I’ve written about cover design at least two or three times before – but it is one of the most important concepts an indie writer ought to tuck between his ears.
Let me tell you about about my latest release, Hammurabi Road.
Hammurabi Road started out as one of a two novella collection that I called Hard Roads which was put together in 2007 by Gary Fry at Gray Friar Press.
Here’s the original cover – done by noted artist Zach McCain.
Now that’s a pretty good cover.
Hard Roads sold a few copies and I still have some on my shelf but these days I am focusing on my e-books – so it shouldn’t surprise any of you that I took it into my head to release these two novellas in e-book format.
Only – at the time that I was planning to release them my budget was feeling the pinch.
So I decided right away that I would use the Kindle Cover Creator and I came up with this cover.
I took the photograph at the railroad tracks across the street from where I live – and I am going to leave you folks to guess at whether I live on the “right” side of the tracks or the “wrong” one.
I had to scoot under a tall wire fence to get close enough to take the shot and then I plugged that into the Kindle Cover Creator and came up with what you see there. It’s alright as a cover. It doesn’t make you want to pluck out your eyes or anything as drastic as that – but it LIKEWISE doesn’t make you want to pluck out some money from your wallet and BUY it.
But I was broke and this was all I could afford.
Then – when I decided to release Hammurabi Road in paperback I used the Createspace cover creator and I came up with this design.
Which was alright as well – but STILL really didn’t say BUY MY BOOK.
Which – at the end of the day – is REALLY all an author wants out of his book cover.
So – after a good couple of months I saved up enough in my pitiful PayPal account and I hired Keri Knutson to create a cover.
You might remember Keri. She created the covers
And for Sea Tales.
Well she put on her thinking cap and came up with this mind-blowing cover for Hammurabi Road.
Now that – brothers and sisters – says BUY MY FREAKING BOOK!
So – the moral of this story is if you want to write e-books and more importantly SELL e-books – get yourself a good cover designer!
Like Keri Knutson, for example.
NOW – if you want to read MORE about the importance of choosing a good cover take a look at these earlier blog entries.
COVER ME – THE ART OF CHOOSING THE BEST COVER FOR YOUR NEXT RELEASE!
There is ALWAYS a commercial.
If you are intrigued enough to pick up a copy of Hammurabi Road you can buy it at Kobo or Kindle or in paperback format through Createspace at Amazon!
If you buy it and you read it and you like it – PLEASE leave a review. That means an awful lot to us authors out here in the creative boondocks.
Yours in Storytelling,
Great, honest blog, Steve. You are right, the new cover is amazing. Much better than your attempt 😉
That’s not saying much. A cover of decoupage toilet paper, slightly used, would be an improvement over my attempts.
All kidding aside, Keri does great work. She is fast and has a real knack for coming up with a solid cover with nothing more than a sentence or two of “this is what I think ought to BE on the cover.” to steer by.
Yes! Keri is awesome – she just did the cover of my latest book, too 🙂 She is fast, reasonably priced, and “gets it” ~ awesome on every count!
That is a seriously good cover. I’m with you on that. A good cover is definitely essential.
I made my own cover and it looks kinda primitive and “homemade” but since my cartoons are hand drawn, hand colored and text hand printed I thought is best to keep that “home made” look as that’s what followers like on my blog. Plus the pro ones by createspace had nothing appropriate for cartoon book. Thanks visit my blog.
There is always going to be an exception to every rule, Carl, and I reckon that you are that exception. There are likewise quite a few indie-writers who are handy enough with Photoshop, Gimp and other graphic design programs who can easily come up with professional-looking covers. I am not a cartoonist or a professional artist – and, frankly, I could work on my cover-making techniques for the next year and they would STILL come off looking like crap.
THAT’S the sort of fellow that I am writing this particular blog entry. I am writing for the indie-creator who has just written a novel, novella or a story and is looking to publish it digitally and has no idea where to begin.
At the end of the day there are no rules to this business of creating e-books. That’s what makes it cool. That’s what keeps it unique.
Glad to hear from you.