Joel Friedlander – January 11 1948 – May 7 2021

by | May 10, 2021

We at The Book Designer are sad to learn of the passing of Joel Friedlander.

Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Joel will remember him for his kindness, generosity, and ability to inspire and teach countless authors, book lovers, and self-publishers over the years.

Its amazing to think about all the people Joel helped and the lives he enriched.

Joel, we will do our utmost to continue your incredible work. Thank you so much for everything you did.

May you rest in peace.

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  1. Nabin Karna

    I am so, so sorry to read that. I always recommend Joe’s sites and products to fellow authors who are looking for advice on how to self-publish their books. Joel will be mourned. And remembered.

    – Nabin (a book cover designer) from kdpcover

  2. Nabin Karna

    I always recommend Joe’s sites and products to fellow authors who are looking for advice on how to self-publish their books. I am so, so sorry to read that.
    Joel will be mourned. And remembered.

    – Nabin (a book cover designer) from href=””>kdpcover service as well :)

  3. Dane Low

    Rest in peace, Joel.

  4. Pamela Cummins

    Rest in peace, Joel, knowing that your life’s work helped many authors. My condolence to your loved ones.

  5. Adina Cucicov

    I’ve just learnt of Joel’s passing. It makes me so very sad. He has been a wonderful mentor for me and a shining part of my working hours for the past ten years. May he rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  6. Nathalie Bagadey

    I am so, so sorry to read that.
    I always recommend Joe’s sites and products to fellow authors who are looking for advice on how to self-publish their books.
    Throughout the years, I have had much to thank Joel for and now it’s too late to tell him in person. I hope his family reads this and know that in France too, Joel will be mourned. And remembered.
    Thanks, Joel.

  7. Belinda Kroll

    Thank you for all your contributions and generosity to the self-publishing community, Joel. May you rest in peace knowing you inspired and supported thousands of authors like myself who wouldn’t be where we are without you.

  8. Janey

    Paying my last respects to Joel Friedlander. RIP.

  9. Sherelle Winters

    So sad to learn of Joel’s passing. His work, through this site, is the #1 reason my own print books look so amazing and are only barely distinguishable from trad pub books if you pull them from the shelves at our local library. I have learned so so much from The Book Designer site and Joel always came across as a friendly, wonderful person who loved teaching others in his interactions with readers here.

    He will surely be missed and the indie community has lost a great teacher and friend from its ranks.

  10. Marion Hermannsen

    OMG, that’s awful news. Every interaction I ever had with Joel was pleasant. He was such a nice guy, always going out of his way to help. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  11. Michael N Marcus

    So sad, so young. Joel was a mentor, a fellow type fan, and a friend. He will be greatly missed.

  12. Robert Nagle

    Wow, I always enjoyed going to his blog to be inspired by his designs and thoughts about publishing. He was an ally for all authors!

  13. Faith Nelson

    Joel Friedlander has done so much for book publishing. His book cover competition alone was/is epic. The competition was book cover university, really, for free. Not many people are that giving. He will be missed.

  14. Mary Lynn Slattery

    Ugh so sorry to hear about Joel’s passing. He was a fighter! I will miss his creativity and generosity in sharing his knowledge. Best to his family, I enjoyed the good times we all had together! He will be sorely missed, but not forgotten.

  15. DGKaye

    Condolences for the loss of a great Indie pioneer and supporter. A very sad loss for the industry.

  16. Martina Sevecke-Pohlen

    I’m so sorry. I learned a lot from you. Rest in peace.

  17. K. S. "Kat" Brooks

    I’m so very sad to hear this news. My deepest sympathies to his family. The indie community will miss him greatly.

  18. W. M. Raebeck

    Belatedly, I’ve just opened this shocking news. I’d hoped Joel had stepped back from The Book Designer to enjoy retirement and family….didn’t know he had health issues.

    I would not be an author if it wasn’t for Joel’s generosity, knowledge, commitment, and largesse. Everything about the The Book Designer was for us — writers needing to be authors. My first few publishing years, his blog was my bible, a lighthouse in the dark. And woven into his words was always the truest dedication to both writers and books, and to teaching and helping. Tears fall now, and I hope Joel’s final time down here wasn’t difficult for him, that he found love and peace as he faced his next chapter…. Thank you, Joel. Hard to believe I have such deep feelings for someone I never met, but you were there for me when I had no idea where to begin. You were a self-publisher’s best friend for a long, long time.

    Too young, Joel, but you gave enough for six lifetimes.

  19. A.M. Rycroft

    I just learned of Joel’s passing today. I’m very saddened by this news, as I learned much about the book publishing industry and being indie through his blog. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends. He’ll be forever missed among those in the industry who knew him.

  20. Sonia M Frontera

    I am very sad to hear about this major loss for the publishing community. He was a blessing to all and will be missed.

    My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones at this difficult time.

  21. D. D. Syrdal

    Very sorry to hear this. May his memory be a blessing. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

  22. LeCrisha Mattox

    Oh, this makes me so very sad! I have read this site for years and looked forward to many more posts. He really had a talent for encouraging writers to write and helped lay out a path to build a business for self published authors. I love this site and Joel will be so deeply missed.

    Many prayers to his family and friends.

  23. Widdershins

    Bon Voyage, Joe … you will be missed. :(

  24. Cheryl August

    Oh my G-d, Joel, I met Joel in 1978 in Manhattan, and soon recognizing a rarified kindred soul/spirit, I learned more than ever before from Joel’s love of truth, his keen perception, rich expansive intelligence, wonderful deeply rooted sense of humor, and depth of heart, I came to feel and then more and more alive by his genuis mentoring in 99% silence over a period of five years. I was emerging from extreme trauma. Yet Joel, in his mostly silent wisdom and compassion, little did he know, how he helped me heal. You can not imagine the hundreds of people/spiritual orphans/pilgrims who Joel had inspired by seeing who we were in essence, way deeper and way beyond any past traumas. I value Joel’s existence. Therefore I will pick up the book I started and temporarily abandoned, and now will to complete it and dedicate it to Joel Friedlander.
    Thank you, Joel, friend to my soul. Love always and everywhere, Cheryl Klein August

  25. Donna Deloney

    I am so sorry to hear of Joel’s passing. He changed the lives of so many, including me. I am published today thanks to him. So grateful he shared his knowledge with the world.

    My deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and my fellow authors.

  26. Tamara

    My condolences to Joel’s Family and friends. What an amazing contribution he made. So much help to so many writers.

  27. Andrew Neves

    Rest In Peace … I learned a lot from you Joel

  28. Angelica R. Jackson

    So sorry to hear this. Joel genuinely changed lives with his accessible information for those lost in the sea of (mostly bad) self-publishing advice. Such gratitude for his generous soul.

  29. Sue Campbell

    So very sorry to hear this. May he rest in peace. As a fellow book designer I knew if I had a question I could usually find an answer here, and he always had good advice I could pass on to my clients. We’ll miss him.

  30. Regina Clarke

    Joel was a wonderful mentor and vital part of my writing journey. I will miss him. If you receive information about where we could send condolences to the family, if we can, I would be very grateful.


    Regina Clarke

  31. Daniel Charles Ross

    This is a terribly sad loss to us all. Mr. Friedlander was always a voice of reason to me, an expert, a sensei, whose work taught me to be a better writer and, later, a better publisher. My mouth literally fell open when I read this sad news.

    May he rest in peace, and his family and friends find peace.

    With greatest respect,
    Daniel Charles Ross

  32. Brenda S Felber

    He will be missed. So very many are grateful for his work. Joel’s was one of the first bloggers I “met” on my author journey. Rest in peace Joel.

  33. Susan Owens

    I am so sorry to hear of Joel’s passing. I interacted with him only briefly, years ago, but the advice he gave and the inspiration he provided has been with me ever since. I’m sure no one will ever know how many lives he touched.

    Thanks to all at The Book Designer for continuing his work. Please know that your efforts are so appreciated by so many.

  34. Chris Graham

    Greatly saddened to hear Joel has died.

  35. Dr. Kelley S. Mulhern

    Joel, thank you for all your efforts to help the self-publishing community prosper. The Self-Publisher’s Ultimate Resource Guide helped get our first book published. Thank you for that great resource. Rest in peace.

  36. raghavendra

    Joel Friedlander creative ideas will remember for every designers for all days and we not miss him because his creative ideas always there and the beautiful God will always helped to his family members also…


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