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Designing a cover for a self published book

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My wife wrote a book a couple of years ago when she was on maternity leave. 

 

It’s a Westminster based ‘romance’ style book - using her experience as a civil servant working with ministers to create a story about a private secretary having an affair with a minister (there are lots of sex scenes in it!)

 

I’ve been trying to persuade her to just stick it up on amazon (I genuinely enjoyed reading it), but apart from not being confident about it, she thinks she needs a cover designed for it first. 

 

So.... my question is does anyone have any experience with such things, and would anyone fancy giving it a go (perhaps for a cut of future profits in lieu of payment?)

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Do you have any specific ideas? I'd happily knock something up in Photoshop, am happy to do graphic design and work with photos you provide or whatever. 

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I just did this.

 

its a bit too on the nose mind

 

FF6B745A-450E-480B-93F4-F5260D473CDC.thumb.jpeg.52feabbac46c205224943745f4f99112.jpeg

 

Now imagine it as a photo realistic HoP and a phallus in place of “Big Ben”

 

”Ding Dong!”

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On 18/03/2019 at 11:56, Broker said:

Do you have any specific ideas? I'd happily knock something up in Photoshop, am happy to do graphic design and work with photos you provide or whatever. 

 

I think @SeanR has nailed it, but in case my wife isn’t convinced can I pass on her email address for her to share a bit more about what she’s thinking?

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On 18/03/2019 at 09:22, SeanR said:

I just did this.

 

its a bit too on the nose mind

 

FF6B745A-450E-480B-93F4-F5260D473CDC.thumb.jpeg.52feabbac46c205224943745f4f99112.jpeg

 

Now imagine it as a photo realistic HoP and a phallus in place of “Big Ben”

 

”Ding Dong!”

Wait a second, pal, is that a penis?

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7 hours ago, wanderai said:

Wait a second, pal, is that a penis?

 

No, it’s the queen elizabeth tower, home to a massive bell, colloquially known as Big Ben.

 

you see a penis? Mmm... :mellow:

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15 hours ago, SeanR said:

 

No, it’s the queen elizabeth tower, home to a massive bell, colloquially known as Big Ben.

 

you see a penis? Mmm... :mellow:

Yeah, a penis on the right, with a ballsack on the bottom, with pointy pubes and the penis head on the top.

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I paid a fiver to someone on Fiverr, and for my fiver I got this.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00FAN0MIM/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_d1O1CbCS76WFB

 

I've also done a few books about magic and the rubbish covers from Amazon's own cover designer don't seem to affect sales.  However I would recommend (a) buy my book, (b) make sure you are happy with the cover you choose before uploading anything (I had a temp cover I knocked in PowerPoint and so the current cover is permanently listed as an alternative cover on Goodreads and google still displays the shit cover sometimes), and if you do paperbacks then (c) be very wary of paper sizes as you cannot change it later.  My psychic book above is on pages that I think are too big, and Amazon will let me go back in and change every detail, even the entire book text, font etc, but there's no way to physically print the book smaller than the original choices I made.

 

 

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Congrats on the book release, and sorry to be all negative but did you notice that your £5 cover still has the Shutterstock watermark in it?

 

It does mean that you're infringing their copyright and they could get grumpy about it. It's unlikely they'll notice but I think you at least deserve a refund from Fiverr guy.

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23 hours ago, cubik said:

Congrats on the book release, and sorry to be all negative but did you notice that your £5 cover still has the Shutterstock watermark in it?

 

It does mean that you're infringing their copyright and they could get grumpy about it. It's unlikely they'll notice but I think you at least deserve a refund from Fiverr guy.

That's my fault - they send you a proof and if you OK it, they pay for the image and send you a proper one. Thanks for spotting it, I've uploaded the proof one by mistake! 

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Probably way too late with this, but https://bookcoverzone.com is pretty good. Some really great covers where you can change the title, author name etc. even after you've bought the cover and maybe changed your mind. You can just re-customise it and export a new version.

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@dumpster - out of interest, did you hire an editor for any of the books you've self-published? Midway through my second book but was thinking to self-publish after a thorough personal edit, rather than spunking money on someone else to do it.

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5 hours ago, glb said:

@dumpster - out of interest, did you hire an editor for any of the books you've self-published? Midway through my second book but was thinking to self-publish after a thorough personal edit, rather than spunking money on someone else to do it.

 

 

No, I don't see the need to spend money on what is essentially a hobby.  The problem with self publishing is that you can spend a year of your life working really hard on your meticulously researched book, only to never sell a single copy. 

 

My mum wrote a book in MS Word, uploaded it to Kindle with no formatting or corrections, used the free cover designer, sold 15,000 in a year and spent the money on a holiday.  When Kindle combined with Createspace, it was a half hour job to make a paperback and so we did that together and she sold loads of that too.  Meanwhile a friend of hers paid for a cover to be designed by a local artist, paid for an editor, hired a proof reader, and when the book was finished we were still finding typos and no-one bought a single copy anyway.  There's a magic formula to selling a million but I have no idea what it is.

 

Self Publishing is a fun hobby and when people like what you've written (I'm very proud of the reviews I am getting for the MLM book and all the reviews I got a few years back for Fake Psychic) it's a real confidence boost.  But I'd suggest not spending money if you don't have to because there's no guarantee anyone will ever see your book.  There are literally millions  of self-published books on Amazon and the quality of some are genuinely appalling, practically unreadable crap, and I have no idea what the secret is to getting your book noticed in a marketplace like that.  The book I am most proud of and put the most work into sells the least. 

 

Also worth noting is that you can upload new content to your eBook at any time, so when you inevitably find typos, or even a paragraph or entire section you'd like to change, you can easily just make the changes and upload a new version.  Existing customers keep their old version but any future purchases will be the new one.  There's a joke in the early copies of the MLM book that isn't in the current version, and I've probably uploaded 7 or 8 versions over the last month.  The fun thing with proof reading what you've written is that your brain knows what the page should say, and you can read the book ten times, then find a load of typos you didn't notice on the 11th read.  My eye problems don't help either, so it's great that you can change books after publication.  

 

One final word of warning.  When you do a paperback on Amazon, it asks you for the dimensions, the paper colour etc.  Once you have done this, you can never change it.  If you buy the paperback of Fake Psychic it's bigger than I thought and the type is bigger than I expected too.  I can unpublish the book and re-start, but I'd lose all the good reviews it's achieved.  I can go back in and change the document, but can't change the page size, so if I make the font regular the book will be fewer pages and it's a short story anyway so the overall appearance will be sillier.  You can go back into your paperback, change the title, the cover, the content of the pages - you just can't change the size and page colour so important to get these right before you publish. 

 

Hope that's helpful!  Feel free to buy any of my books!  Or switch to Bulb!  http://www.bulb.me/stephenp8733

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Thank you for the thorough reply! Yep, totally see your point and similarly viewing this as a hobby until it isn't. Actually quite inspiring to hear you just went for it; think it can be easy with such things to find obstacles when, in truth, there are thousands of other people just shooting for success so why not join them?

 

I'm out of work at the minute so will crack on with my first draft of book two. Learning photoshop at the minute so will have fun designing a cover and looking forward to seeing how the book does.

 

And kudos to your mum! 15,000 sales is great, good to read such things can be done without the slog of getting a publishers etc

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Thanks for all the replies.  My wife still hasn't done anything to progress things - feels slightly strange to me to have spent so long writing a book but then not do anything to make it available (especially since she's had great feedback from friends who have read it), but there we go!

 

I'll show her this thread and see if it encourages her to get on and do it :)

 

Oh, and I've just bought your book @dumpster !

 

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