Beauty, age, goodness and size go before the noun. So, as 'nouveau' is dictating the age of the book, it would come first. At least that is how I read it. But, in this case, the man can't be 'new', but he can be transformed into a 'new' man. It is indicating state of being. Ah, heck, now I've confused myself! rofl
I can't reply to your reply on my comment down there, so I'm writing here.
OK, your two cases: - 1st one is a figurative meaning - according to the link provided the adjective should go before the noun - 2nd one is a literal meaning - the adj should come after
But you explained it as it's the opposite that holds. :/
Is there a reason for this? Is "il est un homme nouveau" also correct?
Edit: I found a very good explanation: http://www.frenchtoday.com/blog/cest-versus-il-elle-est
Essentially, it's il/elle/ils sont/elles sont + adjective, and c'est/ce sont + noun.