In-House vs. Third Party Illustrators for Book Covers

Children’s authors already know the importance of a great graphic artists, but even authors who write for older audiences need to understand the importance of a great artist and how to find one. While your book may not be filled with graphics, there is one image that can make or break your book’s success — your cover.

A great graphic artist will help you great a custom book cover that catches readers’ attention, demonstrates your professionalism as an author, and represents the essence of your book. By using a generic cover or a poorly created one, you may send your readers a negative message about your work and they may be less intrigued to buy and read it. Because a graphic artist is so important to the success of your book, you need to make sure you hire a talented, trustworthy one.

Before hiring a graphic artist, understand that there are two types of custom covers:

1)      A custom cover –created by a professional graphic artist

2)      An illustrated custom cover – The illustration is created by a professional illustrator and then that illustration is used in a custom cover design created by the professional graphic artist.

It is helpful to know which type of cover you’d like for your book before hiring a graphic artist. Another important decision is whether to use a third party graphic artist or an in-house graphic artist. Using a third party artist can be more expensive and complicated to work with.

It is important to know . . .

  • Some third-party graphic artists require you to share a portion of your royalties. This creates an ongoing cost instead of a one-time fee for the service.
  • You need to know what the trim size of your book is prior to the artist beginning work.
  • The graphic artist needs to know specifications about bleed and gutters for the self-publisher being used.
  • You should arrange for the graphic artist to provide high-resolution image files, not just hardcopies.
  • Be sure to get a written contract.

If this sounds like a headache, there is an easier way. Instead of hiring a third-party graphic artist, you could hire an artist through your self-publishing company. To learn more about hiring a graphic artist from your self-publishing company, contact a representative at your publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

What Self-Publishing Children’s Authors Need to Know About Hiring an Illustrator

 

For children’s authors, a great illustrator is essential to self-publishing a wonderful book. In children’s stories, the pictures are not only enjoyable to look at, they also help tell the story. Because an illustrator is so important to the success of your book, you need to make sure you hire a talented, trustworthy artist.

Thanks to the internet, it is easy to find an illustrator. If you simply google the term “children’s book illustrators”, you will probably get plenty of results for qualified artists. However, self-publishing authors need to be cautious when hiring third-party illustrators. Here is what you need to know.

  • Some third-party illustrators require you to share a portion of your royalties. This creates ongoing cost instead of a one-time fee for their services.
  • You need to know what the trim size of your book is prior to the illustrator beginning work.
  • The illustrator needs to know specifications about bleed and gutters for the
    self-publisher being used.
  • You should arrange for the illustrator to provide high-resolution image files, not just
    hardcopies.
  • Be sure to get a written contract.

If this sounds like a headache, there is an easier way. Instead of hiring a third-party illustrator, you could hire an illustrator through your self-publishing company. To learn more about hiring an illustrator your self-publishing company, contact a representative at your publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

The Rise of POD Publishing

In 2010, traditional print publishing grew a mere 5%, up from 4% in 2009, but non-traditional publishing, such as print on demand (POD) and self-publishing, grew a whopping 169%, according to a Bowker report. The report estimates that non-traditional publishing will continue to grow in the future.

POD publishing first surpassed traditional publishing in 2008. Since then, POD publishers have been able to produce eight times the output of traditional publishers. This is great news for aspiring authors! It means that there are vast opportunities to write, publish, and sell quality books.

Most writers are overwhelmed with constant rejection from agents and editors or fear that their books will never be seen in print because of the difficult world of publishing. This doesn’t have to be the case. POD is a great option for many writers, and there are no agents or editors telling you your book isn’t good enough. If you believe in your book, you can see it in print.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Copyediting Is A Must For Self-Published Authors

Copyediting is different from the revision process. While you may read through your manuscript before publishing, that does not count has copyediting for two reasons. 1) Most writers can’t read their writing objectively. It is easy to overlook areas of weakness because you know what you are trying to say, and you are more likely to miss obvious errors because you are too comfortable with the material. 2) You aren’t the expert. Copyediting requires training on grammar and style. Copy editors look for more than just misspellings and typos. There are specific ways that items such as numbers and titles should be formatted. They also can pick up on inconsistencies you may not notice.

Self-publishing sometimes gets a bad rep because authors don’t spend the money to have their manuscript copyedited. If you want your book to be taken seriously, it needs to look and sound professional. This is especially important for non-fiction books by experts. If you want to be recognized as an expert, you must have your book copyedited.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

Self-Publishing Advice Update: Google Book Settlement

To opt in or out? With court developments arising last week, the implications, at least as they stood, may be moot.

The AP released an article last week noting the Justice Department’s, deem of the current agreement as a threat to give Google the power to increase book prices and discourage competition, though it said a renegotiated settlement might obey U.S. copyright and antitrust laws.

In his subsequent adjournment order, US District Judge Denny Chin noted that “the current settlement agreement raises significant issues, demonstrated not only by the number of objections, but also by the fact that the objectors include countries, states, nonprofit organizations, and prominent authors and law professors.” However, “the proposed settlement would offer many benefits to society, as recognized by supporters of the settlement as well as DOJ…if a fair and reasonable settlement can be struck, the public would benefit.”

If you’re published and chose to opt-in. Still writing and have this topic on the radar, this is good news. While the settlement probably won’t affect any of us directly, that we are taking the democratization of important materials into collective is a step in the right direction.

Have fun and keep writing

– Karl



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