Why & how I chose my cover designer!

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org Shop Link. This post contains some of those links.

I’ve wanted to write this post for a while but what’s held me back is that I have so much to say it’s difficult to know where to start.

My Cover Designer for Ocean Heart was Original Book Cover Designs. 

A guess a good place to start is on how I found my Cover Designer.

How I found my cover designer?

She ran a competition on Instagram to giveaway one of her design packages to a lucky winner. The winner of the competition was author J.D. Groom who had tagged me.

I don’t think I entered because at the time I was still planning to get a Literary Agent. Here’s the cover J.D. Groom received as her prize (it included eBook & paperback).

I loved the cover! As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted this designer to do my book cover…, if I self published. I then discovered other covers I loved were by the same designer.

Read Behind the Book & Book Review for JD Groom’s Sorceress of Truth (cover by Original Book Cover Designs). 

Read Behind the Book & Book Review for Kara A Weaver's Crown of Conspiracy (cover by Original Book Cover Designs).

Read Behind the Book & Book Review for Cassidy Reyne’s Agent Undone (cover by Originam Book Cover Designs).

Where to find cover designers?

I’ve seen people speak about sites like Fivrr but I’ve not used them. Here’s where I’ve found Cover Designers.

Instagram: There are lots of cover designers on Instagram. It’s an image based platform so an ideal place to show off their designs.

Facebook: A lot of designers also have a Facebook group. It enables them to share offers with their fans and build connections.

World Indie Warriors: Joining WIW is free. It’s a great resource. You can connect with other authors and get recommendations and check out the WIW brochure to discover cover designers.

Visit World Indie Warriors to discover more about them. 

How to choose your designer?

You must love it: You need to love the cover they create. It is essentially the first tool in your marketing arsenal. It needs to be something you’ll be proud to flaunt. Look at their portfolio and decide if you like their other designs.

Genre suitable: Each designer will have their own style, and it will likely be more suitable for a certain genre. I write Fantasy and Original Book Cover Designs definitely has a flair for it. Readers of your genre will expect a certain style so you don’t want them to pass your book assuming it’s not for them based on the cover.

Budget: We all have to operate within our means. People will judge a book by its cover but there are affordable options. Many designers do pre-made covers and if you can find one that suits your book, you can save on the cost of a bespoke design.

Extras: If you want to do eBook & Print, does the designer do a discount. Will they do other formats like hardback or audio. Do they offer some social media images or 3D Renders. Do they offer other services as a bundle discount (like formatting or blurb writing, etc).

Recommendations: If you can find authors the designer has worked with it can be very insightful. You could reach out to ask about their experience. You can also see if they have continued to use the designer and if they recommend then to others.

Benefits of a cover designer

Professional: I love creating my own covers. I often make them in Canva and use them on Wattpad. But, when it came to publishing my book, I wanted the cover to be perfect. I wanted my readers to find it hard to tell it is self published. It had to look professional.

Dimensions: I went a little cross eyed when I tried to figure out the spine for paperback. The width changes depending on paper type and page count. Ingram does have a tool to help you work it out and you can use the template in InDesign.

Technical Skills: I don’t know how to use Adobe or any other fancy design software I’d love to learn it but I just don’t have time. Outsourcing the cover design to a professional was a massive time saver.

Marketing: As mentioned earlier, your cover is the first thing anyone sees of your book. It needs to be eye catching, genre appropriate, and you need to be proud of showing it off. If it looks nice, other people might show it off too!

Working with your cover designer

Quote: Firstly, you’ll need to reach out to your chosen designer for a quote. I liked that Original Book Cover Design’s has some packages on their website so I knew they were within my budget and had already started putting money aside for it.

Timeframe: A good cover designer will likely have other projects on the go. You need to tell them when you’d like the job done by so they can confirm if they can do meet your deadline.

The deadline will need to be before your anticipated release date. This is because you should market your book before you release it. This period is often referred to as your book launch. Mine was about 2-3 months.

You also need the files before release to upload to the site you are using to create your book. I used Ingram Sparks. You’ll want to order a proof to check it is printing right, so allow time for quality control.

Also, if you are doing a print version, your cover designer will need to know what size to do the spine. Your manuscript will need to be edited and formatted.

Ideas: You’ll need to tell the designer about your book and your ideas for the cover. My cover designer had me complete an in depth questionnaire. She then worked with me to create a cover I love for my book Ocean Heart.

It was a dream come true.

Final design: The first draft looked incredible. I gave myself a little cooling down period – it was crazy exciting seeing my book – to look at it critically. I then requested some minor changes which my designer made. I was in love. It was a dream come true.

I hope this has helped you decide on whether you want to use a cover designer for your book, where to look for a designer, and how to pick one.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this post, you might like:

Why you need a Copy Editor

The Process of Publishing a Novel – 1 of 3

Check out my Live Stream Team

About Ocean Heart

The Making Of The Blurb for Ocean Heart

I enjoyed creating my blurb. It’s the little short enticing summary that goes on the back cover of a printed book.

Over the years I’ve tweaked it but now I’m self publishing it was important to get feedback from others.

This post is going to share with you my original blurb through to the final version. I hope you find the feedback useful for writing any blurb.

ORIGINAL

Tag line:  

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to “It’s complicated!”

Blurb:

One kiss is all it took to wake Mariah’s weather manipulation powers.

Mariah is crushing on her best friend, rivalling with the swim team star and her guardian Gwyn is meddling in her life using magic.  Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid with dangerous powers. 

When your love life’s a mess and your deadly powers are connected to your emotions, it gives a new meaning to “It’s complicated.”

ELEXIS VERSION 

The first offer help was author Elexis Bell. She has published several novels, and various genres.

Okiedoke. If it’s at the end, I might leave mermaid out of the blurb. But that’s just me. Also, I love the play on words with being a mermaid bringing new depth to it’s complicated. I only dropped it from the blurb because it’s already going to be on the front of the book.

Here’s what I came up with. If you don’t like it (or only like parts of it), no worries. 😊

Blurb:

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

When a single kiss reveals Mariah’s true form, she learns that mixing a messy love life with deadly powers fuelled by emotion might be more than she bargained for.

AMENDED VERSION 1

Blurb:  

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers might be more than she bargained for.

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is an imminent disaster waiting to happen.  

OR

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm of trouble.  

Then I received feedback from Marketing Genius Michelle Raab, and Romantic Suspense author Cassidy Reyne, and Editor and Epic Fantasy author Kara S Weaver.

MICHELLE’S SUGGESTIONS

More than she could have imagined … ?

CASSIDY SUGGESTIONS 

…can cause/create/whip up a storm of trouble?

KARA’S SUGGESTIONS 

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team’s star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple. Throw her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets in the mix, ordinary comes close, but all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later and it is then Mariah discovers she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers is just the start of a brewing storm. Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Will Mariah be able to contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

KARA FEEDBACK 

There’s a lot of will going on in the last sentence….

Can Mariah contain it, or will she be… that might help some

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Especially with her guardian, Gwyn, using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then Contemporary Fantasy author J D Groom offered some suggestions…

JODIE’S COMMENT

I like it! I’m not sure about the middle paragraph though 🤔

Something about starting with ‘especially’ doesn’t sit right.

Maybe something like, ‘Added to that her guardian, Gwyn, is using magic to keep secrets…’ etc

AMENDED VERSION

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.

Blurb: 

With a crush on her best friend and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian, Gwyn is using magic to keep secrets. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

Then, I noticed during the edits I’d lost a speech mark. I was also running every edit past my hubby and his best mate Dale to get their feedback too. It was done & I sent it to my cover designer…

Except, my Cover Designer (Original Book Cover Designs) had feedback for me too. I was not done.

She had a whole formula to share with me and examples of where it had been done well to illustrate what she meant. She really had gone above and beyond what I’d commissioned her for. But, it’s too long for this post & I didn’t seek her permission to share her secrets. But, it meant more editing…


AMENDED VERSION 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Mariah is a regular highschool teen, or that’s what she thinks.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, Mariah’s life is anything but simple.

Added to that, her guardian is using magic to keep Mariah safe from a probable future of reapers coming for a soul, or merblood being spilt by a vengeful werewolf. But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later.

Mariah’s about to discover she’s anything but ordinary. Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, first love, and self acceptance. Join Mariah as she awakens!

As it had been edited I sought more feedback. Cassidy, Kara and Richenda were able to give me pointers.

AMENDED VERSION 2 

Tag:

Being a mermaid brings a new depth to ‘it’s complicated.’

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  With a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood.  But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later. Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

An exciting coming of age story about a mermaid and romance that literally sparks.  

FEEDBACK FROM KARA

Blurb: 

Highschool teen Mariah’s life is anything but simple.  Between a crush on her best friend, and a rivalry brewing with the swim team star, her powers awaken early.  

Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic attempting to keep her safe from the soul reapers, and a werewolf hunting merblood. (This is an odd sentence. You kinda want a ‘When a…. , she …’ structure to build up tension. Like: When Mariah’s guardian meddles in her life with magic to keep her safe from the soul reapers and a merblood hunting werewolf, she learns there’s more to this world he is not willing to share). But all secrets wash ashore, sooner or later (, and she’s about to discovers hers!). Mariah is about to discover she’s a mermaid! 

Mixing a messy love life with deadly powers will whip up a storm of trouble.  Can Mariah contain it or will she be swept up in its wake?

A gripping story about a mermaid, self acceptance, and romance that literally sparks.

Hi Allison,

Sorry, I had a look at your blurb and I thought it could use a bit of tightening to amp up the tension in the text. Sorry if I’m too forward, I just want to help.

Kara also spotted during the edits that an apostrophe had been lost.

FINAL VERSION:  

I thought I was finally done and sent it off to my cover designer again. Then, I spotted that ‘high school’ didn’t have a space. 😂

Redfae Bookshop is my Affiliate Bookshop.org shop link.

[kofi]

If you enjoyed this, you will like:

Behind the Character: Mariah

Swoon Reads

Why you need a developmental editor!

http://allyaldridge.com/books/ocean-heart/

Behind the Book: Soul Bearer by Elexis Bell

Soul Bearer – Elexis Bell

What genre is this book and can you name any similar books?

This one, like many of my other books, is high fantasy romance. It’s slow burn romance mixed into a hero’s quest.

You write books of different genres, does this mirror your reading style?

Very much so. I tend toward high fantasy romance, but also read dystopian, post-apocalyptic, thrillers, psychological novels, paranormal, and various things relating to WW2. In most cases, I prefer to have a romantic arc within the story. I don’t like contemporary or reverse harems. And I rarely read younger than Young Adult.

Are there any genres you cannot see yourself writing?

Contemporary, Harem, or Reverse Harem. I got close to harem/reverse harem with a novel that’s currently in edits (title to be announced later), but it doesn’t quite fit the bill. It just has several love triangles.

What inspired your novel Soul Bearer?

A dream, actually. The prologue was a dream. None of the characters in it were going to do the work of fixing the whole dragon problem, though. It was perfect for setting up the world and showcasing the issues facing the main characters, so I kept it as the prologue.

Which mythical or magical creature do you wish was real?

I’ve given this a lot of thought, probably too much. Honestly, I don’t know which one I would choose. I can’t think of a single one that wasn’t an absolute nightmare in some tale or other, and I have terrible luck. If I chose a mythical or magical creature to make real, it would be the bad version of it. Or it would be the good version, but humans would poach them for their horns or magical feathers. I do wish humans were more interesting, though. Horns, wings, tails, whatever.

Tell me about the krakken style octopus on your website?

That octopus was a gift and rests in the center of the coffee table in my library. It’s my favorite animal, and I have several of them scattered through the library (most of which are not real, though I do have a few preserved in formaldehyde). They’re intelligent, creative, and unbelievably unique. They use tools and communicate by changing the colors of their skin. They shapeshift, morphing their bodies and altering the texture of their skin to lure prey and hide from predators. There are even a couple octopus cities in the ocean now, a fact which is one part awe-inspiring and one part terrifying. Basically, I just find them fascinating.

Please share a snippet or teaser from Soul Bearer?

Spinning slowly, Aurisye looks at everything around her. Chaos rules the land as the great red beast rules the air. Another roar threatens to shatter her eardrums, quickly followed by another stream of fire as the dragon flies overhead, so close that Aurisye could count its scales if it would only hold still.

She reaches out, passes a hand through the tip of its tail as it passes her. The dragon roars so loudly that, for a moment after, the world loses all sound. A high-pitched ringing sound punctuates everything, chasing away the screams and the crashing of buildings falling in upon themselves.

Up above, the dragon executes a perfect hair-pin turn and rockets itself toward Aurisye. Yellow eyes shining in the firelight, it stares straight at her, the only being here capable of seeing her. Each flap of its wings fans the fires all around, sending them climbing even higher into the atmosphere. Jaw dropping, it prepares to launch a blazing assault on Aurisye.

In an instant, she snaps back into her body, sitting bolt upright on the roof of her cottage. Her chest heaves with choppy breaths, pulling nothing but panic into her lungs. Her heart races, and she puts a hand to her chest to calm it.

Only then does she notice the soft red light coming from the mark on her arm. Her world goes cold. She pulls the sleeve of her jacket down to cover it, hoping it didn’t draw any undue attention.

Where can we find out more and buy your books?

My website has information and links for all my published works, as well as little tidbits about my WIPs. My blog is chock full of (blunt) writing advice and updates on all my work.  

Visit:  www.elexisbell.com

All my books are available on Amazon, and can be found on my Amazon author page.

Visit:  www.amazon.com/author/elexis_bell


If you enjoyed this, you should check out:

Behind the Book: Annabelle by Elexis Bell

Behind the Book: Gem of Meruna by Elexis Bell

Book Review: Wiccan Romance – Amelia’s Story by Nicola Hebron

Behind the Book: Sorceress of Truth by J D Groom

https://worldindiewarriors.wordpress.com/about-us/

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