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My Cover, my designer, and me!

Hello, book lovers! Did you recently see my “cover reveal” on social media? I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback. Writers will tell you that an attractive cover is the main way a book gets sold, which I’m sure comes as no surprise to you.

When you’re an independent author like I am (more about that in a future post), you need to locate and hire a professional cover designer. Either that -- or design the cover yourself, but, unless you are a graphic designer, that might not go well.

I visited websites where authors like me can find book cover designers, looked at samples from various designers, and sought out ten quotes. I picked an artist with a mid-range price -- a great guy by the name of Mario Lampic who resides in Belgrade, Serbia. (Computers have made ours a small world.)

I then explained my concept to Mario -- that I wanted a young woman, a man in uniform, perhaps a letter, and one or more planes in the sky.

Since my novel has a local setting, Mario found an image of downtown Derby (CT), which is perfect. His first design prominently showed the face of a young handsome man in uniform, but, to me, the soldier looked like he was a character in “The Godfather.” Mario also had a ten story building on the back cover under my book blurb, but there are no tall buildings in Derby and Shelton where the story is set.

I asked Mario to go back to the drawing board and sent him a variety of concept pictures along with messages to help him capture my vision.

I can’t tell you how surprised I was when Mario unexpectedly used one of the concept photos -- a picture of my father, on whom the book is loosely based. Dad’s face isn’t visible, which works well for me. When Mario tweaked the placement of a few elements on the front cover and added a squadron of planes to the back cover, I was thrilled.

In traditional publishing, an outfit like Simon and Schuster designs the cover at no cost to the author, but the author may have little or even no say in the design. I recently read a blog entry by a writer who, working with a major publishing firm, hated the cover they designed for her, and, ultimately, decided not to continue with that publisher.

Not to say that traditional publishers don’t know what they’re doing, but this issue is just one of the reasons I choose to publish independently. I want to have complete control of my work.

In my humble opinion, Mario and I came up with a very attractive cover -- as good as any traditional publishing company. Wouldn't you agree? Feel free to comment!

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Jul 27, 2023

Mr.S & Crew,

Just wanted to say how professional all your work is and my admiration for your ambition & dedication.

My own passion for being an educator

has always been quite strong as has always been with you. Many years ago I met an artist who was doing character art on “Downtown Shelton Day “. So I hired him to make

character drawings of the Presidents.My

silly 🙃 ideas which he created into

very funny works of art.

We’ve reconnected this past year & are

about 2-3 weeks from publication.

As previously mentioned b4 , The cover is so important. And Mike Valentine

did an amazing job with ours.

I wanted your family to know that our

book‘s genre…

Gary Scarpa
Gary Scarpa
Jul 28, 2023
Replying to

What a fantastic idea, my friend. I wish you unparalleled success with your books. I think there are two kinds of people in the world: those who have good ideas and don't act on them and those who have good ideas and do act on them. It sounds like you and I belong to the latter group! I would love to see you sometime and we could talk about writing. My best!


Jun 28, 2023

Love the cover, and the story behind it!!! Mario and Gary did a super job!!!

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES is going to look great, front and center, on my fav book shelf!!!

Thank you Team Scarpa!!!

Gary Scarpa
Gary Scarpa
Jul 12, 2023
Replying to

You're the best!


Jun 06, 2023

Love the cover, and the story of the cover! Can't wait to read it!

Gary Scarpa
Gary Scarpa
Jul 12, 2023
Replying to

So glad you like it! We are only days away from keep an eye out, my friend!

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