Famous for more than a few pithy quotes, as well as great stories, Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
I was reminded of this quote the other day when I opened an email from the owner of a new website that offered designers the opportunity to “upload your works and set prices for each one of them.” A visit to the site revealed that these “works” would be offered to self-publishers who would then “edit the image in our in-browser editor, change the book cover size, and put various text on it.” Then came the comment, “Most self-published books have crappy covers because self-published authors have tight budgets and cannot afford to hire a professional book cover designer.”
There are so many issues here I hardly know where to begin. For starters, the site owner ignores the entire field of typography, and apparently believes that authors can “put various text” on a nice picture and wind up with a quality cover. He and his customers should only know how many hours designers spend on a book cover.
Once a concept is created, it’s not uncommon for a designer to experiment for quite awhile with different font combinations, in different sizes, in different arrangements, using different colors, until the look is “just so”. And that’s before we show the cover to the client, which is often followed by even more adjustments.
In the FAQ section for authors, the site doesn’t explain what happens after authors create their covers and send the resulting file to a printer. Were adequate margins left all around so that the printer will not reject the […]