February 20, 2012

Why I hire a graphic artist for my covers

Publishers send an ARC (advance reader copy) to reviewers and potential endorsers before the release of the book so the reviews and endorsements are ready for the release. The ARC is not the final novel. It's not copy edited and doesn't have the front and back matter or the final cover.

A few weeks ago I found two potential endorsers. They are great writers and voracious readers, so I figured on sending an ebook version. Nope, they're both old-school. Paper copies. I can appreciate that, but that means printing out copies and mailing them. I thought about doing them at home on the office printer. Then I thought about going to Kinkos to have them printed and spiral bound.

Then it hit me. I'm going to have to do the interior design anyway, why not use Createspace to make an ARC? They could read a real paperback. But that meant I needed a cover. Me, the writer, not the graphic designer.

I could have gone with the draft version of the cover I got from my graphic artist, but I wanted to make it very clear that this is an ARC, not a released novel, so I chose to design my own cover. As you can see, there's a good reason I don't do my own covers for the final product.

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