Friday, September 18, 2015

Cover Me!


I'm in the middle of trying to find a cover designer for THE HUNTER'S MOON. Some e-books say: "Hey, just go to Fiverr! They'll design you a great cover for five bucks!" So I thought I'd see see if the Universe had a cheap designer soul mate kicking around out there for me. You be the judge:

This was actually the third cover the designer sent. It's a little heavy on the pleather cape & business suits for me. I wanted something more atmospheric, less literal. It's missing "The" in the title. Plus my character's more in a love hexagon, not a love triangle, so ...

Still, the designer of this cover was a real sweetheart and was willing to do unlimited fixes for me. But this person was from a nation far, far away. I had this horrific vision of child labor graphic designers slaving in a sweatshop somewhere - flies buzzing around them, gamma rays of refurbished 80s PCs eating their brains (I mean, how else can you get someone to work so hard for five bucks? Well - ten, because I thought I'd be generous and tip)and I just thought, no.

No, we're not on the same page. I can't put this person through the impossible task of pleasing me.

In traditional publishing, I remember feeling so miffed that nobody asked for my input on my covers. But now I'm like: could somebody just design a great cover for me -- please!! I can't do this!

I can't choose from the billions of talented artists out there someone who's going to read my mind, create a cover that I love and that everybody loves and that fits the book perfectly and looks great as a thumbnail and even better on a bed stand, and ... and ... and ... do it all for FREE! Because I don't remember giving anyone my PayPal account at Simon & Schuster or St. Martin's Press.

But then I thought, You know what? Just because I didn't pay out of pocket for my other book covers, that doesn't mean they were 'free.' Publishers take the risks and make these decisions for you as a writer - but they also keep about 90% of every cent a book makes for the lifetime of that book. That's not free.

At least I can keep going, whether it costs me five bucks or five hundred, to find the right cover. That's a relief. Because I know what it's like to get saddled with a cover you hate and not be able to do anything about it.

(Not that I hated ALL of my covers! But more about that next time!)

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