Writing Memoir

New book cover (and the woes of book cover designs)

It’s been one year since I published my first book. And interestingly enough I decided it needed a makeover, so I redid the book cover. Do you like it? I hope so.

new-book-cover-full-for-web

While I still like the old book cover, I was never completely satisfied by it. Here’s why:

// I underestimated how long it would take to design one. I felt rushed by the imaginary deadline I had given myself.

// Also, I didn’t realize how difficult it is to have a vision of what you want and then try to create it. There is so much trial and error. Things you think might look good end up looking silly or not quite right. It was such a slog-fest.

// Working with my b/f on this presented another learning curve as he has his own aesthetics and I have mine. In other words, we butted heads, but in a very civilized manner. We just have different ideas of what looks good! Plus, neither of us knew what we were doing. Creating a book cover is truly its own art.

// Lastly, it bothered me that digitally the cover worked better than in print. When I received a physical copy of my book (when I flew back home to Hawaii), months after I had published it, the cover was significantly darker than the digital copy. I blame Createspace, if there is anyone to be blamed, because there is nothing wrong with the digital file. It’s vibrant and detailed, but I realize that a mass produced print service isn’t too concerned with this. That’s what your proof copy is for and since I don’t live in the US, this wasn’t really an option – it is what it is.

An early reader, however, was instrumental in catching a formatting issue inside the book. Thank you, Lani M! Getting a book to look right is SO much work. Gah!

For now, I’m keeping my audiobook under the old cover. What do you think? Should I change it to be consistent? I think the audiobook cover still looks good because it’s a square shape and shows the artwork better.

Lani-Book-Cover-square-for-audio-(web)

Although, the new cover happened rather by accident. I was playing in Canva and noticed their book cover templates and went from there. I liked the soft almost transparent quality of the new cover so I asked the b/f if he could recreate it in Photoshop.

For the next book, I have a photograph in mind. The b/f told me to give it to him and let him play around with design ideas. I’m glad he’s getting into it because what a pain the rear end! Book covers are so important, but I’m not a designer (nor is he!). And I don’t want to go through a professional because I think it’s hard to find someone you can work with. I don’t know how web or logo designers do it.

Have you got a book? Or are you planning one? What was/is your book cover process?


Ah, one last thing. For one day only, January 14th, Thursday, the Kindle version of the book will be free. The audiobook is always free (for now) or you can pay what you want, which works surprisingly well.

Thanks everyone!

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31 thoughts on “New book cover (and the woes of book cover designs)

  1. I really like the new cover a lot. Not to say that the old one was rubbish – no it isn’t. But I like bright colours in general. Makes me feel more…free. Sort of like how I feel calmer when I look at blue instead of red.

    For my book cover (the first book that I’m writing) in both hardcopy and ebook format, I would want something simple yet give a feel for what the book is about. I’m thinking of getting someone to illustrate it, but then there’s all this copyright and royalties stuff.

    I am finally going to get your book, Lani 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I’m glad you like the new look and that you are reading my book! I hope you enjoy it or at least get something out of it. Books are so much a matter of taste and I won’t pretend to be everyone’s piece of pie 😉

      Yes! I originally wanted my cover to be illustrated, too! I thought the b/f could do it, but he was too nervous to touch it. I suppose drawings can be very personal and it does take a lot of time. Of course, he encouraged me to draw it, but I’m not an artist 😛

      I’m sure if you explain to the artist that this is for your book, they won’t ask for royalities? Right? My goodness that seems like penny-pinching. Good luck, whatever you decide…but I definitely want to encourage playing around with some ideas + looking at styles that you like.

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      1. I’ll be sure to leave a review somewhere once I’m done with it. It might take a while, though. I’m a very slow reader!

        Interesting to hear about your book cover experience. I think I will be nervous about it when the time comes to make up my mind about it. Haha, I’m every bit the penny pincher like you 😀 Truth is, I WANT To pay anyone who helps out with my book… Maybe that is asking for trouble 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks. Hope you enjoy it. Yeah, no worries. I’d rather forget that people are reading it because I don’t want to know if you don’t like it!

        I’ll be curious though it hear about your book cover process when you go through it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It is always a problem with printing. Each printer has slightly different settings and thus a digital file looks always a bit different. Furthermore it depends in what kind of file the picture is, it can be rather difficult at times :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very true. Createspace (aka Amazon) however had very specific image file requirements and actually quite absurd ones for their audiobook division. They wanted a file size that would be able to print out the size of a poster. Rather interesting considering it’s just for a digital audio file. In any case, it’s a lesson learned. Prints that are strictly going to be used for art is going to have a higher quality than those for mass produced books 😛

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  3. Very light and ephemeral, this new cover. Pretty, and a little mysterious. Nice job!

    Sometimes it’s nice to be dictator in the creative process, but b/fs can help with brainstorming. Or so I’ve heard. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, damn it. He’s the artist. It makes you second guess yourself and go bug-eyed. But thankfully I’m not that wishy-washy.

      Thanks!

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    1. Hahhaa. They look like books, don’t they? They can be whatever you want, dear. We just took part of a larger digital painting and used it for the book cover. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to see and yes, the Kindle version just turns everything grey and white.

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  4. I just ordered your book from Amazon. I’m in the middle of something else now, but I’m really looking forward to reading it.

    I like your new cover. Congratulations.

    I didn’t realize how hard it was to design a good cover until I got involved in designing mine. I used a portion of one of my paintings for the background and some clip art for the girl. I went back and forth many times with the publisher’s cover designers on everything, especially the font we used for the title and my name. Since my title, “Tiger Tail Soup, a novel of China at War,” doesn’t fully describe what the book is about, I tried to include more information on the cover. I’ve seen it so many times by now that I can’t tell whether it’s good or bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. As a former teacher (and as a parent), I think you will be able to relate to and understand some of the things that goes on. I sincerely hope you like it.

      Admittedly, I’ve been staring at your book and wondering when I was going to take the leap. There are actually a couple of authors that I’ve been wanting to try and you’re one of them. I’ve always been intrigued by your story as well as Tiger Tail Soup.

      Okay! I downloaded it 🙂

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  5. Ooh. As someone who likes having emotions evoked from images, I really like the new cover!! Also thank god I got to this post by today because I was able to get the kindle version!! Can’t wait to read it Lani 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! It’s not a story for everyone, but if you can relate to it, I think you will appreciate it. xxoo

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  6. Anything to pump more sales, Lani.
    No I’m not working on a book. Just too lazy. If I get my butt moving, it’s doing art, not writing a bk.

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    1. I was genuinely not pleased with the book cover and then it coincided with the one year anniversary. I should have made that clearer 😛 I also never did much marketing on the book when it was first released.

      Unfortunately, these days, writers like me have to self-promote and let people know about what they are doing.

      Like

  7. I like the original book cover with books in the background. I can only imagine what the process of selecting, and trial and error must have been like.

    All the best, whatever you decide Lani!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I don’t think the “books” stand out in the printed version as well as they do digitally. So, for now, I’ll go with the new cover and stick with the old cover for the audiobook.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I like it. I don’t know how I missed this the first time around but just downloaded your book. It may take me awhile to get to it but am looking forward to reading it. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There are book presses you can belong to that are co-ops where authors and artists help each other by doing editing, doing first reads and cover/book design. My daughter is a fiction writer and a member of one. http://www.patchwork-press.com/ It’s a YA group, I’m sure you could find one for your subject matter. She’s had some nice covers done for her. https://paulinecharris.wordpress.com/my-books/ I think there are artists that will do things like covers for free just to build a portfolio.

    Liked by 1 person

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