I've designed over 30 books for the Society for American Baseball Research, including the covers and insides, working with a number of different editors. For the books that focus on a particular time period, I usually do some research into the design and typography of that era and try to incorporate those into the design, while still keeping the books modern and legible.
These are large books, often running 300–400 pages, with many photos and tables. I've developed some shortcuts, including paragraph and character styles and saved searches, that have significantly cut down my time on the layout. I then use a free online PDF markup tool to allow the editor to proofread and mark up and edits digitally.