Picking The Face For Your Baby
It's an odd title, I know, but trust me, it fits.

One of the things I was most excited for when I decided to take the huge step to self-publish the rest of The Russian Guns series was cover art.

Mmhmm. So excited.

Because you see, with publishers, it's pretty simple. If you're lucky, you get a cover sheet. You fill it out. It's your opinion on what you'd like to see on your cover. A tiny space where you get to insert some vision of what the cover for your "baby" should look like.

The face, if you will.

Of course, authors don't really know what that cover is going to look like, or for that matter, what that vision--or parts of that vision--is going to make it into the cover until it slides into their inbox. You kind of have to just cross your fingers and hope the art department can make sense of your ramblings, hope to God they've carefully read the blurb and whatever other little info about your book they've been given and again, HOPE, they come back with something good.

Why, you ask?

Well, most contracts have a pretty simple end all statement. "Publisher has final say on..." Yada, yada, and more so and keep it on going.

We all get the point, right?

Don't let me get ahead of myself, because not all publisher's are the same. Some will work with an author, especially when they email back with a big no. Others, even when it's obvious...say the title font is the same color as the model's skin and the letter's blend in so you can't read them...won't even change something as simple as the font color. For the whole thirty seconds it would take to go into the art file and change that. Yeah, I have a pretty decent knowledge of Photoshop. Not that it matters.

Tough tits, I guess.

That's publishing.

I sound a little bitter, right?

I'm not, not really. You read and sign the contract, so you know what to expect.

But covers are important. They are the face of the novel. One of the very first things the reader sees. Something that is, in part and as a whole, supposed to reflect the words behind that picture. Important isn't a good enough word, in my opinion.

As a reader, I will pass on a bad cover. Don't judge a book and all that, sure. It's also the digital age, so what we get is exactly what we get. We don't get much beyond a small excerpt or the chance to "look inside". Sometimes that's just not enough.

So, for me to say I'm excited to work on my cover for The Life hands on, exactly as I want it to appear, may be a bit of an understatement. This is the face I wanted. I likely would not have gotten this "face" with a publisher. I have the files for it ready, and now it's just the slow coming design of the rest.

And I cannot wait to share!

--Krkis
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