At the risk of being accused of overt self-promotion, this week we share an email sent from author and happy client Greg Schop to Michele and Ronda at 1106 Design. In his email, Greg goes beyond “thank you” to explain the process he went through with his cover and page design prior to reaching out to 1106 Design. We thought his story could help other authors who might be struggling with the same issues, and inform their decisions about choosing professional design services such as those available at 1106 Design. To learn more about 1106 Design’s cover design services, click here or contact us.
1106 IS MY LUCKY NUMBER
By Greg C Schop, author, Glantis Trefmore Awakening
It all starts out with the hope of having an artist paint your cover. Do you know anyone that draws? Paints? My first fortunate encounter was meeting an art school student. He was amazing, but neither of us really knew what it took to get the job done. After a few painting sessions, we both just kind of called it quits. Then I looked into hiring a seasoned professional artist; the expense was out of this world. It was about $2,500 if you wanted the painting with lifetime copyright rights. Now don’t get me wrong, for 2,500 bucks, you’d be getting one heck of a cover. I thought this especially important because I needed cover art for a young adult fantasy book. You know: pictures of dragons and the characters on the front.
“POP! GOES THE EASEL?”
That’s the sound of my dream-bubble of a painted cover and budget bursting all at once. Okay, so the next thing I did was download GIMP (a freeware paint program similar to Photoshop). I read about what eBook covers should look like. You need that title to stand out when it appears on a reader’s computer screen…
“I GOT THIS!”
After many hours, I was getting the hang of my free paint program. It felt great to create my own cover. I put my website’s address at the top to drive traffic to my site. I decided that since my last name was in my website title, I could just forget putting my full name on the cover. You know, be different from the rest. Maybe it’s never been done before….
“IT KIND OF WORKED.”
Since I wanted to create a PRINT book because I already had all my eBooks created and ready to go (or at least I thought so), all I had to do now is use any ALL-IN-ONE self-publishing company to get the job done. Just send them my MS WORD final draft of the novel and POOF!—a beautiful soft and hard cover book in a few weeks. It all seemed too easy, so I did NOT trust it. I kept inquiring around. The BIG voice inside my head kept saying, “I’m not dropping a thousand dollars if I’m not SURE of what I’m getting into.” I just kept calling and emailing different book design companies.
“THEN I GOT LUCKY!”
1106 Design, lucky. Yeah, the name of the company made no sense to me. I wasn’t sure if it was the company’s address or some meaningful number to the owner; the best I could come up with is that it was the owner’s birthday, November 6th. Honestly, I still don’t know! All I can tell you is that Michele from 1106 Design made sense. She was direct and HONEST (so get ready to hear some “suggestions,” but when SHE says it, it makes sense).
ME: (Serious) “Michele, what do you think of my eBook cover?”
MICHELE: (Jokingly) “Are we friends?”
ME: (Unsure) “Yes?”
“I DECIDED TO LET 1106 REDO MY COVER.”
I spent the money on a WHIM. I figured it was a WIN-WIN. Either I will get a better cover, or I will rocket forward in a blaze of glory knowing that my self-made cover was the BEST after all.
After I saw 1106 Design’s cover concept, I had a book cover burning—I mean digital deleting party.
1106’s cover was the most refreshing and amazing collaboration. I say, “collaboration” because I believe that MY cover was a decent start and it helped shape and inspire 1106 Design. The difference is that 1106 does this type of thing every single day and they KNOW what they’re doing.