Get Covered – the Business of Writing

We’re always told not to judge a book by its cover, but let’s face it, we all do.

The reason I’m talking about this is because I’ve recently gone through the process of getting the Locked Series recovered and reissued. 

Now I love these books, I always have, and I have no problems with the original covers, but as I was reissuing them under the HanWill Publishing banner, they needed new covers and covers which are consistent so they look like a set.

To get these designed, I had to get someone else to put them together for me. I know what I want from a cover, but I simply don’t have the skills to create it. And one thing that really bugs me, is seeing a really naff cover that lacks a professional finish. You see when I see that I really do judge the book by its cover. That indicates to me that the author couldn’t be bothered to invest in good design, so they probably didn’t invest in a good editor either, so I won’t invest my time in reading them.

I don’t want my books to be viewed that way. So I found a good designer.

Mark Thomas of Coverness design was a joy to work with. We chatted about what I wanted and agreed a budget. I gave him the brief, and he very quickly turned around what I needed.

We had a small cross communication as I initially received the draft designs on my phone and everything looked blue though it wasn’t, hopefully, you’ll see the difference from the picture.  So, if you go through this process yourself, always check the imagery on more than one device.

There were, of course, tweaks that needed doing and Mark was great for turning everything around quickly and I was really happy with the brief.

Top tips I can give for working with any designer, is be prepared.  Think about what you need before you contact the designer and when you do, have as tight a brief ready as you can. As clear a guide as you can get to what you want to see. Also have the following in place:

  • The title
  • The byline
  • The blurb
  • Any strap line or other you want on the cover
  • What format you need – hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook (or any combination thereof)
  • The size of the physical format

If you have them the number of pages and the ISBN might be useful to give too.

Would also suggest that you do your due diligence, check websites, read testimonials, make sure that you are dealing with a reputable designer. And if you need a recommendation – I highly recommend Coverness, easy to work with, and a great final product.

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