Just touching base with everyone.
Nearing the end of another year and don't they seem to be flying past faster and faster every year?
But I have been busy and making more and more contacts with new authors designing more covers.
I keep getting messages from DA members interested in getting into book cover design and asking me how I
got into it and what advise I would have for them.
If I was precious and a tad selfish I probably would be polite but basically keep my cards to my chest
and not share my secrets or good advice to myself. And believe me there are a few designers like that out there.
I'm not like that so following is some of my thoughts and advice regarding this.
I was new to book cover design myself over a year ago and thank the heavens the
publishing industry is shifting and changing at the moment to newer more exciting times.
The "traditionalists" no longer hold sway over the print industry, Publishers or Design companies specializing in
book cover and book cover Marketing. For authors there is now great freedom to self publish without stigma
and prejudice. So much so that there is now an emerging minority of designers now designing covers
directly with authors like never before. Also having access to potentially successful authors giving relativily unknown
designers exposure for their work that they might not have had opportunity to do so 5-10yrs ago.
I can confidently say that a large portion of the work I now do when designing for book covers is due to my
participation in "crowd sourcing" design sites online... most notably 99Designs. Designers and clients likewise register
with 99Designs and have the opportunity connect and work together.
99D also have categories for illustration and logo design etc etc. So its worth the look. It can be a bit hit and
miss at times and I can say at I've nearly given up on 99Designs myself with a run of my covers being rejected
and the unpaid hours I put into those submissions but then sometimes I'll get a string of wins as well.
The true value is the potential for continued work after the participation on 99Designs that can be more of a payoff
than the actual competitions you enter.
If you decide to take this path educate your self a bit on the 'print on demand' process for book publishing these days.
Also the processes for Ebook covers as well as that is a massively and fast growing area of Amazon/Kindle. The irony is
there is heaps of kindle books on the subject at the moment as well LOL And also online.
Amazon, Kindle and Creatspace also have very good information for people new to ebook or self publishing with detailed
manuals and support material.
And obviously, like anything in the design world, be aware of the stock you use and the copyright status of it.
At 99Designs you will need to include links to the stock images/suppliers when you submit your designs to competitions.
Keep a record of the files and where they are from and which license you purchased the stock at.
If you use stock for DeviantART make sure you contact the owners of the stock immediately to get permission to use it.
Most DA members (stock providers) actually want to be contacted regarding use outside of DA or for commercial use.
Its only a few stock images on DA that allow you to use totally free of charge for anything including commercial
use, so double double check first!
I've even seen one of my stock images used in a 99D competition. I waited to get a message
regarding the use of the image which I never received. One could get over zealous and be rude but I just waited to
see if their design won or not. If it had won I would have then approached them about it.
Anyhow I hope that helps a little.