Our Quest For Cover Glory
We have learned an incredible amount about publishing in the past couple months. As it turns out, the most important thing we learned was that we actually didn’t know an incredible amount about publishing. Or anything at all, really. Basically, we didn’t know shit.
This, as you can imagine, did not bode well for our future in self-publishing. Fortunately, with a bit of luck and a ton of help, we stumbled and fought our way into a really amazing cover.
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES
Let me just start by saying I have no background or education or anything remotely resembling skill in art, graphics, design, illustration, layout, composition, book covers, or the marketing behind book covers. So clearly, after reading a couple DIY (do it yourself) articles online, I was confident I was the right man to be in charge of this very important piece of our project. I’ve got this!
Famous last words.
Fortunately for us, I became extremely and rapidly unconvinced of that notion. Look, I don’t know shit, but at least I KNOW I don’t know shit.
It turns out there are some pretty important things about modern cover design that I didn’t know. People don’t peruse books on a table or on a shelf anymore. They give you about a 1.4 second glance on a tiny thumbnail (100×160 pixels) in Amazon. And, if you can’t catch their attention in that 1.4 seconds, that’s it, it’s over.
And what it takes to catch that attention is wildly different than what it was in the past when books sat on a table at Barnes and Noble. You need contrast. You need something clean. You need a little mystery. A concept sells better than a scene from the book. These are the new mandates for a successful modern, digital age cover, and they make a whole lot of sense to me.
And yet, even with that in mind, we were fighting against our gut old-school instincts all the way through the process with our cover designer. We wanted the classic scene in a scary cave. We wanted the full figure shot of our guy with his cool weaponry. We wanted him to look exactly like he did in our heads.
And this is why I truly believe authors should not be in charge of their own covers. In our heart, we wanted to see our vision come to life in art. And that’s a beautiful thing, but that wasn’t what was going to get people to buy our book. The readers don’t know all the intricate details of our character’s past or all the uber-crafty nuances of the scene we were pouring our hearts into showing. The image we want just won’t hit the reader the same way it does for us. It won’t grab them. Our potential reader is only going to see exactly what’s on the cover. And even then, only for 1.4 seconds.
If you don’t nail it, it’ll be the fastest rejection you’ve ever received. Actually, I’ve had faster, but that’s probably not relevant here.
So if not yourself, who do you trust with your cover.
Let me start by saying, Alexandre is extremely good at what he does. He’s fast. He’s precise. He’s professional. He’s got a great eye and… And shit, I’m just going to let his work speak for itself.
Pictures are worth at least a 1000 words, and I think the thousand here would be:
Fuck yeah fuck yeah fuck yeah…
Yeah, needless to say we are pretty overjoyed at how it came out. Let me drop you the next most important piece of information. How to get him to bring your dream to life.
Also check out his pinterest here.
Thank you, Alexandre. You’ve got a gift. And we are already excited to see what you will do for the next Ferran cover.
It used to be a cover would give you a glimpse into a scene or moment from a book and that would give a reader some information, some sign whether they would find something worthwhile within the pages. You won’t find those same scenes or moments on today’s covers, but that sign is still there.
The overall quality of your cover speaks volumes about the content within. About whether the reader can trust what you are offering to them.
Don’t be like me.
Don’t fuck around.
Go find your Alexandre right away. Get a kick ass, professional cover.
Or better yet, just use Alexandre.
He’s waiting and ready to guide you to cover glory.
See you next week. Til then.
Stay tuned. Stay frosty.