Don’t let Mr Bezos, Mr Gates, or even Mr Trump fool you. Nobody ever built anything substantial by themselves. They all needed help, especially when they started out – and you and I are no different.
Writing the book is the fun part. It oft-times may not seem so on those ‘dark and stormy nights’ when your muse has deserted you – the white paper of the Word document staring back at you like an opaque white mirror. Even so, writing your book is almost always the easiest part of your journey. This comes as a sharp shock to many who, on dashing off that closing killer paragraph then breathe a sigh of relief. It’s done; it’s all finally on record. Whoopee!
Now comes the slog, the editing, the checking, the formatting, the beta readers – does the list never end? Sorry, no – there’s still the cover to be done, the blurb for the back page if it’s going to print and a dozen or so others bits and bobs. It’s a three-ring circus – and you’re the ringmaster!
This is not Harry Potter land – more’s the pity. There’s no Hagrid, Quidditch or Hogwarts knocking around in either your or my neck of the woods. J.K. Rowling has sole rights to those and she worked damned hard to get them – we all do. I have no magic spells. But I do have a cunning plan, of a much superior quality to Baldrick’s best.
I have many years of experience in web design which I largely gave up to write when I retired. Have finished a book or two I find myself back in the design, blogging and website game – full circle. Like most writers, I prefer the writing rather than all the ‘stuff’ that goes with as baggage. So, when it came to a re-design of the cover for the newly titled Deception for Power and Profit, I put it out to tender.
I decided I’d check out both ends of the scale – Fiverr and the professionals. Fiverr’s best was asking for around $50. You don’t get a lot for $50 these days in design, and that was what I got – not a lot. It was fine, basic but pedestrian – no pizzazz. If you took a book with that cover off the shelf and bought it, it wasn’t because the cover had worked its magic. Okay so, what about the pros? Well, now we’re into serious money. I struck a deal for $250. Writing of the main article continued but there was always that thrill of anticipation in the background for what the designer might come up with.
To keep a long, tawdry and unhappy situation polite, the result was not as expected. I could do as well or better myself – so I did. What I didn’t get was my money back but we always pay for experience so it’s a lesson learned.
It was probably musing on my misspent cash which caused the spark of a solution. If I was having such problems so were others. Hmm, I’d yet to organise the marketing of my books and if there’s a group of things I hate, (apart from the obvious politicians and bankers) it’s marketing and social media. Twitter, Facebook and I just don’t get on. You know how it was when that distant old aunt with a stubbly kid gave you a kiss when you were a kid? Well, that’s me and social media. Yet millions love it. Oh well, each to his own.
Ping! Where do these creative thoughts spring from – probably Hogwarts, I guess. Whatever – it suddenly struck me others may not enjoy book cover design like me. Maybe they felt about it like me and social media. They were stuck. as I was initially, with a tough choice of cheap & cheerful from Fiverr and the rest or run the hard-handed gauntlet of a pro-job which may or may not work out. How about I offer to do book-covers in return for a bit of social media from others? No deals, no cash, just helping each other out. PdePages Book Covers was born.
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