Here are some things I’ve learned over the past few months:
How to find a Cover Designer
Cue mini rant – Never under any circumstances should anyone put their book out into the world without a cover. I read a story on the Absolute Write forum by someone who actually put her book up on Amazon without a cover on it!! Someone felt sorry for the poor girl and made a cheapo, but pretty, abstract cover for her to slap on there, but REALLY?! End PSA.
There is always Google, but I found it more helpful to do three things:
1) Ask your writing friends who have published a book where they got their covers.
2) Check out the title pages/acknowledgement page/back cover of books – the cover designer gets a shout out somewhere on those pages.
3) Ask around in general – most writers are happy to help.
Know how much you want to spend beforehand. I was not going to spend $1000 for example. That is ridiculous.
How to find an Editor
Second mini rant – a “friend who is good at proofreading” does not replace an editor. I don’t care how cheap the book is. I don’t care if it’s free. It’s hard on the eyes to have a minefield of unedited crap everywhere and it’s rude. At the very least, find a college student in that field. I was an English major. I knew lots of students who would have been happy to edit someone’s crap for $20, including me. We probably would have done it for free, just for the experience. It wouldn’t have been 100% Chicago Manual of Style compliant, but it would have been clean. End PSA
One of things that will make this decision easier is deciding what kind of editor you want. I wanted someone who would do developmental/content editing AND line editing, so that’s what I focused on when gathering information. I ended up going with someone I met at a local writer’s conference in 2015, but there are lots of places to find editors, it turns out. I talked to someone who found their editors on the Kindle Publishing Board Yellow Pages (kboards.com/yp). Lots of sites that cater to writers will have a list of where to find good editors.
How to write a Blurb
This wasn’t super hard, honestly, I have been a querying a time or seven, but the best advice I got on this was to hone this skill the same way I learned how to write – by reading. They advised reading the blurbs of books in my genre, but I took this one step further by specifically reading the blurbs of books that I thought were intriguing and interesting and have picked up to read myself. Most of them were going to be in my genre anyway. I highly suggest this. Then get some feedback on it, of course, because a writer can be biased. LOL! And also because a writer can let awkward sentences fly sometimes. Haha… I also referenced a book on how to write a query letter, focusing on the summary writing part. I’ve mentioned it before. It’s just called “Query” by CJ Redwine.
Saying that there is a steep learning curve to this is a complete understatement. If I had known going in, honestly, I would have done it anyway because I’m cocky, but now all the hardest stuff is done, at least, kind of. All the tedious stuff is done, let’s say that.
Biggest Stumbling Blocks
Formatting – until I went with a template – and uploading a cover to NookPress. No joke, my file was like 0.04 inches too wide for their platform, and I’m like, “Are you kidding me? OMG!!” You don’t even want to know what I had to do to get that ish to work. 😭 LOL!
The good news is that I’m going to save so much time next time!!
Exciting News Close On
First: I have an interview up on Smashwords! Hop over there if you want to read it. ^_^
Second: The official cover reveal is Wednesday March 8!! I can’t wait to get it uploaded everywhere. Mark your calendars and come congratulate me. Haha. I’ve been working so hard, people! I earned myself a big bowl of crushed ice, I think. Seriously, eat some with a spoon and tell me it doesn’t taste great.
Third: I’m officially a Goodreads Author! And I have an author page on Amazon! So crazy.