Tag Archives: designer

Quick…we need someone to design a front cover!

12 Oct

Help!

I switched myself off from the project ‘A Cuppa and An Armchair’ for maybe 24 hours and boom, I am scrabbling around trying to find time to fit in every task I need to complete.

There is one major one that needs sorting, and to do this, I need YOUR help.

Many of you will have realised to date we haven’t sorted out an official logo for the project. Like the cover of a book, I thought I would deal with it in time. I didn’t need it just yet…

That was where I made the first mistake. I should have had this organised long ago. Today, I received an email from Equipe. Next week they will be sending out their last communication to their supporters for 2011. What better way to start promoting the project as a book to buy – an ideal Christmas present?

No worries, I have some information to hand. I would need to check a few things and I can create some ‘blurb’…oh, the image…

Right this is my thoughts. The image I want should represent the title. It should be suitable to use in promotion and as the main image on the front of the book. In short, we are designing the bulk of the front cover.

This is where YOU come in.

We have less than a weeks deadline. Lets say Tuesday 18th October by 11.59pm GMT. Can you put together an image for free (remember this is all for charity) and have it ready by the time set?

It can be a sketch, a fully illustrated image, or even a photo. In my mind I am thinking the arm of a tatty chair with a porcelain cup and saucer. I am NOT a designer. my ideas never quite work out as I expect, so really, it is your choice. What do YOU think will work? What resources do you have to hand that could create something suitable in such a short time?

In return for your work, you will obviously be noted as the designer within the book itself, as well as receiving mentions via this blog, the Facebook page and twitter.

To make this fair, we are asking for all images to be displayed on the Facebook page for everyone involved and supporting to view. On Wednesday 19th, we will ask for those same people to vote on their favourite design. You can vote for your own, and ask your friends to join in. We don’t mind, the more people who know about the project the better.

To state the obvious, the design with the most votes will be the winner.

So, are you in?

If you have stumbled across this page and do not feel you can take part, but know someone who could, please tell them. We know we are asking a lot, but we really cannot do this without you!

Thank you!

This is our 'make do' image at the moment....yeah, we really are desperate!

Advertisements

I’m not going to lie…the formatting nightmare

30 Mar

So last week I showed you my book cover, and made a promise that I would get the editing completed. Pat on the back for me. It is all done.

So next I turned to formatting. I mentioned many months ago that this was more complicated than I had been led to believe, but for some reason, I bypassed this information in my excitement, and promptly fell flat on my face.

I’m not going to lie, I am not very computer literate. I was once upon a time, but certainly not now. I struggle even with twitter at times. I know, tragic. So what on earth was I thinking taking this on?

In the book, it talks about outsourcing, how you should never be afraid to ask for help. Don’t over stretch yourself, work within your means. So why oh why do I keep insisting I do it all?

So yes I have had an editor, I have had the design done (although, if I am honest, I came across a nifty bit of software earlier and thought I should give it a go, urgh!) so what is wrong with handing over the formatting? Absolutely nothing, I just can’t seem to let go.

I will do though. After the draining of all excitement, interest and general enthusiasm for anything today, I am willing to admit I am beat. Not only am I willing to let the formatting go, I may hand over the entire thing and get some else to do everything that isn’t finished.

This is not me bored of the project. This is not me giving up. This is me having the desire to get this book out there as quick as possible, but as professionally as possible. Oh and I should say it is not so I can start earning from my work, I am a realist belive it or not, I just want to be able to move to the next project. I have started bits and bobs, but i get the guilt that I should be finishing the guide. Plus, this is enhanced by reading so many other people asking questions that I directly answer. If I keep up with what I have done, there will be no point in releasing the guide as its entire content will be over the net, just in a slightly different format.

Although this may not be such a bad thing.

I think the way it is being promoted about how easy it is to self-publish, we have all got swept away in the buzz. The thing is, and I know I have said it before, we cannot do everything. Sometimes the middle men are there for a reason. For me personally, I shall use the middle men, I have to, otherwise I shall never get round to writing again.

My definition of Assisted Publishing

7 Mar

We are all familiar with the terms mainstream publishing, self-publishing and vanity publishing. Lets start by exploring these terms.

Mainstream publishing is where a writer has a contract with an established publisher. You as the writer submit your text, they tell you what they want changed, and once everyone is happy, the text is polished with bells and whistles. You don’t get much say in the process, but you haven’t had to spend your own money either.

Self-publishing you do everything. And i mean everything – editing, proofreading, design, illustration (if required) typesetting etc. Good luck there.

Vanity publishing is a nightmare. You pay your money up front, you get thrown loads of copies of your books, and then you have to shift them. I don’t know the figures on this one but I haven’t found an example yet of someone who has actually benefited from this process.

So what is assisted publishing? It is, to all extents and purposes self-publishing. The difference is, you are free to outsource the parts you can’t do yourself.

I shall give you an example. My book, ‘the basic guide to self-publishing’ (working title), is now under what I consider the assisted publishing heading. I have written the text, I have spent hours researching the subject, but that is where my work ends. It is being edited and proof read, and I am now in talks with several designers (you’ve heard that before right?). When complete, I hope to convert the work to the right format myself, and then I shall send it off to my chosen company, ready for the wonderful world of e-book sellers.

Why have I done this? I have heard so many times of self publishers who have made minor mistakes, and major ones as well, and this has affected their sales. I don’t want to be one of these people. I could complete many of these tasks to a degree, but not to what I would class professional standards.

The one thing I haven’t done at this stage is consider outsourcing my marketing. That is not to say I haven’t made contacts. As my first adventure (remember this all started as a University project), I want to experiment with my marketing. Quite honestly, my plan is if I manage to get a couple of good reviews, I may then invest in a high marketing campaign. This is completely the wrong way to do it but I am quite aware of how easy it is for a budget to escalate.

Besides, this is assisted publishing. I get to pick what and when I do things.

So, what do you think? Does this sound like a plan that you are already following? Rather than self-publishing, are we all after the route of assisted publishing?

Follow up – a designer for my book cover

17 Jan

Following on from my post earlier today, ‘A designer for my book cover’, 1106 design wrote a follow-up post. (I had previously linked to their article on why crowdsourcing a book cover was a bad idea).

In the post, they highlighted some of my text:

  • I know what I want, well I think I do. I know from experience that when I have set an idea in my mind in terms of design it has turned out to be awful. I think for me I never see the complete picture, it is always a little blurry around the edges.
  • I have looked at past book covers listed within an archive. I have considered the ones that work for me, the ones that jump off the page. For me personally, it is the most simple designs, with plain texts, and bold colour.
  • So how do I translate that to a designer? I have been in touch with one, we are very much at the preliminary stage. As in, we are arranging to talk soon.
  • Tell me also, what covers appeal to you? The more feedback I get, the more I can work out in my mind what I want.

Oh dear. How did this all become about me? At what point did I stop thinking about my audience. In response to the post I commented;

Another useful post, thank you!

Reading through what you highlighted I realised immediately my mistake.

When you are writing, you constantly think about your target audience, who are you writing for, what do you want them to get from your writing. I can’t believe I lost sight of this.

So why did I lose this thought when it came to the cover design? I can only think that once you have got to this stage, you start thinking about it being ‘your project’, it does become very personal to you. You want to be proud of it, you want it to reflect you. This does NOT translate to sales.

Turning to others and putting your trust in them is a daunting prospect, especially when up until this point you have been working alone (although for my particular work I have met some fantastic people who have offered invaluable support). Personally I feel although I am not up to the job of designing the cover myself, I need to feel as if I am still in control. Learning to let go is another step I need to take.

So once I have taken this step, I will learn to say, ‘I shall relax, I know you have it covered.’

I would definitely recommend reading 1106 design’s blog. They have useful information to share, and are genuine in their want to help. Thank you 1106.

A designer for my book cover?

17 Jan

I have stumbled around now for a while trying to get a designer for the cover of my book.

I understand the importance of a quality cover, get it wrong and that time you spent on your text is all wasted. I stumbled across this post yesterday which sums it all up for me.

I know what I want, well i think I do. I know from experience that when I have set an idea in my mind in terms of design it has turned out to be awful. I think for me I never see the complete picture, it is always a little blurry around the edges.

I have looked at past book covers listed within an archive. I have considered the ones that work for me, the ones that jump off the page. For me personally, it is the most simple designs, with plain texts, and bold colour.

So how do I translate that to a designer. I have been in touch with one, we are very much at the preliminary stage. As in, we are arranging to talk soon. The guys name is Ned Hoste. I like his approach and his back catalogue definitely appeals.

Has anyone else worked with Ned Hoste before? 

Tell me also, what covers appeal to you? The more feedback I get, the more I can work out i my mind what I want.