The pros … and cons … of designing your own book cover
For the next 17 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge. There’s still time to register. Join today and qualify for drawings for daily giveaways for every day that you post.
Day 12 writing prompt:
Describe your process for choosing and designing your book cover. Who created your cover? How did you find him/her? What do you love about your cover? What might you do differently next time?
Although my book is geared toward women, I didn’t want anything frilly or girly for my cover. And definitely NO pink! I realize, in retrospect, that I could have had a professional design my cover, but at the time I was putting it together, I didn’t really have funds for a cover designer, let alone the thought process that would have valued such an investment. So I did it myself – something I do not typically recommend that authors do.
Though my cover has evolved over the years (VAST improvements in font and general structure), it remains focused around a painting I made nearly a dozen years ago when I was substitute teaching at my niece’s Montessori school in Phoenix. It was a late-spring day during the after-school program (i.e., too HOT to run around outside), and most of the kids and I were entertaining ourselves with a variety of painting techniques: finger painting, stamping, and water color. It wasn’t the only painting I made that day – I remember also creating a whale swimming in a sea of artsy swirls of blue and teal and green. No idea where either of those originals is now, though I know I never threw them out.
Eventually, the sunflower (sometimes with the pot and sometimes just the head of the flower) became images I used in all aspects of my book – from interior page design to bookmarks to e-cards and, of course, the website.
It’s funny because green and yellow (gold) were the colors of my grade school, a place and time that hold few fond memories for me. Back in the days before virtually every Catholic school (and many charter and other private schools) moved to uniforms, we were required to wear green, yellow, gold, or white clothing, though not a specific tartan or uniform skirt or pants. Ugh. My sister cringes every time it even comes up in conversation. Nevertheless, I love the colors as applied to my book cover. I love the versatility of the flower design, and the ease with which a sunflower of any color is recognized.
If I had it to do over again, I’d at least employ the consultation of a professional book cover designer. I’d probably actually go with a ? or some other symbol or image to indicate the concept of questions. I might actually put a woman on the cover – novel idea, no? Nevertheless, it is what it is and I’m happy with it. For now.
Happy cover designing!
We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.
In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!