Yes, We Have A Cover!
Need I say it? Covers are important, all caps important, but I’ll spare your eyes that blaring sight. So, what makes a good cover? Major bucks? A panel of top rated designers, publicists and artists? A good photographer?
For the cover of our new Ebook, 100 Small Fires To Make Your Book Sales BLAZE (for sale November 18th on Amazon) we had none of those things. The book is a marketing “how-to” guide for authors I co-wrote with my marketing whiz sister, Kathleen Vrona. In it, we include small, medium and large marketing budgets with timelines, explanation and tips. We are using the small budget to market this book so for the cover I spent less than $20.00. *Warning* The smaller the budget, the more time required. This is because a lot of marketing dollars can be spent out-sourcing even the littlest tasks. For 100 Small Fires To Make Your Book Sales BLAZE, we are deliberately using the smallest budget and out-sourcing exactly nothing.
Our goal is to spend as little as possible without embarrasing ourselves, and hopefully the cover achieves this. I had a couple of other requirements for constructing the cover; I wanted to create material that could be used on the website, and would be easily modified into supporting marketing materials like posters, mugs, bookmarks, and so forth. Take a look at our “Kickstarter Prize Incentives” page and make your own determination on whether I achieved this.
Here are the materials used (I’ve starred those purchased specifically for the cover – the rest were pre-owned):
Lenovo Ideapad Z585 15.6 inch is my laptop. At $500.00 it is a deal and runs memory eating programs like Photoshop with ease;
Nikon D5100 camera with 18-55mm lens (about $600.00);
A black back drop of non reflective material which I pinned to a screen;
A black desk that the material drapped onto;
Three spot light sources of the clip on variety;
Photoshop for crisping and cropping the photos and adding text;
*A cake from the local bakery that cost $7.00;
*Three numbered candles to make 100 that cost a dollar a piece;
*A cover template for a Kindle book that cost $9.00;
Stack of old books
There you have it. I purchased three things and spent about $19.00 to make our cover. While you could include a portion part of my Photoshop license, that only increases the cost by approximately $5.00.
Here’s what I did to make the cover:
1) Purchased template and consulted with Kathleen to determine concept
2) Obtained props (cake, books, candles)
3) Set up windowless room at office as studio with backdrop and lights
4) Took pictures
5) Loaded them into computer
6) Photoshopped pictures
7) Placed them into cover template and Photoshopped some more
That’s it! Sounds simple enough, but it did take me some rather steep man hours. About 15 to be exact. Prior to this I had exactly zero experience in Photoshop. Zero, zip, and nada, as in, I’d never even opened the program and barely knew what it was. I used the template to make sure the cover would meet the Kindle book cover requirements when we upload it on launch day.
Can you hear the loud “tick, tick, tick” booming out from the speaker behind this blog?
Well, I do and it’s counting down to launch day when we’ll find out if the template was worth ten bucks. If the cover uploads without a hitch that tick will change to an audible “sigh.” To read more about it, come back later and we’ll tell all; whether it’s good, bad, ugly, smooth or bumpy.
That’s a promise.