How to Publish a Novel: Part 4

Shhhhh….it’s like a surprise birthday party that everyone is in on the secret!

I’m excited to share my coming soon novel with you. This has been such a journey. I have learned that going from writer to author take a lot of work. This is my story and it may not be the same process for everyone, but it helps me stay organized and hopefully you learn something too.

This is another post of my eight part blog mini-series.

Part 4: First Impressions – Giving it a Face

This may not be true for everyone, but science fiction screams action and adventure on the covers. I couldn’t do it myself (oh, I tried, yes, I tried) and I needed help.

Tip 1: Copy Someone that Does it Well

First, I took advice from my day job of product design. A common statement from UX/UI designers is “give me an example.” Show me. There is already a product, agent, or author out there that has mastered what you have in your head. Look for book covers that draw you in. Look at book covers that you like. Why do you like them?

I did this and science fiction book covers look like movie posters: Action-packed! They have jet engines, exploding planets, spacesuits, dramatic poses, everything. I was going to need something up to par.

Tip 2: Compensate others how you want to be compensated

Treat others how you want to be treated. We as authors are artists of words, and we share a common goal with other book cover artists: make money (that’s not the only goal, but it is one of them!).

When I learned how expensive finding an artist is, I initially got discouraged. What these folks create is beautiful! I chose to flex my budget of zero because it was worth it. I believe every artist and entrepreneur should be fairly compensated, but I had to weigh the options.

So here is a compilation of my findings, to help you weigh options for your cover. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but this is everything I personally looked into:

  • Amazon is free. I don’t think there is an export feature. Amazon only.
  • Canva is highly promoted and has a free and pro version to make your own (I tried it but could do less than photoshop personally for layering complex images. May be good for non-scifi. Is fun for promo things.
  • Barnes and Noble partners with 99 Designs starting at $279, for many artists to submit ideas and buyer picks from them (I haven’t tried it)
  • Reedsy has a platform for finding entrepreneurs for editing services as well as cover designs. Prices range considerably. I got responses of $350, $700, and $1500. (I tried it but didn’t choose any of these.)
  • Premade covers is an interesting and affordable option! Falling in the $50-200 range, Do a google search for premade covers and see some beautiful, inspiring artwork that is waiting for your title!
  • Then I found fiverr.com. Fiverr is freelance art of not only book covers, and the price ranges from $20-400 (a wide disparity so I recommend narrowing your goals in quality and style by looking at the other options first).

Tip 3: Show it off beyond the book store

If you look again at fivrr, Canvas, and other sites again after you have a finished design, there are ways to reuse your book cover in promotional materials on social media. I’m so excited about my cover that I’m doing an event to reveal it’s beauty! The magic is what will be revealed on July 1st.

Sign up here to see it first hand!

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