One of the most challenging things about being creative is looking back at what you produced in years prior, and because you have got better and learned so much since that time, there may often be a sense of embarrassment about what you created before. In this quote, Ira Glass articulates what I am trying to say, perfectly:
I feel this way about my writing, and I feel this way about the other aspects of creativity I use in my work and business. Graphic design and my artistic sense is definitely one of those things.
Over the last couple of years I’ve written three book marketing guides that I am very proud of. 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book continues to get wonderful reviews, and has been #1 in several Amazon categories. That book is definitely one of my favorites.
But recently I’ve felt totally uneasy about the cover. I worked with a professional designer to create it, and was happy with it at the time. Now though, I look at it and feel like it’s totally underselling the book. My taste has changed, and hopefully improved, and I’m embarrassed and underwhelmed with its cover.
So yesterday, I set about making a new one. Here’s the result:
I thought that I might work on a concept, and then hand it off to a designer to finish up for me. But once I started playing around with this new graphic design site Canva, I realized that I was actually pretty darn happy with the work little old me produced on there. Canva has everything I needed to make my vision a reality. That solved an important problem for me; I often struggle to communicate with a designer about what I want for my cover or other graphic needs. Using the site was rather liberating – I could actually make the new cover look how I want it to look!
Once I got started, I couldn’t stop :) Here are the other two covers I revamped:
Looking at my old covers is like looking back at old Facebook photos and realizing that awesome haircut in college? It really didn’t look as good as you thought it did. Those sunglasses you sported last summer? Way ugly. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel the same way about these covers in a couple of years time! In the meantime, however, I’m going to enjoy putting these new covers up and feeling as proud of them as I do about the writing inside.
Have you thought about revamping your covers recently? I absolutely recommend working with a great cover designer if that works for you, or getting your hands dirty and doing it yourself if you prefer. Here are some great options:
Hire one of my favorite designers:
Sarah at Okay Creations: http://www.okaycreations.com/
Alexander Von Ness: http://www.nessgraphica.com/
Anthony Puttee at Book Cover Cafe: http://www.bookcovercafe.com/book-cover-design/
Buy a ‘done-for-you’ book cover:
Go On, Write: http://www.goonwrite.com/
Book Covers Beetiful: http://bookcovers.beetiful.com/
Make your own with an easy-to-use graphic design software:
And if you’d like to check out my books with their brand spanking new covers, you can find them here :)
Laura Pepper Wu is the co-founder of 30 Day Books: a book studio. She has worked with a variety of authors to successfully promote their books, including many Amazon best-sellers. Laura is the author of wedding non-fiction guides and book marketing guides 77 Ways to Find New Readers for Your Self-Published Book and Fire Up Amazon!
Laura also runs Ladies Who Critique, a critique-partner finding site. When she's not working at the studio, you can find her walking her dog, "yoga-ing" or at a coffee shop in Seattle.