♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Do you create your own covers? Work with a cover artist to design them?
Hand your ideas over to a professional and let them come up with a design? Buy a pre-made cover?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Remember the saying: don’t judge a book by its cover? Yeah, well, that doesn’t work when a reader is looking for an actual book. It doesn’t matter that we should disregard a cover with clear issues because there may be a great book between those stiff leaves. We all know that, because we are readers and consumers, a shoddy cover indicates a low effort elsewhere.
I don’t make the rules. What do is make up my mind to follow along with what is most effective, in order to reach readers. For instance, consumers use first impressions to judge a product quickly. They don’t have time to read the first couple of chapters to decide if they want the book, because they’re finding it in the few seconds they have to browse new reading material. Let’s not forget, either, that there are a thousands of other options all vying for their attention. All that material is overwhelming, to say the least. Compound the experience with a neurodivergence or other draws on attention, a poor cover guarantees a bypass.
I’ve been in the pits of financial despair, attempting to produce a book all on my own with little to no funds, hoping that some sales could lift me up to the next level of affording better services the next time around. It wouldn’t behoove me to defy convention because I don’t want to come off as mainstream. In addition, I know how hard it is to design a cover and get it right. The worst part is, I come from an art background. Photography, drawing, painting, and crafting are in my wheel house. That doesn’t mean that I can just go ahead and make my book covers though. But why?
Certainly, I do have a vision for my book’s cover when the time comes. Every design was guided by my general ideas, but the designer I hired did the bulk of the work. If they’re worth the money you pay them (mine is worth a lot more), then they have an education that taught them a great deal about visual design, which you and I do not have as a skill set. Yes, I do photography and art, but I didn’t study photography, art, or graphic design. There’s a level of psychology and understanding beyond learning to craft an image that is taught in design courses, that extends beyond semiotics.
There are rules to design and those rules have a lot to do with understanding marketing and the audience. Designers are thoroughly educated on these parameters along with perfecting their art skills. Marketing really isn’t the purview of most authors. Psychology may be, but is it the psychology of selling or striking emotions in others? You might think so, but that’s truly doubtful.
A lot of independent authors struggle to produce their work just like I have at the start. Remember to reinvest what little is made back into the work. It’s hard. Authors don’t make a lot annually, but if you’re serious about gaining ground, then you’ll need to do ROI (return on investment) planning. For instance, reinvest in your work by finding better designers, better editors, even better proof readers. The better they are, the more they will likely cost you. In the end, that earns you more (ROI) and you will also get returns that aren’t necessarily monetary, such as more readers, followers, and attention.
On my first book, I designed the initial cover, so that I could continue forward on this journey. I used my art skills in photography and design, which are moderate, to create a nice little cover, and that cover worked as intended until I was able to rejacket my first born with the skills of a great designer, who I run to with each new project. You can find them here: InHouse Graphics LLC on Facebook.
Here’s a look at the work they have done for me:
I’m 100% proud of these covers and I think that readers feel the quality of the work put into crafting them when just looking at them. I still feel excited every time a new shipment arrives. As an author, I’d liken it to a proud parent who dressed up their kids for an event and there they go out into the world to show themselves off. Well done!
They look great on the shelf and stand out. That’s really the point. With so many voices in the wilderness of books, rising above the crowd isn’t so easy, but an author can take small steps to assure that they do get there, even if it takes time to build enough financial support to do so. Always reinvest in your work and yourself. That’s essential to continuing in the field.
Now–hop through the other author links below to find out what they do for their cover art and what has worked for their production.