Body was initially published by an independent, traditional publisher. This is no knock on the publisher’s graphic designer, but I did not think that his initial design for Body fit the book well. I sent detailed notes on what I hoped could be changed as well as a mockup of my vision. The graphic designer said he liked what I came up with and suggested I create the cover myself. I’m not sure if he was more annoyed by my critique of his design or impressed by my mockup (likely the former), but I was relieved—I wanted my vision to be realized for the cover of my book.
So, I created the cover that would go on my debut novel.
Body is a humorous book that approaches a serious subject—body image; it digs deeply into painful issues. It has moments of literary flair and touches on the mystical. I went for a more “artistic” cover. One of the symbols in Body is a button. I won’t go into how a button is an important symbol in the book (for that spoiler, you’ll have to read my book!), but I decided to make that the focus of my cover. And, oh, I was so clever. The protagonist of Body is Hope Bloom, a graphic artist, who deep into the story explores her passion for art in the form of watercolor painting. So, I made the background of my cover a watercolor wash. The focal point of the cover, the button, was also painted in watercolor. And the high point of the genius of my design—the thread looping through the holes in the button, if you squint and use your imagination, formed the hourglass shape of a woman’s body! Oh, I was quite pleased with myself. This was the type of cover that, when you get to the end of the story, you read the last lines, close the book, and let the symbolic depth of the cover sink in with such great satisfaction.
And the fonts. Not unique. Not fitting for the genre. Like my precious “button,” the fonts did not even hint at the fun style of the storytelling, the humor, the warmth in the development of the characters and the protagonist’s journey. A woman who went on to become a dear friend looked at the cover at the time of its release and said, “Is your name Sean Coony?” My name is Sean Coons, but the very stylish font I chose for the “author’s name” was ambiguous in its artfully, scripty font.
My book was released, and it got good reviews. It won a “runner up” award in a book contest. But deep down, I knew that my DIY cover was not adequate. Unlike the protagonist in my book, I was not a graphic artist. A book cover for a relatively unknown author must convey a spark of the theme and magic the reader will find within the book. It is not enough to hope that a reader will appreciate the cover after she finishes the book—if the book is not alluring, she will never choose to read the book in the first place.
Flash forward four years. Instead of extending my contract with my publisher, I decided to go solo. I formed my own publishing company, Shimmer Tree Books
, to publish my books myself. My contract up, the rights to Body
reverted to me.
No longer just an author, but now a publisher, I knew what I had to do. As a responsible business man, I needed to hire a professional to redesign the cover for Body. The cover I once loved, but which drew so few readers due to its abstract nature and novice approach, had to go.
I researched other books in my genre and found a general style that was successful for other authors with books similar to mine. This style happened to have animated-style protagonists on the covers and a simple, yet compelling, visual messages that shared something of the subject matter of the stories within the books’ pages.
Next step: find a designer to reshape the visual component of my book. And, though I’m not excited to share this, I did not have a huge budget for this cover remodel.
So, where does a novelist go to find a professional cover designer (and hopefully an affordable one)? To Twitter, of course.
I interact with a lot of authors on Twitter
. If you’re an author on Twitter, you know all about the #writerslife and #writerslift movement. Well, it wasn’t long before I found a cover that had the look I wanted. I reached out to the author to ask her who designed her cover, and she replied the same day, sharing that it was MiblArt, with whom she had a great experience.
I immediately looked up MiblArt and was excited to see in their portfolio the two elements I desperately needed—outstanding book covers and a very affordable price. They made their policy clear up front: “Unlimited revisions, 10 days turnaround, and pay when you love the result.”
I sent out an email, and not long after, I had a cover that my book (and hard work) deserved.
MiblArt Book Cover Review
How I worked with MiblArt to create a great cover for my novel, Body . . .
This is the easiest part of the story to tell:
- I contacted MiblArt.
- I received a response via email the same day.
- MiblArt sent me some questions about my book, and I responded, sharing what my hope was for the cover I had in mind.
- Though I was not specific at all regarding the details of the graphic (I wanted to see what MiblArt would come up with), I received a draft of my new cover in a timely manner—and it was excellent! The designer took the information in my questionnaire, as well as my thoughts regarding the general look I wanted the cover to have, and created a cover that was a great fit for Body.
- I sent notes back to MiblArt with some finer points I wished to be adjusted.
- The MiblArt representative shared my edits with the graphic designer, and, in short order, I received an updated draft with a note requesting my feedback.
- I requested a few more changes, minor nudges of graphics and wording, and then I received an updated draft.
- This draft of the cover was dialed in!
- I made my payment and then received the following:
- An HD cover of my book ready to be uploaded to Amazon KDP with perfect dimensions.
- The Photoshop file for the project, so that, if I wish, I (or another graphic artist) can make changes to my book cover in the future.
I uploaded the new cover for Body to Amazon and started spreading the word (again). Same book, new look, and a fresh journey for a story I hope will eventually reach all who can benefit from its message.
I have an upcoming book project for which I will be reaching out to MiblArt for a cover soon. If you are looking for professionalism, a responsive team, and a high-quality, custom book cover at an affordable price, I recommend MiblArt to you.