DO judge a book by the cover.

Every time I get an email saying someone has bought my ebook, I get excited and hyper all over again. Do I sound like a noob? Probably, but I don’t care – people are reading my stuff! Yay!

Ok, on to serious book business…

The ultimate decision to self-publish came after a couple months of obsessively reading every blog, ebook and article I could possibly Google. What did I find? Mostly, that there are 3 things you can’t skip if you want any chance of being taken seriously. The first is editing. Whether you hire someone or use an automated service, editing is a necessary tool that adds that final, professional sheen. I’ve read more than my share of poorly edited ebooks (even ones from legacy publishers!) and it drives me up the wall. Since Wishing is just a short story, I used an automated service and I was really happy with it. For something longer though, I might find an actual person to do the editing for me.

The next thing on the self-publishing checklist is a cover image, but I’ll come back to that in a minute. The third part is self-promotion – getting your name out there, and having it link back to your books in as many ways as possible. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and a blog are pretty standard when tackling the whole promotion part of the indie publishing trifecta. I’m no stranger to social media – I’ve had various Facebook and Twitter accounts over the years. But the idea of putting your real name out on the internet, with the intention of being noticed? Well, that’s new to me. I used to pride myself on the fact that Google couldn’t find me, but if you check now, I’m kind of all over the place. I need to keep telling myself that it’s a good thing!

20111217-181543.jpgSo… covers. It’s like going for a job interview. You may be qualified, but showing up in sweats and a ripped tee is not going to get you hired. A beautiful, quality cover is like a fancy new suit – it gives that great first impression that makes people want to invest their time and money in you and your book. You just have to make sure that the book lives up to the cover hype!

At first, the idea of creating a cover had me stumped. For all my familiarity with tech, up until now I’ve never tried Photoshop. And although I am impressed by great covers, trying to figure out what makes them great can sometimes leave me scratching my head. But then I stumbled upon Fena’s website, and her work just blew me away. She’s 17 years old and creates ebook covers for indie authors. She agreed to create the Wishing cover for free (thank you!) and I can’t wait to commission the next one. Her rates are incredibly reasonable, and the results make it so worth it. If anyone is looking for a cover artist – check her out!

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3 thoughts on “DO judge a book by the cover.

  1. That is a lovely cover. Congrats on the story published! You’re spot on about the editing, but beware: a full novel costs a pretty penny to edit by a real person, so save the pennies. Look up “Woman with a Red Pen” she’s got reasonable rates.

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I’ve done some poking around and the rates for editors can be scary high. I’ll check out “Woman with a Red Pen”.

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