Catching Fireflies

finding magic along the way

Wrap It Up With a Bow

Book covers are the wrapping on your book. A cover is the first thing about your book that a potential reader will see, and it can make or break their decision to choose your novel over another.

Designing a cover is an art form in and of itself. It takes a special person to be able to translate your story into a single image.

When I was looking for a cover for my first novel, I didn’t know where to turn. Some fellow writers at an online conference suggested that I try Fivrr, a freelance marketplace that allows you to get bids, often very low bids, from freelance artists. I did get some inexpensive bids for my project, but the artists’ styles didn’t match with my vision.

I then attempted to google premade covers and see what I could find. There a LOT of premade covers out there. And if you happen upon one that speaks to you, go for it. But I found that a lot of them used realistic photos and again, this just didn’t match what I was envisioning for my cover.

I finally found an art student at our local university who wanted to work on my project. She was very talented and we agreed on a design. Then she dropped off the face of the earth and stopped returning texts and emails. Apparently, my novel cover was not as important to her as it was to me. 😔Thankfully no money had exchanged hands.

I was starting to feel as though my novel would never make its debut. The cover was the last remaining piece. Months had passed and I was getting frustrated.

And then a miracle happened…

I was talking to a friend of mine about my cover ideas and how I wanted a minimalist feel to it. I showed her some minimalist Disney posters I had found online and fallen in love with. Her response?

“You don’t need a fine artist. You need a graphic artist.”

And lo and behold, her son is a graphic artist. I reached out to him and he agreed to work on my project for a very fair price. A few weeks later, we had my cover! I was thrilled.

This second time around was much easier. I had my team in place.

I learned a valuable lesson during the process though. Find someone who will hear what you are describing and be able to condense it into a single image. I know a lot of talented artists, but finding someone who can take what you say and translate it into a working design is key. My friend was right. A fine artist could create images of my scenes and characters, but that wouldn’t necessarily translate to a compelling cover.

A cover designer must also be able to manipulate those images and tweak the cover layout. Most importantly, he needs to be able to mate the front, spine and back covers to create the correct files for various formats.

Your cover designer should also have the patience of a saint. 😊Thankfully, mine does! Multiple proofs and interior changes require resizing the cover files. Different interior paper also effects the cover file size. Who knew!?

Many people over the last few years have loved the covers that Evan designed for me. I don’t doubt for a minute that if my books were to appear on a shelf in a store, the covers would draw readers to them. The images are stunning and convey the atmosphere in my books perfectly.

Do yourself and your novel a favor. Do not skimp on your cover. Don’t buy a premade cover that isn’t perfectly suited to your story just to be done with the process and get your book out sooner. The perfect cover is out there. You just have to find the right person to make it happen!

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