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  1. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    Cover Page: how do I go about this?

    Discussion in 'Publisher Discussion' started by Sher Duncan, May 8, 2019.

    So I have found a picture that I love and represents the beginning of my story and essence of my character. However, I don't know how to go about getting the rights to it. Creative Commons doesn't allow me to use it, right? If I get a designer (tips on who, where, how much, expectations and protocol??) to create something similar, do I have to pay them a percentage of sales if the book sells? Or do I own the rights to it?

    Thanks!
     
  2. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    you pay your designer up front generally in the region of $100-$400 depending on quality and experience - and in regard to pictures if you want a photo based cover they generally buy them from a stock library

    if you want an illustated (ie drawn)cover your designer will commision an artist - this will cost more
     
  3. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    $100-$400 USD? That's doable. That's it? No strings attached? No contract? Do I tip if it sells well? Mention the cover artist or nothing?
     
  4. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    Do I need to keep the details and prove I have the rights to the cover when I present my script+cover to a publisher?
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    If you're presenting it to a traditional publisher, I wouldn't spend money on preparing a cover for it. The publisher is going to prepare their own cover, and in all likelihood you won't get a lot of input on it (at least, not with the larger publishers). They have marketing and design people who decide how to cover the book.
     
  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    This is also true - i self publish so i tend to forget that others don't

    if you want to trad publish just polish the manuscript up then go find an agent - leave covers etc to them
     
  7. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    The thought of not having an input on my own cover sounds horrific. Moose, would you give me a little information about self-publishing? Costs, reach, marketing, what's involved? Do you petition people to buy your book and then put in the order at a private publishing house?
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    Smaller publishing houses may give more flexibility. I've heard some great (cringe-worthy) stories from authors about the first time they saw covers for their work.
     
  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    effective self publishing is about producing your work to the highest possible standard and then putting it on amazon and other outlets as a print on demand book and as an ebook... you have to pay for the editing, proof reading, cover design etc yourself and for your marketting... it is very difficult to make a positive return on investment on a single book.

    although it is possible to do well it is also possible to make not a lot - especially if you skip the 'produce to a high standard' step (the reason that the average income for self publishers is so low is that it is bottom weighted by a mass of people publishing crap with no marketing)

    You will do better commercially if you can get a good trad deal... however you are surrendering a lot of creative control .
     
  10. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    Hmm that's a tough choice. Would they not present covers to choose from or anything? Or would they take into account anything you have already submitted? I don't want to waste my money (although I have a long-lost cousin that does digital design ha best buddies now :p ) but I'd hate to have an idea in my head of my final product only to have it overhauled.

    Is the same true for maps? Obviously it has to match what's in your story and it's also a piece of inner work you have submitted... but I wonder would they re-do your map?
     
  11. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    In my experience you generally have input on your own cover when you work with a publisher, you just don't have final say.

    I've self-published at least a dozen books, and worked with publishers on another couple dozen. I put more energy into marketing my self-published books and they are produced to the same standard of quality as my books with publishers. My self-published books still generally sell less, and they obviously cost more to produce.

    If full creative control is your primary goal, then I absolutely think self-publishing is the way to go. But if your primary goal is building a readership or making sales, you will likely have more success with a publisher. Of course, it's difficult for some authors to find publishers, for a variety of reasons. If that's the case for you, self-publishing may be your only option.
     
  12. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    I guess self-publishing would be a viable back-up then. A publisher would at least give me a feel for the ropes and reach a greater readership. If that doesn't work out for whatever reason, I will self-publish. Is print on demand something that places such as Amazon take care of or do you have to "fill orders" as a second step in the process from Amazon to your printer?
     
  13. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    also its worth noting that as a self publisher unless you have serious design skills its a bad idea to do your own cover... that means working with a designer and listening to them since they are the professional in the relationship... obviously as client you have final say but if you are using a good designer its a bad move to be totally dictatorial about what the thing looks like
     
  14. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Print on demand is dealt with by either amazon kdp , or ingram spark (there are others but those are the major two players) - they take care of print and despatch all you do is set the book up initially. However the vast majority of self pub sales are ebook which is dealt with by the various market places after you've uploaded your files
     
  15. Sher Duncan

    Sher Duncan New Member

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    Good to know. Yeah I wouldn't be raging but I would want a general idea to be present- in my case, I want my cover to give a sense of expansive space/adventure. An open desertscape or long-shot with a path disappearing around something if that makes sense. I don't mind if it's painted or photostock. I just don't want it to look like a Mercedes Lackey cover (I like a lot of her books but hate her covers. I put them down so often before finally reading one and not everyone has a library as limited as my childhood small-town library) or quirky/funny. I like serious emotion in a cover. Would that be dictator-y or reasonable?
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    @Sher Duncan also--you can try to negotiate for anything you like with a traditional publisher. If you want veto power over a cover, you can always include that as a point of negotiation. It's not likely a major publisher will agree, but you can always walk away from the deal if they don't.
     
  17. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    in terms of self you can also go for a premade and pick one that matches your vision - they are cheaper but you obviously arent going to get the same bespoke vision matching ... be careful at the very cheap end of the market as ive seen a number that include copyright elements (lie Sci fi with a Tie fighter on the cover) big no no
     

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