So I thought I had better get back to the self-publishing advice. Today, I’m going to concentrate on the book cover.
Tip of the day: get someone else to design a cover for you (unless of course you are a budding artist as well as a writer).
The thing is, I doubt many people know someone who will design their cover for free, so it could be costly. If you can afford it, great, go ahead, but if you can’t, what do you do? Use one of the Createspace (CS) covers?
Sure why not? It’s the easy option and better than nothing.
The only other option, is to design the cover yourself. BUT REMEMBER it still needs to fit into the CS template!
I designed a cover myself using Photoshop Elements and I’ll be honest with you, it was pretty infuriating, but annoyingly addictive. I’m actually referring to Photoshop Elements as infuriating, and not the whole design process. I ended up watching lots of tutorials on YouTube, just to figure out how to use the software! Tip: you can download a trial of Photoshop Elements for free. When your trial period runs out, keep the program running and don’t shutdown your computer, and it will remain active.
For The Book of Thoth, I knew I wanted a picture of Thoth in the background, so I took lots of pictures of Thoth at the British Museum and adapted one of those. I also designed my own logo as on my website:
I used the logo as the letter O in Thoth.
I surrounded the front cover and back cover wording with hieroglyphs.
Back cover, I hear you say. Yes! You have to design the back cover, too. Obviously, the back cover needs to include the blurb. Once you are happy with the design, then you upload and submit to CS. They will email you back and let you know whether it has been accepted or not. Sounds easy, hey?
There is a bit more to it than that. So here’s a list of things to remember:
1) Book cover size – make sure you adjust your page to be the same size as the book cover, before you start designing.
2) Always save you work!
3) The CS template has a border area where you are not allowed to have any text or anything that’s important to your cover. That’s because it will be cut off when printed! I found that this area varied between proofs, so keep this area subtly blended in with the rest of the cover.
4) Always save your work!
5) Make sure you get someone to read and “spellcheck” your blurb, I only noticed an error on the second proof!
6) Always, always save your work.
I was really pleased with the cover I designed, in fact, the only issue I had was with the spine. For some reason, the spine was always a mm or so out on the proofs, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about this. Hopefully, CS will have this problem sorted soon.
If I am unsuccessful in my attempt at finding an agent, and I end up self-publishing my book, then I hope you will all like my cover, too.