As an indie author, you are more than a writer. You are responsible for writing, editing, publishing, marketing and all the different aspects that go into producing a book from start to finish. Most indie authors, myself included, don’t have the skills to do absolutely everything ourselves, and so we need to find professionals who can work with us and provide some of these services.
Today, I’d like you to meet Sophie Edwards, a new talented cover designer, who chats with me about why a great cover is so important in today’s competitive market.
Elise: Sophie, it’s great to have you here! Tell me, what inspired you to become a cover designer?
Sophie: I’ve always been the creative type and enjoy photography. I decided to try a couple of projects with my photos to create something a bit different: levitation, dragons, magic frogs … you get the idea. Eventually, this led to creating a book cover, just for the fun of it. And not to toot my own horn, but it was good. 😉 So, I tried some more and came to realise how much I loved it and how much I could help people. I’ve never looked back since.
Elise: For anyone on the fence about getting a professionally designed cover, how would you say indie authors can benefit from having one?
Sophie: Indie authors have a reputation with many people of being “writers of books that weren’t good enough to make it traditionally”. This is far from the case. With agents and publishers taking on only a handful of new authors a year, not every book could be accepted, despite how good it may be. But if the cover of said indie’s book isn’t eye-catching and doesn’t draw potential readers in, their story won’t reach those it was meant for.
A professionally designed cover doesn’t repel people with dull or boring design. It grabs readers’ attention, screams PICK ME UP, and leads them to the blurb, and hopefully, page one, where the exciting adventure within can become a part of their imagination. It states professional and convinces readers to give the book a chance.
Overall, a professional cover means more readers.
Elise: You are totally right. When I first started looking into indie publishing, I wondered why people didn’t just make their own covers. But there are so many books on the market, that it quickly became clear you have to make an effort to stand out and look professional if you want to catch anyone’s eye. So, what makes a great book cover?
Sophie: A great cover can be defined in many ways, depending on the story and the preference of certain readers. It can be simple and attractive on the eye:
Dark and mysterious:
Or just electrifying:
Most of all, a great cover pulls in readers and stands out on the shelf, demonstrating the type of story hidden beneath.
Elise: That’s very true. I love browsing the bookshops these days, and seeing which covers catch my eye and deciding why. Are you a writer yourself, Sophie, and if so, do you have a project on the go at the moment?
Sophie: Yes, I am a writer! I’ve written four novels so far and am currently working on the one I hope to reach publication one day. It’s a YA fantasy: a young, eighteen-centuries-old Mage must dip into the darkest magic to stop a great evil and fulfil an ancient, forgotten oath but risks losing her soul in the process.
Elise: That sounds exciting! Let’s finish off with a few quick-fire fun questions:
Elise: Favourite fantasy novel?
Sophie: Fablehaven (Brandon Mull)
Elise: Favourite super power?
Sophie: The ability to heal. Anything. Anyone.
Elise: Favourite fantasy creature?
Sophie: Dragons. The nice ones 🙂
Elise: Favourite fairy tale?
Sophie: Beauty and the Beast. I can relate to Beauty so much.
Elise: Favourite fictional holiday destination?
Sophie: This one is hard. I like so many places. Rivendell. Lord of the Rings. Or Atlantica. The Little Mermaid. That would be fun!
Elise: Thanks for stopping by, Sophie!
Sophie Edwards, best known as S.A. Edwards, lives in England with her husband and three children. She is an active writer, currently working on her debut novel. When not writing, she enjoys photography, creating book covers, and spending time with the family.