Getting a book cover design created for your new manuscript can be easier when you have some preparation, also having the information you’ll need and an idea as what to expect in the whole process can make the task quicker, smoothly and lead to results that you’re not only happy with but that show off your book at its best.
Having created hundreds of book covers, helped countless authors and publishers you have a great understanding as to what’s needed in order to make a great book cover, there is certain information that an author will need to give a book cover designer and this is far more than just the title of the book too.
So, what should you be thinking of when about to contact a book cover designer to get a cover created? Here we give our top tips on what you should be thinking of.
One – Have a clear synopsis – You understand your own book like no one else (well you did write it), but how detailed is your synopsis? Get a friend to read it and tell you what they understand about the book, when they tell you what they understand did they miss out something important? If so, your synopsis needs to be updated.
Two – Details, details, details – The more information about the location, characters, timeframe, era, subject matter, focal point you can give the better (remember this is the first time your book cover designer has heard about your book.
Three – Research – Look at successful books within your genre and collect ideas of what you like and what you don’t, remember, not everyone will want to read your book (when you appreciate this you can be great a targeting your specific audience).
Four – Research Book Cover Designers – Most book cover designers have their portfolios online which makes it very easy to find a designer you like, you’ll also find that most will provide you with pricing and contact details on how to find out more.
Five – Size – Having a size that you’d like to print your book makes the job a great deal easier for your designer, if you’re printing as a paperback you may want to consider either 5 x 8, 5.5 x 8.5 or 6 x 9 for the trim size of your book, there are of course many other sizes to choose from, but having a clear idea will help the process.
Six – Publisher – Many indie authors will choose the likes of Ingram Spark or Createspace as their first choice for publishing their book with (they are both great services and an excellent way to reach a large audience), other authors will go via indie publishers and smaller POD services (again, these are great options too), from a design point it’s important that your cover designer knows as soon as possible who you’re using, they can ensure that your file matches your publishers specifications for print.
Seven – Contact – When you get in contact with your book cover designer, you should ask them about timeframes, drafts, how many revisions you’ll get (if needed), pricing, promotional designs and formats, going into the project you should have a good understanding as what to expect.
Eight – Drafts – When the designer is working upon your drafts leave them to it, otherwise it can lengthen the timeframe of the project itself, if you email each day asking for updates and to see unfinished drafts it can lead to an awkward experience for everyone.
Nine – Getting your drafts – Once your drafts are ready, your book cover designer will send them to you for you to consider, it’s worth taking your time and never rushing into making a decision, if you want friends to take a vote on which one the prefer then do it, just take your time.
Ten – Tweaks – If you like a draft but something needs a tweak, don’t be afraid to ask, again, if you have taken time to consider the designs you should be able to get back to your designer with your preferred cover and what details you’d like altered.
Having a book cover design created for your new book should be a fun experience, it’s the icing upon the cake and what goes on to be the very ‘face’ of your book, so enjoy the process and get a book cover you’ll be proud of!!
Self-publishing is the quickest way to see your new book in print (both on paper and digitally) and is why so many authors choose this route, its success has seen a huge shift in the way traditional publishing operates and now everyone has the opportunity to sell their work to an audience.
But simply uploading your book to Createspace doesn’t necessarily guarantee success (ask any author), the key to success comes with planning and a pro-active approach to self-promotion too, like most things, the more you put into it the more you’ll get back.
So here are some great ideas that you can use to help make your book a success.
ONE) Get social – and do it early, self-promotion starts with the popular social networks and building interest in you as an author and your soon to be released book, it’s up to you whether or not you use your own personal profile or that you create a specific ‘author’s’ page instead, just ensure that your social networks reflect the image you want to portray as a professional author.
TWO) Have a Website – Your own website says a lot about you as an author and gives you a great platform to promote, interact and sell your book/s from, they are cheap and easy to set up and should be on every author’s ‘to-do’ list.
THERE) Mail Out Lists – Following on from your social media pages and your website you should look at creating your own mailing list, these can be managed for you by services such as AWeber or Mail Chimp etc. In order to work you need to offer something of value in return for your visitor’s email address, this could be a free download, vouchers, chapters of your new book, guides and even other books you may have written. Once you build your list you have the opportunity to keep them updated with news and promotions with your new and forthcoming books.
FOUR) Quality – Prior to publishing make sure that you have someone other than yourself proof read your book, it’s easy to be too close to see any errors, a fresh pair of eyes will help. Depending upon your budget it is also worth getting your book professionally edited too, this final polish of your manuscript can take a good book and make it truly great.
FIVE) Be chatty – Get involved with forums and write blogs (both on your own website and guest for others too), interacting with others is a brilliant way to generate awareness of you and your work, it does take some consistent effort but it’s very much worth it.
SIX) Beta test it – Before you ‘officially’ launch your book get it into the hands of a small group of people, this could be to followers on your social media or mailing list, select 20 or 30 people and let them tell you what they think, don’t be too precious either, being able to take feedback professionally will help you to become a great writer.
SEVEN) Re-write – Don’t be afraid to go back to the manuscript and make alterations if you need to, you have a choice, publish a mediocre novel now or a best-seller later.
EIGHT) Formats – Ensure that you have your book as an eBook and a paperback too, many authors like the idea of a hardback but you will find the overwhelming majority of your readers will either be via eBook or paperback. Another option is to publish in audio, companies like ACX offer services to turn your book into an audio and thus give another option when selling, this is something to consider as Amazon are promoting their Audible service quite heavily at present.
NINE) Design – Have a professional book cover design to represent your work, we all judge a book by its cover so ensure you get one which represents you well.
TEN) Keep going!! – Determination and perseverance are the most important elements of self-promotion, if you believe in your work and have the stamina to keep going you will be successful.
Book cover designers.
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