Books Covers and My Experience with 99 Designs

Books Covers and My Experience with 99 Designs Whether you’re self-publishing or working with a publisher, creating an effective book cover is extremely important. I’ve worked with publishers on hundreds of covers, and now I have the experience of working with designers on the cover of my own first e-book. From my perspective, the single most important thing to understand about book covers is:   Getting a powerful, appealing, and appropriate cover design is vital, and it’s more difficult than you might think.   Why is it so hard? First, it’s so subjective. One person’s great design is another’s “fail.” Second, it’s more than just creating an image you like—you should take into account the psychology behind what makes a cover appealing to the intended audience....
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How Important Is Your Book Title?

How Important Is Your Book Title? I was talking to a writer who mentioned she hadn’t worked too hard to come up with a great title for her book. When I asked her why, she said she’d been to a workshop taught by an editor at a major publishing house, who said, “Don’t get too attached to your title — there’s a good chance the publisher will change it anyway.” So the writer interpreted it as “Don’t bother to come up with a great title.” That’s NOT what it means! It’s true that your publisher might want to change your book title, to come up with something they feel is more marketable to your target audience. However, it’s also necessary to present your book to agents and editors with the best title possible. Your title sets the tone, hints at the...
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The Making of a Book Cover

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-kTCMsqsJ7sg/TXhK1twQkbI/AAAAAAAAEbA/Ep_2Od4bjPg/s400/monica4.jpg Guest Blogger: Monica Lee In celebration of the release of Erin MacPherson’s The Christian Mama’s Guide to Having a Baby, we’re doing something totally different! Monica Lee is the illustrator who created the images for the cover and the interior of the book, and I  thought it would be fun to hear about the process. Here’s Monica… As a professional illustrator, I’ve created images for about 11 book covers so far. Book covers are my favorite type of assignment and when I get that call from a publisher I do a happy dance! I enjoy the process of creating art for a book cover because…wait for it…I totally judge a book by its cover! I know, I know. What can I say? I’m a visual person and...
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When Publishing Dreams Become a Nightmare

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/TSQCNPjHMuI/AAAAAAAAETo/BP6pd0HKUEU/s320/nightmare.jpg Most of my clients have had terrific publishing experiences. They enjoy working with their editors (even when the revisions are very challenging), they like the titles their publisher comes up with, and they love their book covers. Then there’s Allison. Allison’s journey hasn’t been so rosy. I’m not even using her real name here because I don’t want to cause any further problems for her. The trouble started when the publisher suggested a new title for her book, which was fairly plain and generic-sounding but more importantly, didn’t capture what her book is about. In fact the publisher’s title led the reader to think it was going to be a completely different book than what it actually is. We knocked ourselves out coming up with more suitable...
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Who Decides Titles and Cover Design?

http://www.rachellegardner.com//HLIC/ec51282deda9e2756d101e6e5d74c889.jpg Blog reader Melanie asked: How much say does an author have in the final decision regarding the title of a book to be published and in the artwork for the cover? And who are the people that come up with the design/photograph for the covers. Does each publisher have a team of people or a department that does this? Good question. As with many aspects of publishing, there is no set answer. Remember that there are many different publishers and thousands of different situations, and no two are exactly alike. (This applies to many of the questions I get asked, by the way.) Typically a first-time author without a lot of clout (i.e. they’re not a celebrity or other “hot” property) doesn’t have a contractual right to make final title and cover decisions and doesn’t...
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Ode to the Book Cover

Last week I had a little epiphany that made me just the teensiest bit less enthusiastic about e-books as the primary delivery method for books in the future. I’d been reading The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin on my Kindle. Then Joyce did a guest post for me and in the course of putting up her post, I perused her website and blog, and looked up her books on Amazon. When I saw her book covers, I realized that although I’d already been reading the book, I’d never actually seen the cover. Don’t know why, I just hadn’t. And as I looked at her book cover, I realized that if I’d seen it before I ever started reading the book, I’d have had a better feel for the book right from the beginning. I would have understood something about the tone and...
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Is Your Book Worth It?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/Svcy-J1XfbI/AAAAAAAADO0/DvebA7jLEtM/s200/dollar_signs_color.jpg Yesterday I told you how book royalties work, so today I want to go further and explain a little more about the finances of publishing, this time from the publisher’s perspective. One of the things that’s hard to remember is that the publisher makes a significant financial investment in each writer, with no guarantee that the book will sell. It’s one of the reasons publishers have to make such careful decisions. There’s so much competition out there, and each book costs a substantial amount of cash before your book ever hits the shelves and makes a dime. But what does that mean? How much will a typical publisher spend on your book before they’ve sold a single copy? Here’s a hypothetical overview. Keep in mind this is simply an example and the numbers...
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Guest Blogger: Angela Scheff at Zondervan

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_5cLmD8GqnKY/SaaYw-mzGqI/AAAAAAAACvs/NYs9rMaI6Ck/s200/Angela_Scheff.jpg Being Proactive about Your Cover and TitleOftentimes I hear that an author is frustrated because they don’t like the title or cover the publisher chose for their book. While you probably won’t ever have the final say over your title or cover (unless you’ve already sold millions), here are some ideas that may make the process less frustrating: 1. Don’t be married to your working title. I know this is harder to say when you’ve been working with the “perfect” title for months or even years, but simply being open to other ideas goes a long way toward coming up with the best title. 2. Keep your own list of possible titles. Whether this is an open document on your desktop or a legal pad on your nightstand, simply copying words, phrases, sentences, etc. as you write (whether or not...
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