Okay, so those who follow us here know I am an author and that I have several published books out there to purchase and enjoy. http://www.amazon.com/author/annetterochelleaben So, one might think that I have this all figured out, that there is nothing about this ‘self-publishing business’ that could flap me; think again. Allow me to tell you a bit about the arduous task of creating book covers!
That process can be something relatively academic. I mean, after all, when one IS a writer, one thinks in words and pictures as well. I do see the covers in my head sometimes long before the book is born. Not always does the vision inside my head, stray too far from the outer reality but the process of making it happen, can make one lose one’s mind.
I use, as example, my newest book Angel Messages, a wing and a prayer. This book is one I have been asked to create for quite a little while, but my books come out when they are ready and not necessarily when I am ready to give them physical life. A variety of changes took place to bring this book to its current form not the least of which WAS the cover. Oh yeah, there was a name change too. Each and every step of the way, I was convinced I was done and ready to go LIVE with the finished product!
Okay, so the first cover effort was basic blue with a bright shining sun radiating out. The title was actually Whisper to an Angel. I was very happy with everything, so I submitted it for review and it was bounced, like a rubber ball. Something about the resolution not being strong enough. Frustrated, I decided to use a different background picture and found one that I had created a while back. The second cover happened to be pink and had even bigger, bolder light rays shining out from a center source. Of course, once I chose that new cover, I started thinking that the name of the book needed to change as well. Bye, bye WTAA and hello, Angel Messages!
Guess what? That cover, too, was bounced for low resolution and I was crushed. Thinking I had this figured out, I simply increased the background resolution and I resubmitted it for approval. It was accepted! Oh joy! Oh rapture! I leaked ‘cover reveals’ through social media and received tremendously enthusiastic response. Everyone LOVED it and so I ordered the proof copy. Fine job cover girl!
I don’t know if you believe in the power of dreams and honestly I rarely, if ever, remember mine. In fact, it is such an infrequent occurrence for me, that it would take less than an hour to share them. The only one which bears repeating here is the one that, wait for it… wait for it… caused me to completely CHANGE THE COVER OF THE BOOK AGAIN! Yes, how positively wacky of me, to think that I had it all figured out, so here is the dream. I can see the book (but not really the book) just sort of hanging there in mid-air (hey, it’s a dream, right?). It’s opening and closing as though the cover was made of wings, wings that were opening and closing. The wings were the wings from one of the photographs inside the book. This dream was so powerful, I woke and knew I needed to change the cover of the book. Not that the dream told me to do this, I just knew. Back to the drawing board, cover girl.
I have to say that I actually made three versions of the wing cover and tweaked the text at least seven times before arriving at the final product. Thank goodness for the emails exchanged with a trusted friend who actually designs book covers professionally. He offered some words of wisdom, which I was happy to receive. He suggested that I scoot this over a bit, that I might trying aligning one line differently with another and the result was perfect!
Please understand, this was the very first cover I attempted to design all on my own. All my other books I used the pre-formatted covers supplied by Create Space and have been very happy with them. This time, I wanted to have something using their pre-formatted covers could not afford me, more font choices, so I asked their customer service how that could be done. Off handedly, the rep mentioned he heard of people using Micro Soft Publisher (which I happen to have) and I ran with that like a kid with a kite on a sunny day. I found the creativity exhilarating and the results exciting. In fact, I was having so much fun, I started designing covers for books I had not written yet. Yes, I have submitted them and yes, they have already been approved, nothing like a bit of pressure to get these books done. Quite the adventure for the Cover Girl these days!
Of course there is so much more I could have told you about making that cover. I believe there is much more to learn too. So, if you are ever looking for me, I’ll most likely be right here, under the covers!