February has been a busy month, filled with preparing for taxes and a dental cleaning appointment. People I typically don’t see often. It was exciting to show these two people my first three published books in the Grace Series. I enjoy people’s reactions when they see my paperback novels because they are surprised at the quality of my cover design and book layout. This viewing was no different.
When I started this whole process, I researched every phase and I knew I was going to self-publish, but originally planned to have my covers designed by a professional graphic designer. My Photoshop skills are not as strong as I would have liked for the quality cover, I knew I wanted.
I researched the best and most economical cover designers and came across Reedsy. Very professional online company for editing, cover design, and more. I reached out to three designers whose profile I liked and asked for a quote for three cover designs.
The prices I got back were varied. Everything from $850 for one cover to $1500 for one cover. GULP. I ended up getting in contact one with one who offered to do all 3 for $1200. I felt that was doable and we were about to begin the process when I got very sick.
Cover Plans Changed
One night, I went to the ER with what I thought was the flu, but it turned out to be a SEVERE kidney infection. Long story short, it took two more doctor visits and ANOTHER ER visit before I was able to get better. I was out of work for several weeks and it was a rough time.
But after I was better, I started having new pain when I started getting the bills from my multiple ER visits. Thousands of dollars were being sent to doctors, ERs, and radiology… suddenly my budget for covers was GONE!
Frustrated, I was talking to my mother about whether I should pull the money from savings to have the covers designed. I’ll never forget when she told me, “CB (her nickname for me) you can do the covers and you will create BEAUTIFUL covers!”
Based on her words of encouragement, I started researching designing your own covers. I found many suggestions to use Canva. Choosing the photos from Pixaby (my go-to for free commercial stock photos), I created my first round of covers for all three books.
I sort of liked them and was proud of my first steps into cover design. The layout/composition was headed in the right direction, but the Canva site was limiting in font choices and other design changes I wanted to make.
PHOTOSHOP soon became my best friend. As an interior design student, I had basic Photoshop skills, but it’s not my strongest skill, I was more of an AutoCAD/Texcelle girl… but thank goodness for YouTube!
Videos, research, tears, and begging for helpful tips from other designers, I created a few more rounds of covers for all three books.
I went through at least four rounds of cover designs with different fonts, but keeping that original layout I loved.
I loved Soria, and I applied it to all of the covers.
The second book cover, I LOVED! But, I was struggling with the first novel and the third. I posted on Facebook for people to vote for their favorite book one, but still, I couldn’t find one that said, “YES, this is your cover.”
I need the confirmation in my gut/my spirit and it wasn’t happening.
After talking with a graphic designer friend, the reason book two worked was the simple, object-focused image.
I went back to the drawing board per se and found new photos.
COVER DESIGN New Direction
For Restoring Grace, I found photos with cameras and for Trusting Grace, I looked at photos with food.
It was a LONG process, MULTIPLE revisions, SUBTLE changes only I would notice, and this was just for the eBook Covers. When I went to create the covers for the paperback books, there were a few more rounds. Future Post Coming Soon.
With a fourth novel coming out in April, I thought I had found the secret to great book covers, and I think I have, it is go with your gut. I prayed for God to help me make covers I would be proud of, and people would see them and think it’s professionally done.
However, when I created the cover for Renewed by Grace, I had different struggles. The title was LONG and I needed to modify it a lot more to get the cover the way I wanted.
Pleased, until I got my first book proof.
I didn’t like it, AT ALL!
Which is why, on March 5th, I will be UNVEILING the newest cover for the Grace Series. Check back for the big reveal.
Each cover creates a color scheme for my media kit, promotional items, and more. It’s important to love your covers because you will be looking at them A LOT. To read more about my media kits, check out this post.
Grateful for talented designers’ input, honest feedback from friends and family, and most importantly God allowing me to create all of my marketing, cover material and save a TON of money along the way.
Always listen to the people God puts in your life to encourage and push you out of your comfort zone. At the beginning of this journey, I never thought I’d do everything myself, but it’s been an amazing, fun, challenging, but rewarding experience. I wouldn’t change a thing.
God took a very expensive and painful moment in my life and turned it into good for ME!
I still get a little thrill every time I see my covers!
Be sure to check on my first three novels in the Grace Series. Available here!
Until next time, may God’s grace surround you,
2 thoughts on “Can I Get A Cover?”
Love this, CB. You and God can do anything. I am very proud of you.
Thank you, Mom! You’re a big reason why!
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