Started a mockup of a book cover design for my book. It's a mockup to try out some ideas in my head before I fluff around trying to get things just right.
Basic graphic design skills
I learned some basic graphic design skills years ago when I worked as an assistant for a publishing company. One of the graphic designers taught me how to do some stuff. I don't have all their fancy software of course.
I'm a bit rusty but I managed to make a circle after taking a look at some free tutorials online.
I have an artistic eye anyway and want to do my own cover with my own art. The mockup is kind of like doing a sketch, trying things out, visually, with the dimensions. I can always take photos of the collage again, with the elements positioned differently, if I wish. I would tweak the colours etc.
I think if I do go for white for the bottom half, I'll need to add a thin border for thumbnails.
My idea was to make it look a bit like a social media profile, given that's a core theme in the book. I will try out some art for the back cover.
If you're making your own covers, bear in mind that the print version needs to be high enough resolution for print, you won't be able to confirm the full cover until you know how many pages (therefore thickness of the book). The cover for an e-book is taller and a low resolution file. Also, with print-on-demand, there may be a colour shift.
Of course, you can pay someone to design your cover and most authors do this. I just like to do my own. I do all stages of the process myself. When I looked up, it seems cover art can have the text with small lettering. If the book gets rejected over this, I'll just change it.
Where I'm up to
I've ordered my manuscript to be printed locally, which should be ready in a day or two. Reading it in a physical format will help me be sure I have the wider margin on the correct side plus I might pick up some little errors like the odd missed word. I will resist the temptation to change the story further.
It's like a painting - get to a point where it's done. The stages now is like the varnish and wire for display etc.
My psychologist has a copy (she's protective of me and wants to skim-read it before I release it out into the world). A friend has been reading but has been very busy lately. Hoping though, I've caught pretty much all obvious mistakes.
So I'll need to read the printed form, update the manuscript if I notice anything. Then, I will be doing my cover design, as the cover is needed for the e-book. Then, the e-book formatting (which was always a headache).
When I'm nearly there, I'll order the ISBNs (free in New Zealand). I think it's best to have your own, if you don't want to be tied to a distributor.
Then, I will upload the book as two separate manuscript files, with two separate book cover files, initially to Amazon with KDP.
There's still lots to do.
I am looking at September 2023, to publish my memoir, Bipolar Courage: Are You Sure You're Not Autistic? It's an unconventional love story.
At some stage, I intend to continue writing a guide for those who want to self-publish a book on a shoe-string budget (with tips to tell your own story).