Traci Sanders is a very busy woman. She has written 10 books since 2013. And it’s not like she is pigeon-holing herself. She has written romance books, children’s books, parenting books. I’d like to see a book about how she gets this all done without sleeping. Because as any Indie author will tell you, it’s not just the writing that takes all the time … it’s the marketing. And the planning. And working with editors and designers.
And, of course, trying desperately to break the algorithm code at Amazon.
Traci most recently published three books simultaneously (show off!) on the art of self publishing: Before You Publish: Tips on grammar, writing, and editing (Write It Right Book 1); Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand (Write It Right Book 2); and Living The Write Life : Tips on making the most of your writing skills (Write It Right Book 3),
Traci graciously has agreed to share her expertise on one of the more trying tasks of self-publishing … finding the right cover. What follows are her tips on this subject.
Also, she is giving away two prizes:
TIP 231: 9 things to consider when
creating your book cover
This tip, and many others on marketing and networking, can be found in Beyond The Book: Tips on publishing, marketing, and networking to build your brand, now available in digital and paperback format.
In the past few years of researching, I’ve learned a great deal about the publishing industry.
So far, I’ve concluded that there are five elements to the process.
1. Writing the book
2. Editing the book (including initial edits and final, professional editing)
3. Designing the book cover and copy material
4. Publishing the book
5. Marketing the book
Each step plays a vital role in the success of a book. Professional editors who “get” your story and enhance your words rather than erase them, are worth their weight in gold as far as I’m concerned.
But this tip involves book-cover design. Many authors, due to budget or time concerns, opt to design their own book covers. I’m all about saving money, especially as an Indie author; however, unless you are proficient in special design programs, I suggest hiring a pro for this. And I’m not talking about web designers or even illustrators who “dabble in Photoshop or InDesign.” Kudos to them for having those skills, but professional cover design is a whole other creature.
From what I’ve learned about these programs, they don’t compare to the top-quality ones used by the pros. And print design is much different than web design, I’ve discovered.
So, my suggestion is to hire a pro who specializes in print work, even more so, in book-cover design. A cover can make or break a book sale. It’s the face of your work, the first thing people see that represents you. With more than seven million books on Amazon to choose from, you must make sure your cover stand out.
I personally adore my cover designer. Her name is Rachel Bostwick, and she was referred to me by a fellow author friend. She designed both of my book covers and the trailers for both books. I tell everyone about her! In fact, jump on over to her Facebook page to see some of the covers she has designed. Be sure to give her a LIKE while you’re there.
You can find her on:
Here are 9 things to expect/ask when looking for a professional cover designer:
1. The best advertisement is word of mouth. Ask around with your fellow authors and see who they use. I’ve already given you one reference.
2. Once you have a few to choose from, be sure to ask to see samples of their work. Check out those covers on Amazon and see how they compare to others.
3. Make sure you know what the total cost will be for everything. A reputable designer will give you a set project price, rather than nickel and dime you to death with fees; and he/she will also give you a reasonable deadline in which to expect your product to be delivered.
4. Be sure to discuss any extra fees that will be involved, if any changes need to be done.
5. Make sure it’s clear as to what you can expect for the fee: Does it include just a Kindle cover or paperback also? Does it include a 3D cover? Will you have all rights to use the stock images for other marketing purposes?
6. Make sure your artist has permission to use the stock images chosen for your book. (He/she will probably charge a nominal fee for any images needed to purchase.) Work with your designer to give him or her ideas as to what you envision for your cover. It can be a beautiful process with the right designer.
7. How does your designer wish to be paid? PayPal is the typical method. You will want to choose a reputable designer who can provide a receipt for tax purposes.
8. If you choose someone on Fiverr.com (other than Rachel, of course), or any other design service, be sure to check his or her references to see what the fees and work ethics are like.
9. Make sure the designer guarantees his or her work. If you are not satisfied, you need to be able to get your money back. But keep in mind, any type of design work is time consuming. Respect the designer’s time. If he/she does do a great job, don’t be unreasonable with changes. Go with your gut if it’s not right, but be respectful at the same time.
Those are just a few basic questions to ask/things to consider, when choosing a book cover designer.
Traci Sanders is a multi-genre, multi-award-winning author of ten published titles, with contributions to three anthologies. An avid blogger and supporter of Indie authors, she writes parenting, children’s, romance, and nonfiction guides.
Her ultimate goal is to provide great stories and quality content for dedicated readers, whether through her own writing or editing works by other authors.
Look for Dave’s new release, The Handle Method, on Amazon.com in Summer 2017.