Indie authors usually hire freelance online editors, formatters, book cover artists and designers. Everyone has their ‘go-to’ people. Over the years, I’ve compiled lists of links and names for when the time came to put out my first book.
Yet, I had no idea truly, even though my Indie friends had warned me, of what actually goes into producing your own book. The list of jobs is as long as your arm and nothing happens in a straight line from A to B. You go back over your tracks again and again. The line is more like a fabulously complicated squiggle.
First, I sent my novel to a professional editor in the States. Then upon putting in her edits, I discovered minor errors everywhere and realized I’d need to get some proof-readers on board. Luckily for me, two other Indie author friends came to my rescue. However, time was running out and the list of jobs still needing to be done, and people to be contacted, and all the different strings that come with Independent publishing was beginning to feel like too much for me.
Once the copy itself was clean, the next step needed to be contemplated. Coincidentally the very next day, I read in the local newspaper that a small book publisher, Book Print, had opened up within ten minutes drive of my house. Their books were of a high standard.
I can’t even tell you the relief of handing the clean copy over to the professionals. It immediately gave me confidence that my precious baby I’ve worked on the last ten years was going to be a quality product in presentation as well as content.
These young guys were amazing. They handled the formatting, the layout, the digital files for both CreateSpace and Kindle Direct, the bookmarks to go with the launch, special cards to go inside the front cover with which I can number the books I sign, and most importantly, the cover design!
My nephew, Simon Kingi, had created the imagery for the cover. As a perfectionist, he had applied himself to the cover art by asking lots of questions over the weeks about our hero, Aden Weaver’s character.
Simon’s illustration of Aden Weaver is an admirable work of art, the expression, the choice of light and shade, say so much. We can see, looking at this boy, that he has the promise of a leader, the potential to save an empire. However, at the same time, we see someone burdened by the past. He’s somehow conflicted. Not fully grown yet. He’s hero potential, but he’s got a way to go. To get all of that meaning out of a single standing figure, that’s real art.
The next trick I needed to pull off was how to adequately showcase this artwork on the cover of the book.
I worked with the jacket designer at Bookprint, the wonderful Steve Parker, for at least a couple of weeks over the look of the cover. My directive was that it needed to be so stunning that even the great director, Peter Jackson, would be stopped in his tracks!
These days, young people especially, are driven by visual impact. They’re so spoiled with images drenched in colour and intensity, that to arrest their attention even for a minute from their digital devices is a colossal task. Every time Steve sent me a cover option, I would remind him of this fact. We need to ‘go big or go home!’
So on the cover we deepened the black to give that sense of impending danger. We placed Aden Weaver between the black shade and the blue to give the question through symbolism – will he turn towards the light or the dark?
We added a green spine (which is transparent so you can see the forest continuing from front to back), green signifying fertility, youth, growth and promise. At the lower end of the spine, we added the symbol I’d drawn of the seal of the Order of Twenty-four which has significance, and is a recurring visual motif throughout the book as well.
The designer came up with the great suggestion of overlaying the tip of the sword in Aden’s hand over the top of the letter ‘O’ in the word ‘Or’in’ in the title. To me, this spoke of the danger the Or’in represents.
This morning, I wanted to share the cover.
This afternoon, I pick up the box of a hundred copies. And in the early evening, my friends and family will gather with me for the launch.
I feel poised, ready to share my vision with the world.
How about you? Have you ever put on a book launch? How did you present your debut?
Yvette K. Carol
Go now and live, choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. ~ Jeanette LeBlanc