An Indie Author’s Journey: Judging A Book By Its Cover

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I’m delving into the world of indie publishing. Some authors go the quicker route and use a source like CreateSpace or Kindle Direct to immediately get their books out there.

There’s nothing wrong going that route, but I’ve decided to take a different path.

My final edits are coming along so now it’s time for me to focus on:





There are many options available to indie authors for book covers…some as cheap in its quality as its price. Others have mid-range pricing, offering the indie author the opportunity to give their readers a better quality cover if their budget can afford it. Then there are the high end designers who charge a hefty price (some as high as $4.000 per book cover) who work for larger publishing houses if an indie author chose to pursue traditional publishing for some of their books.

When it came to my book cover for LUNADAR: Homeward Bound, I knew two things…

  1. I wanted the best book cover I could possibly afford.
  2. I couldn’t afford to pay much since I had to factor in other publishing expenses against my poor gal’s budget.

I knew I had to be creative.

I posted an ad on Fiverr and even received a few responses, but in the end, I didn’t quite connect with any of the designers who wanted to work on my book cover. There was even a time when I began to wonder if my vision for LUNADAR’s cover would ever become a reality.

Then I met Kelly.

I decided to reach out to the art department of my local university and the director graciously agreed to run an ad in the student newsletter advising I wanted to commission an artist for my cover.

A few students responded, but there was something about Kelly’s artwork that connected with me. It also helped she had previously worked with another local children’s book author, so she understood the basic process. Kelly was also the only artist who asked for a contract which showed me her level of professionalism.

I already knew what I wanted for my cover, having found a picture in the public domain arena back in 2015 which became my muse for the story line of my young adult fantasy novel.

Kelly quoted me a commission rate of $50 up front and $50 upon completion, and I quickly drew up an Artist/Illustrator contract.

Here is an early proof Kelly sent me. I think she has captured the spirit of what I want in this book cover. I made a few changes (along with providing her the book blurb she will include in the top box on the back cover) and now I am impatiently waiting to see the final artwork…;-)

What do you think? Would you change anything?


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Next week I will talk about making a marketing timeline for promoting my book…


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International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, My Journey, My Journal, is scheduled to be released by Expert Insights Publishing in the Fall 2018.