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 We're Jeni Chappelle and Melissa Koberlein. We're on a mission to explore the world of publishing with some amazing women.

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Indie Chicks Season 3 podcast for websit

EPISODE 07 - How to Design a Cover that Really POPS

Updated: Aug 6, 2018

In this episode, Lisa and I discuss cover design for the independent author. Also, Lisa has a new Tip of the week on interior layout. Listen in… EPISODE 7- How to Design a Cover that Really POPS

First, Lisa and I chatted about our weeks. I have been working hard on improving our Indie Chicks website. Mark, my husband, also a website design professor, approved of my latest work. I guess I get an 'A'! As far as writing, we are both making good headway on our WIPs. Lisa's got some cool cyberpunk stuff she's working on and I'm full-steam into a fun YA android-human romance.

Cover Art - Fireflies Trilogy

Next, we dove into the main topic for this episode—Cover design! We first talked about our experiences with cover design. This was my major mistake the first time round. The first two covers of the Fireflies Trilogy were illustrated. I wasn't happy with them. It wasn't necessarily because the covers were bad, but I just didn't think they captured the essence of my books. So, I decided on a complete redo with the release of my third book in the trilogy. Now, they feature gorgeous photographed models and some spiffy photoshopping. Since I have photographs, I chose a glossy finish for my physical books. I couldn't be happier. The moral: You'll make mistakes in self-publishing. It happens. Don't settle, though. Remember that you dove into self-publishing for more control over your book. You have it.

Lisa, on the other hand, was very pleased with her covers. She used illustrations (she hired her cover designer!) and a matte finish for her physical books. Since she was writing dystopian science fiction, she has some really cool images. Wait, instead of describing them, I'll show you! Here they are:

Pretty cool, huh? Lisa and I love that we went very different routes for our covers because it really shows the variety of choices for self-publishing.

Next, Lisa and I talked about some general tips on cover design. Here are some highlights:

Make a decision about hiring a cover designer or choosing to do it yourself if you have the expertise. Remember that a great cover is what will SELL YOUR BOOK. There are a lot of options for print covers. Consider sizing, matte, glossy, paperback, or, (new to self-publishing) hardbound through Barnes and Noble. Don't forget about cost! Remember that the longer your book is, the more it will cost to produce the print version.

In regards to design tips, Lisa and I talked about our personal preferences. First, and foremost--readability! You must be able to read the text on the cover. This is true for both the print and ebook versions. Also, make sure the thumbnail stands out as well!!! The images that you choose should be consistent with the market for your genre. So, couples and hot bods for romance, etc. Hey, remember this guy?!? Lisa did! Fabio was very popular in the 80's for romance covers!

Find covers that you like and are in the same genre that you are writing. Send those to your designer. It will help them figure out your likes and taste. Also, give your designer as much information about your book as you can! A short, succinct synopsis would be excellent! Don’t worry about spoiling the ending! Lastly, don’t forget the back copy!!! If people like your front cover, they will flip it over and read the book description. It's essential to make that the focal point.

If you'd like some more info on cover design, check out this great website with links to some helpful articles:

We ended the show with a Tip of the week from Lisa: Interior layout is a personal preference, but you should make sure that the font you choose is easy to read.

On our next podcast, I will be reviewing Devilish by Tricia Barr and Lisa will have another Tip of the Week.

One last reminder: We’re an indie author community, be kind and review your fellow indie authors’ books!


Indie Chicks out.

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