A Tale of Two Custom Covers: Part One

One of our most popular options at Outskirts Press is our Custom Cover option, where one of our talented designers will create TWO completely separate custom covers for the author’s book, based upon the author’s own input and preferences.  The author then selects the one he/she likes best and provides further input to fine-tune it.  In general, covers are one of the “trickier” aspects of what we do because it’s a passionate subject.  All authors have very strong feelings about their covers. Many begin the process already with a cover clearly in their mind. In fact, many have already designed what they believe is a very good cover. In those cases, some authors are resistant to consider any other alternatives, even if their own cover may lack basic components of a true cover design (like a spine or a back, for instance).    It sometimes puts our people in awkward positions where they have to walk a fine line between supporting the author’s desires and at the same time bring to the author’s attention the reality that their covers, actually, aren’t very… well… good.

More often than not, we acquiesce and watch the author use what they supplied. After all, it’s their book.  But it can be frustrating, because our designers have often created really wonderful covers that all too often go to waste at the author’s whims.  On one hand, we always want our books to look as awesome as possible; on the other hand, we want to answer to the author’s wishes and give them exactly what they want. Granted, sometimes these are financial decisions, since a professional custom cover design starts at $299 (compare that to $900 and higher at other self publishing firms); but other times the decision doesn’t seem to be based upon anything other than a skewed reality of what comprises good cover design.

So with one of our authors’ kind permission, I’d like to present just such a case study over the next two days… stay tuned…