Tuesday, January 31, 2023

IWSG: DIY Book Cover Designs or Not by J.Q.Rose, #bookcovers #IWSGbloghop


Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop

Happy IWSG Day!!

Happy February!

Hello and Welcome to the IWSG Blog Hop!!

What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group?
Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. To find out more, click this link:  Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The purpose of the group is 
* to share and encourage. 
* Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. 
* Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. 
*It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! 
You're invited to become a member of this supportive group. 
Click here to sign-up and/or to visit the bloggers this week.

The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG are 


February 1 Question 

If you are an Indie author, do you make your own covers or purchase them? If you publish trad, how much input do you have about what goes on your cover?
My Non-fiction Books
Covers Designed by J.Q. Rose

When I self-published my first e-book, I decided to splurge and hire a professional cover designer. I asked a cover artist who was in an online group with me to create a cover for my book. I interviewed 15 amazing women about their successful careers. They generously shared their stories to inspire girls to dream big. 

I waited and waited and waited for the book cover to be completed. I waited some more. Finally, the file arrived in my email. I was so excited to see what the woman created for this, my very first eBook.

When I opened the file, the excitement turned to disappointment. My sparkly eyes turned into teary eyes. A plain, tan background with a small dream catcher in the upper right corner and the title of the book, Girls Succeed!, in the center of the cover was nothing like I had mentioned when we were brainstorming for the cover design. I was dumbfounded! Being new to the business, I accepted the cover. She knew I was not happy, so she never charged me for the book cover.

After that, I turned to Fiverrr and commissioned a young man to create something that would be cute for the book for girls and eye-catching to draw in readers. I received a cover with a boy standing to the side of the text with some doodles on it. I told him that was nothing like I wanted. I tried to explain better what the book was about. There must have been a language barrier. He said he could not do the project. Have you ever had an artist on Fiverr turn you down??? 

I gave up on buying book covers when I discovered Canva. I have not hired anyone else for my self-published books. I have a great time creating the covers and then letting friends pick what they like. And yes, they are honest if the covers need more work on them!

My traditional publisher is pretty easygoing. She subscribes to a photo site. I think it's 123photos. The author picks out an image or two that fits the story. The designer can use one of those or come up with something different. I have requested changes in the font so it is easier to read and to place the title in a different place on the cover. One cover had the main character with brown eyes. I requested blue eyes, so somehow the designer changed the color, and it was perfect. 

I can spend hours looking perusing amazon's bookstore and studying the book cover designs, backgrounds, font size, placement and colors in the genre I am writing. I look at the top 100 sellers to see what is getting the readers' attention. 

My present WIP is to the point where I will be designing the cover. I took a lot of photos on trips this summer thinking I could use one of them for the background. I'm anxious to see how that will work out.

How about you? Have you tried designing with canva? Hired Fiverr artists? Engaged a cover artist?

Please leave your thoughts below in the comment section.

Tips and Topics for Writers
Image by Mwaka Suza from Pixabay 


New year. New beginnings.
After twelve years of sharing blog posts on Focused on Story, I will not be posting every week. I will be connecting with you on the first Wednesday of the month for IWSG and on the third Wednesday of the month with a new series, Tips and Topics for Writers. 

I have a WIP, so this cutback will free up more time to work on this special writing. When I get further into the project, I will share it with you. Ooh--keeping you in suspense?

Be sure to click on the link below to follow this blog so you will be notified that I'm "in the house" on those days, and you may pick up some new tips. I'd appreciate your contributions of helpful writing tips and insights on the topics discussed in the series, Tips and Topics for Writers. Looking forward to seeing you here!

February's topic is adding A+ Content to your amazon book pages. I'll be letting you in on my experience when creating the content and submitting it to amazon for approval. Come back on Wednesday, February 15 to get the whole story!!

The first posting in the series was in January and covered converting your photos to 300 dpi--the requirement for images in print books and for A+ Content.  Click here to discover how I did it.

If you want to stay up-to-date with JQ, the Rose Courier is delivered quarterly to your inbox. Filled with articles, freebies, photos and fun! 
Click here to get your copy of the Spring edition in April!

Click here to be notified when a new article is posted on this blog.

To visit more bloggers during this month's IWSG blog hop,

Happy IWSG Day!!



Natalie Aguirre said...

That's great that you've learned how to design your own covers and have a traditional publisher that lets you have a voice on what your cover looks like too. Too bad the people you tried to work with on your covers didn't get the design right.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Natalie, thank you. You are always my early bird visitor. I appreciate your presence.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've had similar experiences. It is sad. You'd think she'd want to put forward the best cover she could do. Strange.

J.Q. Rose said...

@Alex--Yes, sad and disappointing. I can make the covers now, but I always wonder what I can do better to grab readers to take a peek at the story. Only seconds to do that.

@Joylene--Thanks, Joylene. I believe the woman had too many other priorities in her life. I don't think my book cover was one of them.

Pat Garcia said...

Hi JQ,
That's fantastic. I just don't have the patience to design my own covers. Maybe that will change. We'll see after my novel is published.
Have a lovely day.
Shalom aleichem

Computer Tutor said...

There are many days I get annoyed at all the time blogging takes, but for me, it's my only marketing effort so I slog my way through it. Best of luck with your new approach!

cleemckenzie said...

Wow! That's quite a story. How disappointing that was for you. Glad you found another resource and that it was successful.

Carol Garvin said...

I'm small potatoes in the writing world -- so far have only self-published a couple non-fiction volumes and one children's book for a relative, and I created my own covers for them. One book was a church history and I used a collage of the historical churches on the cover. The second was a collection of sermons, and I used one of my own landscape photographs as a backdrop for the title text. For the children's book about a young lad who had a series of misadventures in the company of an elderly ship's captain, I used a photo taken by one of my daughters of her hometown's marina. I think all the covers were fairly attractive and suited their themes, but if I ever manage to find a conventional publisher for my novels, I'll want professionally designed covers. Marketing is a complex business and I think I'll need all the help I can get! :)

Gwen Gardner said...

Everyone talks about Canva. I need to go check that out.

Happy IWSG Day!

Fundy Blue said...

I liked the cover you had for "Arranging a Dream, JQ. I'm sorry you've had some frustrating experiences with book covers. May your new schedule help you! Take care!

Bish Denham said...

What a deal to have not one, but two cover designers be complete failures! You're brave to step into that space and design your own. You've done well.

J.Q. Rose said...

@Pat--Thanks you. I'm looking forward to your novel release!!

@Jacqui--I love blogging. I'm afraid reducing the entries may drop some readers. I'll try it for a while and see how it works and if I use my time well in other directions.

J.Q. Rose said...

@Lee--Thank you.

@Carol--You cover ideas are perfect for your stories, I'd say. Keep writing!! You gave me a great idea for our church's 155th-anniversary celebration this fall. Thank you!!

@Gwen--Yes, check out Canva. I can spend hours playing with all the possibilites. Great for making up social media images. And, there is a FREE option.

J.Q. Rose said...

@Fundy Blue--Glad you liked the cover--designed by my publisher's cover designer. I have to take credit for the background. I picked it out from the photo website provided by the publisher, and she used it!! I like it too.

@Bish Denham--I wish I could have found a cover designer that wanted to work with me and that cared about the design. Plus waiting for the result was ridiculous. A self-publisher learns with every book, for sure.

Helen said...

Thank you for the ideas. I'm slow to dig up where to go and what to do...which is why I handed it off the dil (paid by the way). :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Helen, I think handing it off to someone else is a pretty good idea!

Sharon Himsl said...

Hi, I recently designed a book cover in Canva for my mother, who hopes to self publish soon. I chose the paid version to have full access (costs little). Final product looks impressive, but I'm daunted by the self-publish process. Using Kindle Direct. Shall see how this turns out before passing full judgement. Your post is encouraging.

Sandra Cox said...

You are the second person I know that uses Canva. I'm going to have to give that some serious thought.

Denise Covey said...

Yep, I had a similar experience with Fiverr. I've never been completely happy with what they come up with, and yes, language is a barrier. The last time I had dealings with them, he offered me my money back when we couldn't agree. I declined as he'd already spent some time on it. Covers are so hard. I find Canva not so easy to use, so I'm going to stick with a cover artist I love at the Killion Group.

Happy Independence Day to My IWSG Friends and Readers!!! #IWSGBlogHop, #fourthofjuly

  Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop #IWSGbloghop What is the Insecure Writer's Support Group? Founded by author   Alex J. Cavanaug...

Popular Posts from Last Year