Pardon the light post today. I’m in a race to finish my third Marty Singer mystery, Signs, before next week when one of my redoubtable beta-readers has asked for it. But I’ve recently stumbled across three interesting links and services that deserve a gander.
This is the second part in a three part series about book cover design. The intended audience is the self-publishing writer with little design experience. The guidelines I set forth are from my experience working with my own self-published titles, with graphic designers, and about twelve years of web design experience (which is no substitute for experience in print design).
In the first part of this series, I talked about the importance of typography in setting both your title and author line apart from the fonts of workaday web pages, white papers, and emails that have desensitized many readers to the impact and beauty of the most popular fonts.
In this stage, I’ll get away from typography for a second and talk about what I consider the second important attribute of a winning cover: a single, stunning professional picture.
While we’re on the subject of covers (see yesterday’s post), I thought I would take the opportunity to release the tentative cover for Blueblood, the second in the Marty Singer mystery series.
I’ll be posting more about the release of Blueblood very soon, including an excerpt and other goodies. The last draft is with my editor as we speak, going through those precious little tweaks that often make all the difference. My goal is to release in digital form for all sellers (Amazon, Kobo, B&N, etc.) by the third week of August. With luck and hard work, it will be available by the last week of August or early September.
Let me know what you think of the cover in the Comments!
There are a lot of good book cover sites out there, but I thought I’d throw in my two cents, as I enjoy making my own covers, I’ve received compliments on them, and I have about 15 years of web (not print) design behind me.
Why Should You Bother?
If you don’t have a lick of design or illustration experience behind you, you may be asking why bother with knowing any of this? I won’t be making my covers, that’s for the artist to do.
If you’ve been writing for a while, this is a lot like the question that many modern writing guides warn against when it comes to submitting your work to agents. Why should I edit my work? That’s what editors at publishing houses get paid to do.
The answer is the same: if you don’t give a tinker’s cuss about every aspect of your work, you can be sure no one else will. No, scratch that. They’ll give less than a tinker’s cuss. And that’s not much.
The covers need to be provocative enough to get people interested as well as hold up fairly well when shrunk to thumbnail (111px x 78px) size on the various book sites. And, naturally, I want them to look good when they’re at their full size (823×576). The two sizes can’t be different images, fyi…the thumbnail is always the shrunken-head version of the full cover.