The Mechanics Of It: Self-Publishing Part II

Last week I had Lara Schiffbauer here to talk about how she did the formatting for her self-published book, Finding Meara. She’s back again to tell us about her cover design. And it’s really cool what she did.
Welcome back, Lara. Can you please tell us about how you designed the cover?
My cover is one of my most favorite parts of the self-publishing process. I looked into some professional cover designers, but then read about a company called 99 Designs in Writer’s Digest. The way 99 Designs works is that you pay a flat rate (the lowest is $199) to run a week long contest on their website for book cover designs, logo or website designs – those graphic artist kinds of needs.
So, I had a contest with about thirteen different graphic designers submitting designs over three days. I would give them feedback, they’d alter the designs and resubmit. At the end of the three days I was required to narrow the field, and worked with three designers exclusively. I had to choose a winner by the seventh day. During this whole time, I was able to hold a poll on Facebook to see which design resonated with my friends, which was a lot of fun and really helpful to get outside input.
I ended up choosing the design by Ivan Zanchetta, a professional graphic designer in Italy. His design was so beautiful and appropriate to the tone of the book. He just “got” it. The best thing is that it is unique and doesn’t look like so many of the other covers I see. He did a really good job, and I hope to work with him again in the future.
So was self-publishing easier or harder than you thought?
The process to self-publishing has been a challenge, but I guess maybe easier than I thought. I’m not saying it’s a piece of cake. There is always something to do and learn. For example, I still haven’t gotten the interior formatting for a paper book done so I can move on with getting them made, because I feel overwhelmed with that process. The whole promotions aspect of being a self-published author is overwhelming. The learning curve is steep. But, while there are challenges ahead of me, I feel excited to tackle them. I don’t even think about traditional publishing anymore.

I think that was such a cool way to do the cover. And I was one of the people who got to vote on it too. So if you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you look up Finding Meara. It’s a terrific read.
How did you do the cover design for your self-published novel?
Where to find Finding Meara

Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Kobo | iTunes


9 Responses

  1. Excellent stuff to learn! And I love your cover too, Lara! I have this book patiently waiting for me to get away from my school work long enough to finish it! Hopefully summer will provide more time. 🙂

  2. @Emily – Thanks so much! I can’t wait to see it on a paper book. I can’t seem to get the interior formatting done. Like Leigh, maybe this summer!

    @Leigh – I’m hoping to get some reading done over summer, too. Congrats on going back to school!

    @S.P. – Thank you! I love what Ivan did with it. 🙂

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