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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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