The designer is key to a book’s reception. Readers see the cover before they’ve read a word.
A confession here: it took me a while to realise that this blog entry had to be called Self-Publisher to Designer not Author to Designer. The problem is I haven’t got used to seeing myself as publisher. Getting closer, after this experience, though.
I am a writer. Yet, by opting to self-publish, I’ve engaged in a twenty-first century business (ouch!) with many aspects: editorial, physical and digital production, marketing, sales, communications (that’s PR to you and me) and finance.
Cover design is a whole new area for me. Before I self published, I sold my stories to big publishers. The cover was part of the deal. Sometimes a good part.
First Pitfall — Absent Author
Sometimes not so much. The Author’s input back then generally consisted of doing a précis of the story and describing the characters’ looks. The designer made of that what he/she would. It could be pretty weird. The cover design where the heroine’s only identifiable feature was a bad case of measles is burned into my soul.
This post on Going Indie was originally a guest piece on Sue Moorcroft’s blog. Many thanks to her for letting us repost it here, complete with new thoughts, several months on…
Back in November 2015, I wrote:
Why go indie? At the risk of stating the obvious, I’d say the answer is freedom.
Freedom to ride off into the sunset. What’s not to like?
Here’s an example of independent author freedom in action. As originally published, in the Harlequin Undone! series of short ebooks, His Silken Seduction was well under 50 pages. That was the length the line required, so that was the length I wrote. Simples!
Almost a week into the knotty process of website creation and I’ve launched myself off the top of the ski-jump. I’m flying!
Mind you, the feathers on my wings are looking decidedly tatty and the wind is gusting so much under me that I’m being buffeted all over the place.
And it’s still a VERY long way down.
But at least the snow has stopped and I’m beginning to see my way to the other side of the valley. Sophie and I have been beavering away this week. Lots of page content is out of the egg incubator and in the bag — apologies for all my mixed metaphors — and the pages will be public pretty soon, we hope. Watch this space.
To brighten up this pic-free post, I’m pasting in my fabulous new Joanna Maitland logo which will appear as branding on all my self-published books. It was designed by Jane Dixon Smith and I really love it. Hope you do too.