I’ve been fortunate enough to have self-published one book and had two books traditionally published. I’m far from an expert, but I know generally what to expect. Where the potholes are, the bodies are buried, and ambushes are likely to come from, so to speak.
The one part of the process I simultaneously look forward to and dread the most is getting my cover. Even when I self-published PWNED, I knew better than to design my own cover. Just because I wrote a book didn’t mean I was automatically qualified to design its cover. Designing covers is a real art and takes experience with layout, marketing, and genre norms. The best covers are the product of collaboration between the author, editor, publisher, and designer. What looks so simple on the shelf is probably the hundredth iteration of an idea that probably started its life scrawled on a cocktail napkin after a late night strategy session.
I respect the crap out of a good cover. It’s no mean feat and, if you pull it off, the results are well worth the trouble.
That said, cover reveals are difficult for the author (or they are for me, at least). By the time you get your cover, you’ve spent hours upon hours upon eye-crossing HOURS editing, revising, promoting, writing, and revising some more and now, here it is. The cover you’ve waited so long for. The cover for this book that you’ve devoted significant chunks of your time and sanity to, and here’s the cover that will represent everything that this story is, and what it means, and what it will do.
Seriously, unless Michelangelo himself came down from Heaven and designed your cover with the help of Jesus and all His angels, what cover could possibly live up to those expectations?
On the rare occasion that you actually like what your publisher sends to you, high-five a stranger and hug a puppy, because blessed are you among writers. From what I’ve gleaned over my years of rubbing elbows with fellow authors, liking your cover is kind of like spotting a purple unicorn: You’re either high or very, very lucky.
I would count myself as one of the lucky ones. I thought the cover for Blood Money did the job and I actually happen to like the new cover for Bai Tide. Oh, what’s that? I haven’t shared it yet? Here you go!
Not bad, right? It’s spy-o-riffic, it gets the point across, and it’s eye-catching. I like it.
What do you think?