packaging that perfectly suits their music
  • The realisation and technical implementation of their own design ideas for their releases
  • Artwork files for new vinyl editions of their old CDs, and new CD editions of their old vinyl
  • The security of knowing that the press-ready files they create themselves will be inspected, and if necessary corrected, to ensure they print without problems
  • Error-free press-ready files created on the basis of their own designs and layouts
  • Professionally designed and typeset books
  • Professionally designed, typeset and fully functional ebooks
  • Visually appealing websites designed, created and if required, managed
  • Management of their websites that were created by others
  • Appealing, factually and grammatically correct English translations of their German texts, especially technical texts, marketing texts and texts for the music industry
  • Thorough proofreading of English texts
Paul Jackson – Book Creation – Testimonial From Kay Rose-Hattrick

“By enhancing my initial ideas with his own ideas and design expertise, Paul created something that far exceeded my expectations.”

Kay Rose-Hattrick
Self-published author

“Paul Jackson has a splendid understanding of how to produce and deliver solid, flawless translations… At the same time, he regards his translation duties to be bound up with proofreading too, therefore effectively undertaking editing work. I treasure his understanding of text translation enormously, and am extremely satisfied with his work. Finally, it should also be mentioned that, without exception, Paul Jackson always accomplishes his work quickly, reliably and faultlessly.”

AS
Managing director, record company, Germany
Paul Jackson – Book Creation – Testimonial From Kay Rose-Hattrick

“Paul’s attention to detail is extraordinary – he will point out discrepancies in the text that you had not spotted yourself.”

Kay Rose-Hattrick
Self-published author

Our working relationship – things to know

Many service providers currently offer prospective customers free initial consultations over Zoom. I’m not currently one of them, and I’m not sure whether this will change in future. I’m also not generally available by telephone. Why’s that? I prefer to work in a focused manner, with as few interruptions as possible. Neither do I offer face-to-face meetings. I’ve got customers I’ve worked with for many years, but I’ve never met them, don’t know what they look like and have never heard their voice!

So I really am someone who sits in in front of a computer in my office or on the balcony, realising customer projects. And I do this during my core working hours, which are currently Mondays to Thursdays 10:00ish–17:00ish CET/CEST.

This is how I help musicians and authors fulfil their dream of releasing their own album or publishing their own book.

Musicians, bands, producers, labels – first-class artwork for your release!

Paul Jackson: Album cover design. 303 Alliance releases 003, 005 and 006Maybe you’re about to release your (perhaps very first) album, and are dreaming of high-quality artwork that not only looks great and complements the music, but which can also be relied upon to print without problems at the manufacturing stage?

No idea how it should look? If you’re after a stunning suitable design for it, you’ve come to the right place.

Or maybe you already have your own ideas for it, but aren’t sure how to realise them? What software you need, how to use it, what technical knowledge you need to obtain first? Especially so that the print files will print properly.

Maybe you’d just prefer to stay on the safe side and have someone inspect the print files you created yourself, so there are no nasty surprises from the printers? Or perhaps you just aren’t interested in all this technical stuff, because you prefer to concentrate on your music?

Breathe new life into your back catalogue with reissues

Do you run an established label? Maybe it’s time to release new editions or formats of your older releases, in order to monetise them? That could be new vinyl editions of older CDs, or new CD editions of older vinyl! I’d be pleased to convert your existing artwork for this purpose, including for whole series of re-releases, such as for example the back catalogue of a certain band. Meticulous reconstruction work, including a hunt for the typefaces that were previously used? Not a problem!

Paul Jackson Designer For The Music Industry – Testimonial From Benji303

“I have worked with Paul for over four years now, he has designed all the artwork for my record labels and events since 2016, when I first started my record label in 2014 the first two releases were designed by someone else and the artwork looked amateur and I wasn’t truly satisfied with the results but I have always been really pleased with the artwork Paul has designed for my projects, he has also always been extremely reliable over the years and never let me down, he has always met all the deadlines which have been set and turned the ideas I have had in mind for the artwork into a extremely high quality professional looking finished product.”

Benji303
303 Alliance

As of the end of 2019, I have worked on the following number of vinyl records and CDs – whether complete design, assistance with layout, creation of new formats or editions or inspecting and correcting print files.

0
Vinyl
0
CDs

Over the years, labels such as these (excerpt) have benefited from my skills:

  • 303 Alliance GB
  • Big Cat GB
  • Bluurg GB
  • Cold Spring GB
  • Coptic Cat GB/CA
  • Crass/The Crassical Collection GB
  • Cynfeirdd FR
  • Dark Vinyl DE
  • Dirter Promotions GB
  • Domino Recordings US
  • Durtro GB
  • Empire US
  • Exitstencilisms GB
  • ICR GB
  • Ipecac US
  • Jnana Records CA
  • Louder Than War GB
  • Neurot US
  • Outer Himalayan GB
  • Quarantine GB
  • Sanctuary Records Group GB
  • Southern GB
  • Strange Fortune US
  • Tresor DE
  • Trisol Music Group DE
  • Tursa GB
  • United Dairies IE
  • Upset The Rhythm GB
  • Very Friendly GB
  • World Serpent Distribution GB
  • Wrong CA

…and many, many more!

Over the years, labels such as these (excerpt) have benefited from my skills:

  • 303 Alliance GB
  • Big Cat GB
  • Bluurg GB
  • Cold Spring GB
  • Coptic Cat GB/CA
  • Crass/The Crassical Collection GB
  • Cynfeirdd FR
  • Dark Vinyl DE
  • Dirter Promotions GB
  • Domino Recordings US
  • Durtro GB
  • Empire US
  • Exitstencilisms GB
  • ICR GB
  • Ipecac US
  • Jnana Records CA
  • Louder Than War GB
  • Neurot US
  • Outer Himalayan GB
  • Quarantine GB
  • Sanctuary Records Group GB
  • Southern GB
  • Strange Fortune US
  • Tresor DE
  • Trisol Music Group DE
  • Tursa GB
  • United Dairies IE
  • Upset The Rhythm GB
  • Very Friendly GB
  • World Serpent Distribution GB
  • Wrong CA

…and many, many more!

I’d like that!

I’d like my album to look stunning!

You’re an author about to self-publish? Ensure your book stands out from the crowd

Book creation – pile of hardback booksAre you about to self-publish your (perhaps first ever) book, whether as a printed book, ebook or both? You’re probably dreaming of a high-quality cover and professional typesetting, so that it stands out from the crowd. But perhaps you’re worried whether the book will print correctly or not? And also that your ebook not only looks great, but also works properly, regardless of format/platform?

No idea how it should look? If you’re after an appealing and suitable design, you’ve come to the right place.

Or maybe you already have your own ideas for it, but aren’t so sure how to realise the technical aspects? What software you’d need, how to use it, and what technical knowledge you’d first have to acquire?

You prefer to concentrate on writing, and so have no idea how to go about realising your project?

Perhaps you’re not interested in the technical side of things, because you prefer to concentrate on writing? Maybe you have absolutely no idea how to create and self-publish a book? What platforms there are, and which of them are worth considering or not? You’ve got no idea about typographical practices, templates and stylesheets, but don’t want your book to look like a typical self-published book?

Over the course of the years I’ve made contributions to a number of book projects. These contributions have spanned typesetting, image editing, the provision of technical assistance and right up to taking care of the complete design, whether for ebooks or lavish printed books aimed at aficionados. I’d therefore be pleased to help you get your special project off the ground.

Paul Jackson – Book Creation – Testimonial From Kay Rose-Hattrick

“By enhancing my initial ideas with his own ideas and design expertise, Paul created something that far exceeded my expectations.”

Kay Rose-Hattrick
Self-published author
Paul Jackson – Book Creation – Testimonial From Kay Rose-Hattrick

“Paul guided me through the challenging process of self-publishing. He advised me on print options, undertook the final manuscript check, designed and helped me publish both my books. It was a steep learning curve for me, as I had no previous knowledge of what self-publishing entailed. I learned so much from working with Paul, and I would highly recommend him. I will be using his skills again when I publish my new book.”

Kay Rose-Hattrick
Self-published author

I’d like that!

I want my self-published book and/or ebook to not look like a self-published book and/or ebook!

Native speakers of German – become better known internationally, so you can increase sales!

Are you a musician or in a band, and already have something of an international fanbase? Maybe it’s time to release future albums with English booklet notes and inserts? Or to have your website translated into English, to increase your reach and therefore potentially your sales?

Or maybe you’re an author, but feel a bit restricted by the fact that there are ‘only’ around 100 million native speakers of German? Perhaps you dream of your how-to guide, manual or story reaching a much larger audience?

If one of these situations applies, I’d be pleased to translate your work into English – at least, if the subject fits my knowledge and expertise. You should only translate things you have some idea of! So if you’ve written a book about brain surgery or football, another translator would be a better fit!

From me you receive professional English translations of your:

  • Books
  • Websites
  • Operating manuals
  • Technical reports
  • Brochures
  • Press releases
  • Presentations
  • All manner of marketing and sales texts

From me you receive professional English translations of your:

  • Books
  • Websites
  • Operating manuals
  • Technical reports
  • Brochures
  • Press releases
  • Presentations
  • All manner of marketing and sales texts

 

“We are extremely satisfied with the reliable quality of Paul Jackson’s work and his speedy, punctual delivery. Furthermore, he knows how to formulate the translated texts appealingly, so that they assist us in the marketing of our properties.”

KG
Managing director, estate agent company, Germany

“Paul Jackson has a splendid understanding of how to produce and deliver solid, flawless translations… At the same time, he regards his translation duties to be bound up with proofreading too, therefore effectively undertaking editing work. I treasure his understanding of text translation enormously, and am extremely satisfied with his work. Finally, it should also be mentioned that, without exception, Paul Jackson always accomplishes his work quickly, reliably and faultlessly.”

AS
Managing director, record company, Germany

“I have been a keen customer of Paul Jackson’s services for many years now. In my 25-year career as a musician and in music management, nobody else has understood in such exemplary fashion how to translate any type of required text (product descriptions, newsletters, press releases etc) so perfectly.”

Thomas Rainer
Mechanic Mind Music Management
0
Number of translation projects successfully completed – as of the end of 2019
0
Average number of words translated per year (350,000–500,000) – as of the end of 2019

I’d like that!

German is my working language, but I’d like to sell more books, products or services abroad!

How your own website enables you to retain more control of your web presence!

Many musicians and authors ask themselves whether they actually need their own website. Others don’t even consider the idea, because for many people today, social media is ‘the internet’. Lots of people hardly ever visit ‘normal’ websites, if at all. For this reason, many musicians or self-published authors (no longer) have their own website. Or if they do, they no longer maintain it, and it’s sitting gathering dust on some server somewhere. Maybe you’re one of them.

Why should you pay for a website when that nice Mr Zuckerberg and others offer such fully featured platforms, with enormous reach, free of charge? Where you can not only engage with fans, but offer them news, music, video clips or excerpts from your books?

The answer to this question is dead easy – because your own website belongs to YOU, not some enormous US concern. You have complete control over it – how it looks, how it works, even whether you’re allowed to publish a photo of a buttock or a female nipple.

Perhaps you’ve been dreaming of your own website, but have no idea how and where to start? What system would be the best? How to plan and structure a website? How to reach prospective fans, readers or customers, build loyalty to your brand (aargh!) and convert as many of them as possible to buyers?

I’d be pleased to help you with your own website, which would then serve as a central access point to your various profiles. I can help you with planning, design, setup or also management of your own website.

I’d like that!

I’d like to address fans, readers and prospective customers directly, via my own platform, in order to retain some control over my business!

More about designer, typesetter and German to English translator Paul Jackson

Back at the beginning, I was delighted to be able to work with people whose music I’d enjoyed for many years. And also with influential musicians who had played a part in changing the musical landscape. How should I represent their music in their album covers and music packaging?

And in my work as a German to English translator it gives me a warm glow to know that I’m increasing my customers’ profiles outside the German-speaking countries, with the result that they can sell more vinyl, CDs, books, products or services.

But also that I help consumers or employees in a number of countries to use certain machines or equipment safely and properly, on the basis of my English translations of operating manuals.

And it’s also nice to stumble across one of my own translations in ‘normal life’, especially when unexpected.

As a person with a range of talents and interests, I’m delighted that I’ve been able to live from my various skills for many years. If I had to work in just one job, I’d go mad, never mind as an employee!

Day in, day out, I sit at a computer listening to great music while providing my customers with a number of benefits – and getting paid for it. My dream life!

How I provide my customers with added value:

  • My diligent, focused way of working, irrespective of activity
  • Reliability and ability to meet deadlines
  • An extraordinary eye for detail – I can spot a double space or ugly ‘typewriter’ quotation marks from a distance of 50 metres!
  • Logical approach
  • Appealing German to English translations that are not just factually and grammatically correct, but which also flow well
  • Stunning-looking music releases and books
  • The ability to get customer projects up and running, in a well-thought-out manner
  • Years, or sometimes decades, of experience in various areas (unfortunately, I’m no longer a spring chicken)

Sounds good!

I’d like some of that, too!

Even as a child, I was totally engrossed in words, reading and writing, with a fascination for typography and graphic design following later, especially with regard to record sleeves and books. So it’s probably no surprise that I’ve been working with all these elements since the 1990s: sometimes all of them together, but more often individually or in various combinations.

And for 20 years, on a self-employed basis, because I once found myself at the right place at the right time, and got to know the right people. A fateful event, as it was already clear to me that life as an employee wasn’t the life for me (which was probably also apparent to more than one of my previous bosses). Goodbye annoying bosses, irritating colleagues, hierarchies and stupid rules!

During those early years, I industriously created album covers and packaging layouts for musicians and bands, as well as working closely with influential musicians who were/are well known at least in their respective scenes, helping them realise their own design ideas for their releases.

Musicians, bands, producers or labels – do you require professional graphic design for your release?

  • I would be pleased to design your album cover and entire album packaging, for vinyl or CD
  • If you have already created your cover design, I can help you with the rest of the packaging, such as typography, layout and typesetting
  • Or perhaps you’ve already created the cover design and layout? In that case, I can create the press-ready files from it. Thanks to my eye for detail, you can be sure they will print properly, without being rejected by the printer
  • Is it time to breathe new life into some of the releases from your back catalogue? I’d be pleased to convert the existing artwork from your earlier releases, in order to create CDs from your old records or records from your old CDs. This includes whole series of reissues

I’d like that!

I’d like my album to look stunning!

But even the most talented musicians or most experienced marketing experts are not necessarily able to write error-free English. For this reason, I often took care of proofreading the texts, as I had also done in my ‘previous life’ as an employee. I would have had a bad conscience if texts containing errors had left my computers in order to be permanently printed onto paper.

In 1999, I created my first customer website, also for a musician. Afterwards followed a whole load more, for other musicians, but also for labels, artists, authors and other self-employed people.

Address your fans, readers and prospective customers on your own terms – with your own website

  • I create your visually appealing website
  • Responsive design/mobile first
  • As fast-loading as possible
  • And if required, I can advise you on site structure, content and/or SEO – after all, having your own website is no good if it can’t be found (which I can 100% confirm from my own earlier experience!)

I’d like that!

I’d like to address fans, readers and prospective customers directly, via my own platform, in order to retain some control over my business!

In 2004, an overworked translator friend farmed out what would be my first paid-for German to English translation to me. Further translation jobs followed, initially in the music industry (where else?).

Because some of my customers at that time also published books, I occasionally made a contribution to them. A bit of typesetting here, a little image editing there, and maybe some technical assistance where required.

About ten years ago I created my first ebook (a proper ebook, not just some old PDF file, which online marketers today like to call ebooks!). More appeared over the course of the next few years.

Do you want your self-published book to not look like a self-published book?

  • Secure an appealing cover design and professional typesetting for your book
  • Secure a professional ebook too, which not only looks great and includes the best typography this medium allows, but which also works without problems. Your ebook stands out from the mass of amateurish-looking competition on the well-known platforms
  • And if required, I can give native speakers of German a voice in the English-speaking world*, so that your masterpiece can reach as many people as possible (*if the subject of your book fits my knowledge and expertise – you should only translate things you have some idea about!)

I’d like that!

Ich möchte, dass mein Buch bzw. eBook im Selbstverlag nicht wie ein Buch bzw. eBook im Selbstverlag wirkt!

These early years of self-employment were really varied, which was great. At the beginning of each working day I would never precisely know what the day would bring: creative design, a layout to create, websites to design or maintain, English texts to proofread or German texts to translate into English.

But nothing ever remains the same, and as a result of technological advances and changing consumer behaviour, the music industry found itself in a downwards spiral. Obviously, music still exists, and will continue to do so, but gradually there was hardly any money available to pay for professional artwork for music packaging – at least in the dark corners of the industry in which I was active. And partially because the projects were often extremely lavish, and the customers extremely demanding! As a result of the production costs, such releases are often no longer viable, unless the musicians create the artwork themselves or have a friend do so.

At the same time, social media became established, exerting an effect on not only consumer behaviour, but also that of the musicians and labels. People wanting to regularly supply fans or readers with news, present them with new music or video clips and offer them the opportunity for discussion among themselves could suddenly do so. All this free of charge and with relatively little hassle, without having to hire anyone to set everything up for them.

As a result of all these changes, I decided to deliberately spend more time (and earn more money!) translating. And luckily, this plan worked out much better than I had imagined. In fact, so good that within just a short time I could primarily live from translating, which is still the case today.

Native speakers of German – secure yourself a voice in the English-speaking world, in order to sell more music, books, products or services!

  • Secure for yourself appealing, factually and grammatically correct English translations of your German album inserts, books, websites, marketing texts or technical instruction manuals
  • English is my mother tongue – readers of the English texts I translate will not notice that they are translations. In turn, this increases trust in you and your products or services
  • Many years’ professional experience, in accordance with ISO 17100
  • And of course, I only translate things I know about, meaning I’ll ask you to find an alternative translator for your instructions on carrying out heart surgery!

I’d like that!

German is my working language, but I’d like to sell more books, products or services abroad!

But the translation industry is also changing. What a stroke of bad luck that I always end up working in industries affected by ever-increasing digitalisation! I know exactly how the weavers must have felt when the spinning jenny was introduced, at the start of the industrial revolution!

But I always take this as an opportunity for personal development and to try new things.

For two decades, I’ve been hunched up in front of the computer, winning 99% of my customers through word of mouth or pure chance. But now it’s time to face the public a bit more!

Over the last year or so I’ve learned an enormous amount about capitalism business and marketing, chiefly from people much younger than me, but who are lots more successful. If only I’d known back then what I know now! Sigh…

So over the course of the years, my professional focus has occasionally changed. Sometimes deliberately so; sometimes as a result of external factors. But that’s OK, as I have varied interests and therefore require a certain amount of variety. Only working (or being allowed to work) as a designer, typesetter, web designer or translator would drive me mad. Variety, independence and self-determination are extremely important to me.

Count me in!

I want my album to look stunning!

I want my self-published book and/or ebook to not look like a self-published book or ebook!

German is my native language, but I want to sell more music, books, products and services abroad!

I’d like to address my fans, readers and prospective customers on my own terms – with my own website!

Out of office hours, when I’m not busy moving pixels about, converting German words into English ones, maintaining websites or dispatching (print) files here, there and everywhere, I still like to sit at a computer, in order to read, learn and listen to amazing music, most of which can best be described as an acquired taste. (And given time and opportunity, I also enjoy creating music that can best be described as an acquired taste.)

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