2019 A Year In Review

The Year of Career Roller-coasters and Coffee

I would like to say that I have enjoyed a wonderful year as a graphic designer. But as in life, the year had its ups and downs for me. The bright spots were certainly those jobs where I was hired to design using my skills, knowledge and experiences as a designer – and left to it. The challenging spots – each time I was micro-managed on projects. Thus, my favorite projects of 2019 involve those where I was left to create them.

I completed thirty-four book cover designs and a variety of other marketing designs (banners, adverts, etc.) and even a handful of re-designs in 2019. A few of those projects (7 at last count) have yet to be released by the authors/publishers – but overall, I was able to share most of the work that I completed this year as they became available for sale. And I appreciate all of the support and feedback that I have received for my design work.

I continued to grow as a designer in 2019, and I plan to set aside more time in 2020 to learn new things in the world of design to offer even a higher standard of product to my clients.

I am often asked which of my designs is my favorite – that is always the toughest question to answer because I can find special elements within all of them. But most definitely my favorite designs have been when the client trusts me to create a cover design based on my skills. Basically, when I’m hired to design and left to do that process with the only input being what I myself request from the client. Graphic design is a creative process – best left to professionals. Let me do the job that you commissioned me to do and we will both love the results.

I plan to process work in a more efficient way in 2020 – my commission rates will represent a more balanced amount for my time and abilities. And I will be more selective in what I choose to take on. Life is too short and too valuable to waste precious time on bad design.

Thank you to all of those that I had the pleasure of working with in 2019. Many of you I do hope to collaborate with again in 2020.

Ars longa, vita brevis. –Hippocrates (Art is long, life is short.)

December Holiday Update

Happy Holidays!

Time for a Break Following This Update

Once again, I have had a busy and successful year as an independent Book Cover Designer. I’ve taken on numerous new clients and made a couple of invaluable new connections. Thank you to everyone for making 2019 another fabulous year!

Newly Completed Book Cover Designs

New Pre-Made Covers are also available – contact me for more details.

New for 2020

I am removing the Book Trailer Video Services from my website. Not only has demand for full length book trailers dropped off in recent years, the cost involved in producing trailers far exceeds what I can reasonably charge for the service. I am playing around with making short clips that are either simple animated GIF files or only a couple of frames of video for authors if I have any inquiries.

Keep in mind that all designs are created with the use of, often times, multiple stock elements (images and illustrations). These do not come free – most licenses cost $5.00 to $10.00 a piece. I will add the cost of all licenses used in the final design to your bill. I do not profit from this, but I cannot afford to shoulder the costs of all of the licenses that I must purchase throughout the year either. Always remember that I produce multiple designs every month, not just your book cover. If I can find free for commercial use resources, I will go that route first. But more than likely I’ll be purchasing RF stocks from either Depositphotos or Shutterstock to complete your design.

Also, in closing out my books for the year the most disconcerting statistic is that my earnings show a decrease from the previous year (despite an increase in labor time overall). Thus, after five years of keeping my commission rates the same – I am going to increase my commissions for my services. Honestly, it is overdue as both my experience has grown and my skill level has broadened exponentially. I cannot continue giving my time and talent away. I need to work less hours due to my health and family commitments, and earn a fair rate for quality design when I do choose to accept new projects. And I will no longer provide unlimited edits and updates at no additional cost – this has become the biggest loss of time for me in recent years.

In closing, I wish all a blessed holiday season. See you in 2020!

October News and Notes

My exciting new connection in the publishing business!

I’m thrilled to be added as a resource for New Shelves Books! After meeting Amy Collins at a book signing last month, Amy suggested bringing me on board as a resource for her clients in the publishing business. I had a lovely call with Amy’s business partner, Keri Barnum, today and we are all set up.

New Shelves Books is a one-stop-shop for writers looking for guidance in the publishing world – anything from marketing, formatting, social media and all forms of publishing. Amy and Keri do it all or will work with writers at whatever level or depth required. I highly recommend their services to all of the authors out there. And I’m looking forward to gaining new clients through their referral service.

Authors will find tons of invaluable information on their website, and if nothing else follow their blog.

New Book Cover Design

Now on Amazon

My fourth cover design for Debbie Viggiano – she’s a joy to collaborate with!

And on a final note, I’ll be out of the office for much of the rest of October.

Family time is precious. Self-care time is precious as well. It has been one hectic summer and I’m exhausted. Thus, I’m taking a few weeks away from the design desk and re-charging my batteries. Autumn is my favorite season of the year anyways.

My Latest Cover Design Projects

Recently three of the book covers that I have designed have become available on Amazon, so I thought I would share.

First up is a modern romance novel by Ian Wilfred – Time To Move On

Available on both Amazon and Amazon UK

Next up is The 22nd Floor by Geoff Green now available on Amazon:

Amazon and Amazon UK

And finally, my latest cover design for Susan Russo Anderson – Death On Atlantic Avenue.

I’ve been busy this month as well, so I do hope to have more cover designs to share soon!

Working with a Book Cover Designer

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Every now and again I am approached by a potential new client who knows exactly what they want and basically how the book cover design process works. But more often than not, authors have written their manuscripts and want an attractive cover designed so they can get their new books listed on Amazon and other online book selling outlets, yet have no idea where to start. And most, especially first time authors, do not have any idea whatsoever as to how the book cover design process works or even where to begin. This is not a bad thing – authors write and designers design! Hopefully I can shed some light on the process by offering a few top tips when contacting book cover designers for the first time.

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