Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Insecure Writer and Working with a Cover Designer

 


Today is May's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

Why makes me an insecure writer this month?

Dealing with my cover designer.

Now I’m not suggesting my cover designer is hard to work with. On the contrary. She took the vague ideas I had in mind for my debut urban fantasy cover and turned them into reality in an amazingly short period of time. I had her tweak a few things, of course, but for the most part, I would have been happy sticking with her first draft. Even my family loved the cover, although I’ll admit they probably don’t know enough about such things (genre conventions, for example) to be  a proper judge.

No, the problem with my cover designer comes from all the decisions I’m required to make. Like the series title, for instance. I thought I’d already decided what it would be, but once it was time to lock it in, I suddenly wasn’t so sure. Even the decision as to whether I should separate the series title from the book number with a colon or bullet left me reeling. And that’s only the book cover.

Me trying to decide how my name should appear on the book

Since I’m a debut author, I need lots of graphics for my website and Facebook pages. The cover design package I purchased includes a wide range of promo materials from which to choose. Banners, cover reveal templates, book teasers, Facebook ad images, etc. I’m only allowed to choose so many, but which ones should I pick? I have no clue as to what I'll want or need in the future. I simply don’t have enough experience to know yet.

Still, all in all, I’m pretty happy with life. I have a cover, which puts me one step closer to publishing my book.  And as long as I keep moving forward, it will eventually happen.

BTW, I'm one of the IWSG co-hosts this month. The other co-hosts are Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon. Be sure to stop by their websites and say hello. 


Question for you guys. What was it like for you the first time you worked with a cover designer? Is it true what they say about you never forgetting your first one?


Take care everyone, and stay safe! 

ChemistKen


38 comments:

  1. Hi. Thank you for co-hosting. I haven't got a book out yet. So reading about your experience made me wonder about all the details that go into getting a book out. I wish you all the best.

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  2. You know what they say, one step at a time! I'd say, just make one decision and then move on to the next. How great that you have a cover you love. Best wishes as you move forward toward publishing. Thank you for being a co-host this month.

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  3. Pick designs that can be used multiple places. A Twitter ad can be used everywhere for example.
    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  4. You're so right that if you keep plugging along at the steps you need to take that you will get published. It's awesome you have a cocver. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  5. The devil is in the details, Ken! All those little nitpicky things that drive you crazy but when they all come together . . . WOW! Thanks for being a co-host with me this month!

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  6. Congratulations for being at such an exciting stage in the publication journey. I'm still in the looking forward to it phase, but can empathise with all the decision making required. It'll be an interesting process when I get there as I'm a co-author :)

    @DebsDespatches visiting from
    Fiction Can Be Fun

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  7. Covers are such fun and can be a stressful thing. I was lucky to have a really great first time cover artist too. She knew just what to do. These days, when I design covers myself, I spend just as much time on the font and title & name placements as I do on the images. Good luck! I'm excited to see the cover when you reveal it.

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  8. That's wonderful you have a cover. Pick graphics that can be re-used and adjusted. Ask for the pdf file so you can go in and adjust the text yourself. All of our graphics are PhotoShop files that I can change the text and save a new jpg for my authors.

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  9. Hi, I haven't started working with the designer yet. That will come sometime this year, I think. All the best. I'm quite certain your cover is going to be fantastic. Thank you also for co-hosting.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  10. Seeing your cover for the first time is magical!! I get that feeling with each book. You're definitely moving forward. Good Luck!

    Thank you for cohosting.

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  11. For me, it's never forgetting the first person who took me under their wings each time we moved to a new place. I don't see why it wouldn't apply to your first cover designer!

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  12. That is so true, Ken! Glad to hear you're at the cover stage (and disappointed you didn't share it).

    I see you identified as a woman today... Nice.

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  13. Thanks for co-hosting this month. It is true. My first experience wasn't great. I sent it back 3 times but eventualy got something I could work with. Even when it's difficult, if you get something you like, in the end, it's all worth it.

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  14. My first cover, provided by my small press publisher, is simply horrid. Alas, I was too green to know better, and I'm stuck with it until rights revert to me. I've had better luck with the cover designer for my indies. Studying best-selling covers in my genre helps a lot. You know what they say--we should aim for same, but different. Thanks for co-hosting.

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  15. Woot! Woot! So glad you're at the stage where these are your problems (and I can't wait to see it). Covers are so hard, too.

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  16. Congrats, Ken. I hope you're enjoying this roller coaster ride. hehehe

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  17. Luckily my cover designer is a friend, so it was pretty easy.

    Locking in those final decisions is tough. Keep in mind that anything you put as the title of your book can't be altered unless you release a new edition. For the big A, the series name has to appear somewhere (the book's cover, the story description, etc.), but it's cool that they give the series it's own page. Makes it easier for readers to find and understand the order of the books.

    For graphic design/cover stuff, I get: e-book cover image, full wrap (paperback) image, 3-D graphic, and a sale graphic (99c, to use when I put it on sale). Other stuff would depend on the individual needs. A banner to use for website, Facebook, personal blog, or a blog tour would be a consideration. As a bonus, my cover artist made a 3-D stack of the three books in my series.

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  18. Those final decisions are really hard, but I think having a good back-and-forth type conversation with a cover designer is the key to getting a really great cover.

    Congrats on getting a step closer to publishing!

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  19. Hi Ken, it's true. You don't forget the first. Communication is essential for overall satisfaction in terms of cross-platform applications down the line. You're right to think about it now, rather than later. Can't wait to see it ;-) Thanks for co-hosting!

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  20. My first dealings with cover designers were disappointing. Maybe that's why I started making book covers myself. :))

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  21. Bravura on your book moving closer to a publication date, Ken! So much to do, decide, and debate - no wonder we are all insecure!

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  22. Cover design can be tricky for sure! I'm lucky to have a friend who is a talented graphic artist. He gave me a great rate for designing my first cover, and I'm going to ask him to start on my second soon. I'm glad you found someone whose work you like!

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  23. I am so excited for you, Ken! I'm learning from everyone's comments as well. Thank you all for sharing your experience here. All the luck with your new release. Bravo! And thanks for co-hosting for this month's IWSG question.

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  24. I had chills just reading about the exciting things happening for you right now! I haven't worked with a cover designer, (yet!). I'm sure that you will emerge from the process with a great cover. Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  25. Thanks for cohosting this month, Ken. I'll never forget the publisher's cover designer for One Red Shoe. This was a funny romantic suspense. The 1st cover belonged on a vampire novel. Creepy and dripping with blood. The final cover was pretty good. When I got the rights back, I needed a new cover, which I dearly love. I wish I had the talent to design my own. Alas, I have to depend on someone "getting" my ideas. I'm glad you like your cover. Can't wait until I can buy this book.

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  26. I'm always amazed what a good cover artist can do with my vague notions. The whole process makes me feel famous :-) Thanks for co-hosting this month! @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  27. Seeing the book cover makes it feel real. I remember the waiting, hoping it would match my expectations was grueling. Good to hear you're happy with the process so far. Very exciting. Thank you for co-hosting!

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  28. It seems every step of the way seems to be fraught with a million little decisions. Book covers is one area where I have pretty specific ideas and I make my own. I have covers for books I'll never have time to write, but they lurk in my brain. Good luck with yours.

    Thanks for co-hosting today!

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  29. I hope all your decisions are easy ones. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  30. Hi Ken, my cover experience is slight but sweet. For The Crooked Knife my publisher asked if I had a photo of a crooked knife and so I took a few of the two very old ones we have. I had another image in mind and sent a photo of that . He ignored that and sent me the cover image his designer had created with my photo. I loved it and still do. Keep on until you are completely satisfied. There's no do-overs after the print run!

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  31. So exciting to have the cover!!! My cover designer studied comp authors before she decided on the style of my two series. I think I was more concerned about the "feel" than the details.

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  32. Very exciting that you are at this point! I've never worked with a cover designer, but I can relate to being frozen with indecision when you have so many choices. I'd say just trust your gut and go for it.

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  33. Congratulations on working through the enormous cover design and promotion image challenges. I haven't crossed the cover design bridge yet.
    I have invested 6 months learning how to b build a Website from scratch. I just discovered *another* design issue!
    I know we are both stronger and wiser from this experience.
    Thank you for. co-hosting our May IWSG blog-hop.
    Cheers,
    Lynn La Vita @ https://la-vita.us/

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  34. Congrats on your progress with your cover design! Sometimes all the choices for fonts and name styles, etc., can make you crazy. You should go with what looks best to you and don't second-guess yourself. Thank you for co-hosting!

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  35. Hi Ken. BREATHE...I know you are facing a lot at this time, but tackle one thing at a time. Concentrate on creating the most wonderful cover, then you can deal with other issue. Go by your gut. You will know what feels right for you once you relax a bit. I have been a cover designer for years and I know how hard it can be with your first baby! ALL the best and CONGRATS!

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  36. ChemistKen, I love working with good designers. They teach me so much. I hate working with not so good designers. I had a horrific experience on Fiverr that made me very gun shy about which designers to work with. When I find a good one I want to do everything I can to make sure we can continue to work together.

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  37. Decisions, decisions. I can't wait to see your cover! I'm also curious who you chose as your cover designer. I've gone the unrecommended route of doing my own covers, but I did get input from Carrie Butler who definitely improved them tenfold.

    Sorry I'm so late visiting for IWSG. Thanks for co-hosting!

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  38. Thanks for co-hosting this month. I'm with you about titles. Been there, title that. At first I'm usually sure of a book's title then later I'm not so sure. Then comes and goes a whole new set of titles. But at least at the end of it you ended up with a cover designer who can take your vague ideas and create a great cover from it.

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