Tag Archives: self-designed

New and improved paperback cover

Hi, everyone,

Just a quick update – I finished fiddling with my cover and uploaded all files to CreateSpace! To remind you, this is what the old cover looked like:

Shizzle, Inc paperback cover 14 November

This is what I’d ended up uploading:

Shizzle paperback final for production

The main changes are:

  1. I went back to a gold leaf title – it doesn’t look flash in a thumbnail, and I will probably leave ebook cover as it is – but it makes more sense when printed, improves the illusion that it is the title embossed into the leather cover.
  2. Darkened back half – it looks more dramatic somehow. Hey, matter of preference.
  3. Fiddled endlessly with the rip – see if you can spot the change!
  4. Could not get the quotes on the back to read properly when printed in red – the only drawback of the darker version.
  5. Gave the leather “cover” a more pronounced “spine”.
  6. My photo is smaller and bio wording slightly changed.

I was all set to publish, but unfortunately CreateSpace picked up a major oops on my part – I’d left the ebook ISBNs on the copyright page, instead of the paper version ones. The problem was, I had the document formatted by somebody else and so now it would be an additional cost and a day or two of delays. I couldn’t have that, of course, so, like any old school Russian, I found a workaround. For some reason Adobe would not let me change the text, so the final solution involved extracting the pdf page into Photoshop, finding a close enough font, fixing it up in Photoshop, saving as a pdf and inserting the updated page back to the original pdf. Whew!

There’s another little bit to sort out with CreateSpace – I bought my own barcode, but there was no prompt to upload it, like I thought. I’m now not sure if I’m supposed to add it to the cover myself, or if I will just go with the CreateSpace barcode, even though I have my own ISBN. Aargh!

So now I’m waiting again for CreateSpace to review and approve the files. If I get an email thumbs up tomorrow, I’ll order a proof copy – with expedited shipping, it will be in Australia in 3 business days! This means that if all goes well, the paperback will be available for sale in just about a week! Can’t quite believe it…

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Another (designer) bites the dust…

Oh, the angst of book cover design! I have previously posted several times about my first experience with a designer, such as I need your help! and When does it pay to pay a pro? After a couple of attempts, we’d parted amicably and I then proceeded to design the cover myself, blogging about the continued angst in Do you prefer the apple or the orange? and The never-ending cover story. The final result is now on Amazon Kindle. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback on it, including from The Book Designer’s ebook cover awards!

Then, for whatever reason, when the time came to turn the ebook cover into a paperbook cover, I lost my cool. I decided to pay someone to make it better. What kind of pills do doctors prescribe for perfectionism combined with self-doubt?

Anywho, I’d contacted several designers and asked them to turn the existing design into a wrap. They all promptly turned me down, as they would prefer to do one from scratch and ram their ideas down my throat, but then one agreed. I was so excited! I thought it would be easy, too – I had the exact idea in mind, just wanted someone with excellent Photoshop skills, experience, and a keep eye to polish it.

The designer had one go and sent me a jpeg to review. I very politely explained that I wanted the rip to look realistic and that I wanted some kind of a cool treatment to the title. The designer had another go, slapping a stock-standard title font on and making a complete mess of my photo and bio. She finished the email with “let me know if this is good to go”.

I again politely explained that no, it wasn’t “good to go” and made a dot point list of what I wanted changed, attached photos of examples, and even a link to creating a realistic paper rip.

I got back an invoice with a link to download the final file upon payment. I replied that I was not going to pay, unless I had a look at what I was getting. I got a jpeg. Still a mess.

There were a couple more emails back and forth, rapidly decreasing in politeness, and I think we have now parted ways, albeit not so amicably. I have not paid, so I won’t reveal the designer’s name (unless we continue to battle over this). Instead of battling, I did the wrap myself today, in about three hours. Turns out, CreateSpace have a template creator which automatically makes a pdf with exact dimensions for you. Then it’s a matter of dropping in your existing cover layers, extending the background, and adding the blurb and bio. I’ve even bought a new paper rip photo from Shutterstock. What do you think?

Shizzle, Inc paperback cover 14 November

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