I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Do you? Have you? Will you?

I'm curious. In my travels around the blogosphere, I've noticed a lot of you have created your own "cover page" for your WIPs, complete with title and some pretty awesome illustrations.

(Source)
That's got me wondering. Should I be creating my own? And how would I go about doing it anyway? Is it something you do for fun, or do you have a reason to do with marketing/promoting your WIP? If you don't have a cover page already, do you plan to make one? One for each WIP you work on, perhaps?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

22 comments:

WritersBlockNZ said...

I personally have not made one because I see things clearer in my head and via the words I've written, and I don't think any cover I could make could do it justice.

I do think that the idea has some merit in being a useful exercise to help you work out the essential elements of your WIP in a visual form. If you can, and would enjoy it, why not? If you don't like it, you don't have to put it online.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Good idea, but as I battle enough with the cover when it is published, don't think I could cope with more problems. :0)

Alison Stevens said...

Oh, goodness. I can hardly find enough time as is! But it's an intriguing idea...

kar_took said...

I like the idea as well, but I agree with WritersBlockNZ that I don't think any cover I could make would represent the story fully. I like doing mood boards, and do sometimes look online for images to help me find my characters more. (Or procrastinate from writing...)

C. N. Nevets said...

I have, but I scrapped it. I think the benefits are that it gives some folks an incentive, when they see that cover, to keep at it; and that it can help make spreading the word about your working on a little snazzier. I personally found, though, that it locked me into a tone and and a concept that were still shifting as I worked through the WIP.

Jess said...

I've seen some incredible covers out there, and they've gotten me excited for the book. I click on the cover, expecting it to take me to Amazon, then I realize...wait a minute...this hasn't been published yet--what kind of rip-off it this? Kidding :) They do a great job of creating a teaser, but I don't really see it getting you ahead on the path to publication. Besides~ like someone else has said, once you get a contract, the cover is out of your hands anyway. I say do it for yourself and your own personal satisfaction, but I just don't think a fancy cover will sway any agents your way. Again, though, kudos to those who have the creative juices to do it~the ones I've seen have all been fantastic!

Brad Jaeger said...

I presume most of the people making covers and illustrations are doing it for fun.

Unless you're on a tiny indie, or a Print on Demand service, your say in what the cover looks like is approximately 0.00002% :p

U. Written said...

I've seen some great cover pages, but I've also seen some incredibly shoddy-looking ones. I think that it might be a nice exercise if it helps you visualize your work, but a poorly designed cover page will look unprofessional and cheesy. When I was interning at a development office for film and television, we would toss out any scripts that didn't have a simple, industry standard cover page.

As for how to go about it, in my freelance graphic design work I've always made page layouts in Illustrator. I like working with vectors and I can make sure it's friendly for 4-color professional printers.

Great blog, by the way! I'm excited to read it going forward.

Melissa Gill said...

I've not tried to come up with cover art, but I did put together some paper art for the project I'm querying. I also did some scrap book pages for my current WIP. It really helps me to get a feel for my settings and physical descriptions.

I hope someone with way more tallent that me will come up with cover art.

Hart Johnson said...

I have some lovely covers, but all done FOR ME without asking by a friend who is fabulous that way. If I didn't KNOW someone, I wouldn't have the skill and definitely would not want to either 1) spend the money or 2) have something that looked cheesy. I love what my friend has created for me, though--and it is a nice motivator when I'm editing something (or right now, have a work in ABNA)

Margo Berendsen said...

I would totally create a cover for my book if I 1) had a really great idea and 2) if I had a really great artist willing to do it for not much money. I love cover art! By the way, I really like your blog banner. Now if you came up with something that eye-catching for a banner, I don't think it'd be hard for you to do a cover.

Lynda Young said...

I have a graphic designer past so I could whip up a cover, but I just don't have time. If I did do it, it would only be for fun though.

Michelle said...

what a novel concept! I'm not creative enough to creat one... would be lovely tho :)

Abby Minard said...

I've seen some of those around, and I always assumed it was just for fun. I actually made a drawing of one of my characters today, but I'm not as good as a professional. I think it'd be fun to try to get the juices flowing, but that's it. I'm assuming once you get a contract, the cover art etc is pretty much up to the publisher. I've seen where you can submit your ideas, or covers you like and are inspired by...but especially with first time authors, we don't get much say I believe.

Grandpa said...

Hi Rach, all I can say is that I tend to judge a book by its cover, so it better be nice!

I have an Award for you over at The Farm, so if you don't mind please drop by?

Elizabeth Briggs said...

I vote no, unless you have serious graphic arts talents... because most of the ones I see look very unprofessional.

Regina said...

I haven't nor would I know where to start. I don't even know what I would want my cover to look like yet. I have so many visions when I write that I just don't know. Wow, now you got me thinking... Great post.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have one for the novel I'm querying and one for my wip. Since I put my logline on my blog for the novel I'm querying (you know, just in case hoards of agents decide to check out my blog), I thought a mock cover would be a cool idea. :D

Plus, I'm a photographer (those are my photos I used), so would you expect anything different?

Stephanie Faris said...

Hmmmm...well, I've never had one and I landed an agent without it, but I'm not sure how much that helps you.

Rachael Harrie said...

Thanks so much for all your comments, it was most intriguing to hear your reasons for and against making your own cover page.

I think I might hold off for the moment, but you never know when the whim might take me in the future ;)

Rach

J.L. Campbell said...

Here's a link that will tell you 'how to'. The article was written by a pal of mine. http://hubpages.com/hub/Create-Your-Own-Book-Cover-Without-Photoshop
She made several covers for me. I think having a cover that speaks to what I'm writing gives me inspiration. I'm actually thinking about using one as a link to my current WIP on my website.

Carol Riggs said...

I make covers for all my WiPs. I can't help myself. I do them in Photoshop. You have to be careful of where you get your images though; most are copyrighted. No, you don't NEED one; if you get a publisher they most certainly will (rather) design one for you. It's just for fun, and gives you more than a title to post on your blog/website. *grin*

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