Where Do You Find Cover Artists?

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau (Photo credit: Mar.tin)

Where To Find Cover Artists

by Karen Woodward

It’s difficult to overestimate the importance of a great cover.

Striking professional looking covers help sell books.

The cover is the first impression a reader will have of your work, and humans place a lot of importance on first impressions.

We want readers to fall in love with our book on first sight.

Think of it this way, you dress up to go about your day-to-day activities. You put on nicer clothes, you fix your hair, and so on.

Why? Because we know that how we look matters to other people. Even if you couldn’t care less how others look you know that folks treat you differently depending on the clothes you wear, the way you arrange your hair, the perfume/cologne you choose.

Now think: What if you weren’t just going to a business meeting, or a PTA get-together, or a  baseball mixer. What if you were going to the Academy Awards or some other gala affair?

My female friends would spend most of the morning and all of the afternoon getting their hair, nails and face done. And I cringe to think how much they’d spend on clothes. Read more here.

Is Your Book Organized?

Book header/footer

Book header/footer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putting together the heart of a book takes blood, sweat and tears. The heart of a book is what I consider to be the manuscript itself. But, what about the other parts of your book, such as the table of contents, preface, index and glossary? Have you compiled all of those nice little tidbits that make your book an actual book? If you are not sure how it all works and what you need to do to put a complete project together, I have found you some helpful tips on how to make your book organized.

The Book Designer is a site where authors can find every topic imaginable for self-publishing your manuscript. I have found this site useful for any author looking for help on book design, self-publishing, formatting and more. Check out this article on how to get your book organized so that you can be the professional author you want to be.

Self-Publishing Basics: How to Organize Your Book’s Front Matter

Many writers who think about self-publishing are taken aback when they start to put their book together for publication. It’s one thing to work on a manuscript, sometimes for years, getting the ideas right, the words to flow, the overall thematic arc to shine through for attentive readers.

But how do you turn that manuscript into a book? After all, there are lots of things in books that you’ll never see in a manuscript. Things like running heads, page numbers, half-title pages, indexes… stuff like that.

Your Book Cover: What Is the Symbolism?

English: Book cover.

English: Book cover. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your Book Cover: What Is the Symbolism?

I finished a book several months ago. When I reached the end I wanted to cue in applause and hire a marching band. Of course, I didn’t do either of these things. Instead, I started looking for an agent or publisher. The search was discouraging because I kept seeing the phrase, “Not accepting new work.”

 In these tough economic, times many publishers have gone out of business. Small publishers are joining with other small publishers just to survive. Since I’ve been a freelancer for more than 30 years, I know something about the book industry. My chances of finding a publisher were slim, so I turned to self-publishing.

A local graphic artist had designed several book covers for me. He is talented, savvy, and I respect his work. When I received the cover, however, it wasn’t what I expected. I think of my book as an educational and motivational guide for women with heart disease. His cover made my book look more like a sports book and less like a women’s resource.

To understand our different perspectives, I started reading about the symbolism of book covers. Joel Friedlander writes about this topic in “Book Cover Design and the Problem of Symbolism,” posted on The Book Designer website. According to Friedlander, bad covers have poor font choices, confusing graphics, colors that don’t work, meaningless stock photos, and too much copy.

Nonfiction books like mine can have more copy, Friedlander continues, but the author has to be careful. “One common cover design error you may not have thought of is particularly difficult for many authors to overcome: they know their own books too well,” he writes. Was I guilty of this error? After thinking about this question for two days, I realized our different approaches were probably based on gender.

Friedlander lists the pluses of good book cover design — simplicity, a limited amount of type, and a clear message. Another article by this graphic designer, “Top 8 Cover Design Tips for Self Publishers,” offers clear suggestions for an eye-catching cover. If you are agonizing over a book cover now, his tips may help you make a choice.

  • The cover should have a principal focus.
  • Make all the design elements count.
  • Avoid a white background. Use color and texture instead.
  • Your title should be large, especially if the book is electronic.
  • The font should be easy to read.
  • Your cover image should clarify the content.
  • Stick with a few colors.
  • Look at lots of book covers before you make a final decision.

I considered these tips and realized my first cover photo choice was the best. The interior of my book will have two photos to delineate the sections. I checked my options again, eliminated one, and substituted another. Then I emailed all of this information to my graphic designer. The last two sentences of my email: Hopefully, the

se suggestions will meet with your approval and you can follow my logic trail. Thanks for your patience.

A book cover can make or break a sale. Before your book comes out, make sure the cover symbolizes the contents, the idea you have lived with so long, and worked on so hard.

Copyright 2013 by Harriet Hodgson


Harriet Hodgson is the author of 31 books. Her latest releases are “Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss” and “Help! I’m Raising My Grandkids.” Please visit her website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.

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