Wow! Just Wow. When I first looked into self-publishing, I knew it would be a journey, but I failed to realize just how long that journey would take. It's incredible the amount of work that goes into creating your masterpiece, which eventually will become your book.
So the writings down, the editing done and you have a book ready for the world to see… wrong. The manuscript is finished and your dreams of having a bound book in your hands are just beginning. There are so many decisions to be made, so many thoughts that go into the final piece, but for this post I’m going to stick with book covers.
The blank page stared back as I try to figure out what the heck I was going to put on the canvas that I had opened in Photoshop. I went through thousands of pictures in my own personal arsenal and crawled the web for a photo or image that would sum up my book. The agonizing decision finally ended when I came across a friend’s photo. It was perfect for my novella and now the hard part was asking him if I could use it. Fortunately for me, he agreed and I now had the perfect image to represent my story.
But the work didn’t stop there. Now that I had the perfect image I had to pick the perfect font for the titling. After five cover designs, three image changes I finally decided on the perfect image with the perfect font. Things were looking up at this point and I was getting excited about the process once more until I had to figure out words to put on the back of the novella… a decription was in order and at this point I didn’t have one.
Describing your book in one or two short paragraphs can be scary. What do you say about something that takes you months, perhaps even years to create in two short paragraphs? I always start with short points about my stories, such as these for my novella:
A childhood with little opportunities.
8 years in the Special Forces.
A family torn apart.
A missing sister.
A drug dealing, pimp boyfriend.
A brother on a mission.
One man out for revenge.
One man out for justice.
Once I had these points I begin joining them together in sentences, such as these:
While Leroy was abroad fighting for the freedom of his fellow countrymen, his sister was home losing her freedom.
After serving 8 years in the Special Forces fighting for freedom, Leroy returns home to find his sister has lost hers.
A drug dealing, pimp boyfriend. A brother on a mission. A missing sister. One man out for revenge. A family falling apart. A childhood with little opportunities. 8 years in the Special Forces.
Next part is to make short paragraphs from the sentences:
After discovering that his sister is missing and has been missing for months, the mission begins to find and bring her home. While oversees fighting so that his fellow countrymen could be free, Leroy’s family was falling apart. Hoping to leave his nightmares behind when he landed on American soil he realized the nightmares were just beginning. After serving in the Special Forces for 8 years, Leroy returns home to reclaim his life.
Discovering that his sister had been missing for months, Leroy sets out on a mission to find his sister and bring her home. Leroy returns home after serving 8 years in the Special Forces to discover his nightmare has not ended, but was only just beginning. When he finds Landon he realizes that his missing sister is only the tip of the iceberg. Longing brings together two men, one out for justice, the other pure revenge.
During all of these exercises I take my time, sometimes hours, sometimes days, to absorb all ideas. Then, I finally end up with something that makes me happy:
Two men come together, one out for justice, the other revenge. Leroy, returns home after serving 8 years in the Special Forces to discover his nightmare has not ended, but just began.
After discovering that his sister has been missing for months, Leroy sets out on a mission to find and bring her home. Meeting, Landon Miller, exposes Leroy to a world of corruption he had no idea existed.
It took me about 2-3 weeks to get my cover complete and ready to publish, but I’m a crazy person who will keep changing the smallest of things until I feel it is right. I always figure if I’m not happy with the cover, than how can I expect readers to be happy with it?
The truth is we never know what makes people like one book cover over another, or one movie instead of another, the thing I feel is that if I did the absolute best work I could , than that is all that matters because we know we can’t please everyone all of the time.
But I’m sure going to try!
Till next time.
This is the book cover I used as my example for this post.