Control first. Let’s define it –
Control: To exercise restraint or direction over.
Pretty simple. Not an inherently good, or bad word. At least, I don’t think so. Except we make it so. We add “out of” to the front, or “freak” to the end, and now the meaning twists.
“Control” is a word you’ll see quite a bit if you follow the self-publishing, traditional publishing debate. There’s a back-and-forth about needing / wanting too much control, and not having enough.
All I really want to say about control is, somebody needs to take it. Without control over a process, the process risks never being finished – or not properly. If you’re willing to take control for the entire process of publishing your book, that doesn’t make you a “freak”, it just means you’re willing to do the front-line work. If you don’t want control of that entire process, that’s just fine, but you really need to make sure you can trust those you hand the control to.
Which brings me to book covers. Because, for the first time ever, I have control of the book cover process for a piece of my work.
And, oh my, do I love it.
I didn’t know I would. I thought this was just part of the process. Something that needed to be done, and so I’d do it.
And then I found the photo. As in THE PHOTO. The perfect photograph to sum up my story, and represent the feel of it. I couldn’t have commissioned a better photo to match what I’m trying to convey in the book, and, at the same time, I never could have commissioned this photo because I couldn’t have imagined it until I saw it, and fell in love with it.
It’s great. And the photographer is a doll. I’ve loved dealing with her. She’s been enthusiastic, and excited, and supportive. I’ve learned a bit about her life, and where she lives, and she’s asked me about my life. I respect her as an artist, and I like her as a person and, once I’m ready to reveal the cover, I’ll be giving her photo credits and telling you exactly who she is, because you should see her work!
I would never have met her if I wasn’t doing this part of the work myself and that, alone, is already making my decision to self-publish a positive one.
I’m also excited to work with my cover designer. Actually, I have two cover designers. One will do the front cover, and the other will do the interior design of the book, and create the spine and back cover to match the front cover.
Both have been incredibly professional – they reply to my emails quickly, send me quotes promptly and – it’s surprising me how important this is to me – express enthusiasm about working on my project. There’s something so motivating and encouraging about having the people you’re going to work with say how excited they are to tackle your project.
I’ve seen examples of the work of both designers and can’t wait to see what they come up with.
I sent my cover images off to designer number one (front cover designer) today, and so the next step in the publishing adventure continues!
As always, if you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to ask …