Working with a cover designer

Hi guys, earlier today I had a meeting with an illustrator about sorting a cover for a novella I have written and am looking to publish later this year.

I thought this might be a nice subject to touch on for any aspiring writers out there. This was a very new experience for me as up until now it has only been ME who has had any creative input into my book. As this is a book I am intending to self-publish for a little bit of experience into what that world might offer. I really have full control over the quality and style of the book. Sometimes that might mean that the best thing I can do to put a great book out there is to get someone else involved. I am a writer but I am most assuredly not an artist. If I designed my own cover…nobody would pick up the book. Not unless it was entitled “How not to draw”.

So what has my experience been so far? A one hour meeting where I got to check out a bunch of work the illustrator has done. We talked about the themes and plot of the book, my thoughts on the cover and what I wanted portrayed or wanted to see. The illustrator gave me his thoughts on what would look good or what might not look so good etc. Now I am waiting on some preliminary sketches and we will continue from there. One thing I picked up on that I had never considered prior to this meeting was terminology like ‘bleeds’ and ‘dimesions’. Ok sure I had heard dimensions before, and maybe in the back of my mind I had even thought about it. But as a writer I just write and think one day ‘this will be a book’ I have never got too technical about exactly what size a novel is. I just thought books were..you know..book size. My point is that if you are intending to self publish and you want to do your own cover. Well that’s fine, maybe just look into all of your options first. If you decide to go ahead and do your own make sure you know exactly what you are doing. The worst thing possible will be the cover not looking any good and scaring off potential readers.

One point I would raise here is this, how are you intending to get your book out there? For me, my bread and butter is going to be e-books. I may tinker with print on demand as it would be nice to have a physical copy of my book but really I intend to make sales through Kindle or Kobo…or both maybe. That being said, the first glimpse people will get of my book will be a thumbnail. A big fancy picture with lots of action may work great for a full size novel but as a thumbnail it may just look busy, a mess or even blurry. Something simple and standout might be more appropriate to hook a reader in.

You may be saying to yourself “This is great…but how much will it cost?” And well for that there is no real answer. It is down to each individual how much they will charge you and you should negotiate an agreed price before the work begins. Sign a contract and make everything official so that both parties know where you each stand. I have heard of prices starting from around £100 and ranging to maybe £450-£600 for very saught after and experienced designers. At the end of the day how much you spend and how good the book looks is entirely up to you. Just remember that though a good cover does not guarantee more readers, a bad cover guaratees less.

I hope you found this an enjoyable or even thought provoking read, until next time.

Ja Ne.

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