Over the past two years I have grown to realize that what I once believed was the hardest part of writing a book is in fact that easiest thing in the world for me to do. Writing is easy because I love to write. It's where my heart is.
It wasn't until I finished writing my first book and needed to consider the many things that come after the writing, that I realized I had absolutely no idea what the term 'hard' meant when it came to my career in professional writing. I had no idea that when you decide to go down the route of self publishing that you're the writer, the proof reader, the marketer just to name a few - You're all those things that you have absolutely no idea how to do. You have to teach yourself on the fly.
This week I did the mock up of the cover for my second book. I wouldn't call myself a designer to any degree of the word, I'm not artistic in the visual sense, but I didn't want to work with people who I don't feel a connection with. Random people on social media will contact you to offer their services, but sometimes you just don't feel a connection. So I decided to do the design myself and then attempt to network with my friends.
I contacted my friend Steph who recently in the past few years started her own locally owned photography business Storyteller Photography about a collaboration. I had a specific type of cover in mind that I wanted, however I am hesitant to use stock images due to the large amount of people who can be using the exact same image. I wanted to own the image and ultimately the rights to it.
Steph and I have started working together to develop the plan for the cover. A list of questions that we need to find the answers to, it's subject to change at any time as well:
1. Where will the photoshoot be?
2. What are we looking for in models? Who fits the bill? Do we want to work with established models or choose unknown people looking for a break? Or just people who fit the aesthetic we're looking for?
3. What time of day are we going to be at the location to get the optimal lighting for the effects I am after?
It's important to me as someone who is working in the arts sector to work with people who are also indie artists or people who are studying their craft and are up and coming. I love the idea of growing and developing with the people I work with. I love the creative control staying in our hands and being able to make the big decisions.
People say not to judge a book by it's cover, but that simply cannot hold up now. I liken it to the gift of the gab in a job interview vs an introvert. The gift of the gab might not exactly have the skills that the introvert as, but they can sell themselves better. The one that looks the best upon initial contact is the one that is going to be sold.
We need to judge our own books by their covers so we can give them the best chance at success.