What’s up? SASS is in the building, taking a break from celebrating the release of Boundless Limits: Transcendent Choice, to deliver a message and some food for thought.
Confession: I am all sorts of supreme fail when it comes to cover design and book trailers. When in doubt, hand it over to other people to figure out.
Now, I know you are wondering, “What does ‘It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp’ have to do with this post?”
I understand that times are tough. It’s tougher for more than just pimps. It’s tough for everyday folks. It’s very tough for authors. It’s like an author has to work twice as hard to get even one fourth of someone’s attention span.
I understand when an author has to do some extra things to generate income. Sometimes, even most times, the written word is not enough. Therefore, the expansion of the author to doing editing, cover design, and even book trailers (I’m dubbing them “Authorpreneurs”) doesn’t even make me bat an eyelid anymore.
I’m about to say this, and it has nothing to do with the word that starts with L, ends with E, and may contain a V. It’s just my whole just telling it like it is and not caring if you’re salty.
Some authors are just doing too much and need to stick with what they are good at … period. If your other skills are mediocre
(1) Don’t push those poor excuses for anyone else to obtain and
(2) Don’t charge an exorbitant (I dig that word) amount for work that is better to make a coaster out of and place one’s tea glass.
During my blog-a-pades (times when I actually go to other people’s blogs/websites and read the content), I discovered someone that I was networking with had opened up his own “publishing company”. The gag about this whole thing was that he hit me up on the sly asking my thoughts about some of his stuff he was creating, and in my usual Rising fashion, I let him know they weren’t his best product and that they should be revamped.
I didn’t think too much of it because quite honestly, I was busy working with my publisher in getting my own product out there to the public.
Back to the tale.
This “publishing company” consisted of editorial services and graphic design. Under the graphic design umbrella included book covers and book trailers. The book covers were priced around $150-$200 but unfortunately they weren’t necessarily “designed”. It was basically the purchase of a stock photo or photos, blending the images together (not very well, IMO) and putting some text on it. If you are paying for a design, then it should be a design that is really original … damn near art. Plus the look of the cover has to be competitive with others out there within your genre and/or target market. Those makeshifts he was putting together and pushing were disappointing and laughable.
Sorry, you can only get away with a half-ass cover if (1) someone is already a fan of your work (2) you are super famous or represented by the top names out there or (3) you run into that rare reader who doesn’t even look at the cover but is mainly concerned with the blurb.
With the majority, something has to look appetizing for someone to partake. If a writer can’t bring a reader visually to the table, then he’s dead in the water.
Then on top of that, he had book trailers. Admittedly, those were better than the book covers, yet he was asking $200-$250 for those. Some were up to snuff, while others just seemed like they were thrown together, with music and imagery that had nothing to do with the blurb.
Yes, the prices for both may be competitive, if the art is top notch. If it isn’t, it just looks like he’s doing highway robbery. I honestly think that he needs to keep his newly found, not so stellar graphic swag to himself. It is definitely not on fleek.