Finding a book designer is as easy as Googling really. You can find a book cover design for as little as $5 on Fiverr.com or you can hire a really great designer for thousands of dollars.
Budget is certainly a concern, but equally important (and the piece that many don't see) is making sure the designer matches your style. Every good designer will have a portfolio and you need to take the time to look at what they've done in the past to decide if they can do your job.
I also HIGHLY recommend you interview them to see if you will work well together.
But before you do, do your homework first...
See designers learn through visuals so explaining with words what you want and what you're looking for to someone who sees in pictures means that something always gets lost in translation.
Find your aesthetic first...
What does that mean? Go to a book store and find book covers and interiors that you like. Be sure to look in your genre of book to get an idea of what works for YOU. Spend some time on Amazon looking at covers. Or start a Pinterest Board with books and designs you love. My Pinterest Board for design is here if you're looking for an example.
That way you know when you're looking at someone's portfolio if their design style matches yours AND you'll be able to explain what you're looking for to them in a way that they can see and really understand if they can deliver what YOU want.
Your design is really important when it comes to creating a quality piece of work so take the time to first figure out what you want and then go out and find the person who can deliver exactly that.
Which comes first, writing the proposal or writing the book?
I cannot tell you how many people have asked me this question. And I'll answer with the questions I ask my clients... what's more important to you, that you feel important and validated publishing your book or that you are a published author and that your message is out in the world making an impact? Those things are subtly different, and while there are many paths to achieving both, what it comes down to is what are you willing to wait on... Is it more important that you try over and over to write the perfect proposal that may or may not be accepted or that you finally write the damn book?
If your dream is to pick up a fancy contract with a publishing firm then let's be perfectly clear here... what's required of you is either a really great connection to open doors or a robust platform with tons of raving fans and a clear marketing and promotion plan that will make the publisher lots of money. You need to create a case for your positioning and non-stop unwavering belief that you will sell the hell out of this book.
And then you'll also have to come up with a compelling book concept.
You'll probably need to write the proposal many, many times. You'll need to send it out to multiple agents and publishers after researching who they are and what they are looking for and how they accept proposals, if at all, and then reformat and edit the proposal accordingly.
Listen - if this is your route, then consider that what you're doing is asking to be hired and proving that you're the right candidate for the job in the middle of thousands of other applicants.
If that's what you really want - go for it. Write the proposal first.
I mean there are those who I reply to who still insist that they would feel unaccomplished self-publishing and that's fine. They'd rather wait for the publishing deal.
Personally, I think that's a great way to AVOID writing your book.
Not to be a negative nelly here, because some do really get those rare publishing deals and that's awesome! The point is to not WAIT, because we live in an age where we simply don't have to. There was a time when getting a publisher was the ONLY way to release a book. That's just simply not true anymore.
The time and energy spent writing proposals is precious. Add it all up and the first draft of your book could be done. Why would I waste my time and energy begging for a job, when I could be in the world, book in hand?
Maybe for a second book after you've proven that you have what it takes to properly promote your writing. Or maybe you can start sending out proposals once you've written most of the book.
But I guarantee that as a creative person, that I will suck the joy right out of the project for myself getting mired up in the process of finding an agent or publisher to even consider my book...
Why do I write?
Because I love it. Because I can. Because I have a message I want to share.
Why do I self publish?
Because I make a terrible employee. Because I can. Because I have a message I want to share.
So prioritize what you're really going for here. Recognition and money can happen on either path. A published book may not...
Are you a writer?
There are some authors that pound out books like they are nothing, and it always felt like Dr. Wayne Dyer was one of them. He'd get up early every morning and go down to his desk and write. He kept journals on hand for when the urge to write hit. I've lost count of how many books he authored, mainly because of how many were translated and sold around the world.
So I've been diving in for us to find his pearls of wisdom on being an author and I came across this article on his blog entitled "Are You a Writer". I'm sending you the post in it's entirety and have highlighted the parts that really struck my soul but if you want to read it from where it came from click here.
"People ask me about writing all the time. How does it work? How can they get their message out to the world? On the recent Hay House I Can Do It cruise, I spoke to the Writer’s Workshop which was one of the programs given on the ship. What a great group of eager, empowered, and energetic people! I told them that it all hinges on what Abraham Maslow taught me many years ago when I was a young doctoral student. **He told me to put forth what I wanted, my work, my message, and then detach from the outcome.** This is true for any life work because the work itself must be what is satisfying and fulfilling for you. Writing is challenging work because it’s so easy to get consumed with how it’s going, what’s going to happen to it, who’s going to like or not like it. You want to get all of that stuff out of your head and just let the work flow. If you incarnated to be a writer, if that is your passionate calling, then you’ll be getting messages from Source, from Spirit, leading you in that direction.
If you are thinking these thoughts and being guided to write, remember that you incarnated to be a writer, not necessarily an editor. Your first job is to write and not to apply a critical eye to your work without first letting it pour forth. Writing is like anything else—the more you do it, the better you get at it, the easier it comes and the less concerned you’ll be about what’s going to happen to it, where it’s going, what it sounds like, whether it’s right. After my four decades of writing, I have a practice that works beautifully for me. I just let the ideas flow through my heart. I don’t write with a machine. I write with a pen and a paper which is what is most comfortable for me. I just let it flow, and I have a wonderful editor who’s been with me for 32 years. I let her take care of all the details.
To get started, forget the details and let your ideas come out on paper. Get your passion on the paper. Let the passion that you feel come through. You won’t be able to stop and it will be the best writing you ever did. Detach from the outcome. Forget about whether it’s going to get published, whether it’s good or not good, whether it’s the right thing. There is no right in this. Let it come; be an instrument of flow. It’s the practice that makes it work out. If you told me you had a lousy backhand in tennis, wouldn’t I tell you to go out and hit 1000 backhand shots this week? Keep doing what you love to the best of your ability. Stop judging and get out of your own way. I always tell audiences when I talk about writing: Writing isn’t something I do, writing is something that I am. I am writing—it’s just an expression of me. Is that how it is for you?"
So in a nut shell, write. Let it pour out of you without the expectation of what it 'could' be. Release that and be what you're being called to be - a writer.
It Only Takes 3 Minutes
Listen in the world of writing, books get imagined and started. That's romantic and fun and then the real work begins as you get deeper and deeper into your message and into the page by page by page...
And the number one question I get asked is this - how can I keep writing consistently?
Okay, some people can do it, those mythical beasts who can sit down every day and pump out words like nobody's business.
I'm not one of them.
And I'm going to assume that all those people asking me how they can do it, well, they probably aren't either.
For me, repetition kills enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is kinda a requirement in a long term project like writing a book.
So I devised a system of sorts.
I don't have to write every day, but I do have to pay attention to the book so the idea and the enthusiasm doesn't die.
Some days it looks like just re-reading what I wrote the day before or adding a quote. Whatever minimal amount of work I can do just to stay in the vibration of the project.
Some days 3 minutes turn into 3 hours as I get so wrapped up in the creation and writing that time flies by.
But it all starts with spending 3 minutes with the book every single day. I know the "experts" are giving you minimum word or page counts to achieve every day and an hour or more of sitting in your chair - but forget all that because if consistency isn't your gig in general, don't expect it to show up suddenly.
Work around your resistance to same-same every day and just play for 3 minutes and see what shifts in your writing...
Publishing My Books Was The BEST Self Development I Have Ever Done
It demanded me to be clear about my message. It demanded that I stand in my power and believe in myself. It demanded that I bypass my fears and limitations. It demanded me to produce something without knowing it's outcome.
In other words, writing made me dive deep into ME and I grew stronger with every word.
There's no halfway book for me.
I will be honest, I have friends who have published books that were just production line books - like a fancy brochure pumped out in 30 days or less with a cover slapped on it and voila! Done.
It's just not how I choose to do things.
Each book I've written has a piece of me in it. They are never the book to push my business - they are meant to serve and inspire and help change the world one reader at a time.
So I'm including this little piece from Gabby Bernstein here for you. She just released her latest book, "The Universe Has Your Back" and she talks about what writing the book did for her as the author.
"I have a personal story to share with you.
Today is the launch of my new book, The Universe Has Your Back. Writing a book can be a very vulnerable process. This was the case for me.
I wrote this book in 2015 when I was going through the toughest time of my life.
Day after day I woke up feeling helpless, scared and blocked. What saddened me most was that my spiritual connection felt weak.
But I couldn’t wallow in my suffering. I had a book deal and a deadline. I had to show up.
I woke up each morning and committed to writing 1,000 words.
I dove deep for this book. I shared my authentic stories, struggles and miracles. I poured my truth onto the page.
Writing this book healed me.
Each lesson I teach in the book, I applied in my own life. Each meditation I mastered. Through the process of writing this book I transformed my fear into faith.
And now I offer you an invitation to do the same.
It’s time to get real. It’s time to get honest. It’s time to be happy and free.
My commitment with this book is to wake up as many people as possible to their connection to faith and joy.
In that connection, we can be guided to our true purpose: to be love and spread love.
These words can no longer be cute buzz phrases that we post on social media and screen-print on tote bags. These words must be our mission. The happiness, safety and security we long for lies in our commitment to love.
We’re not playing small here. Transforming fear into faith is major. (It’s everything.) We need this now more than ever — and I cannot wait for you to get the book in your hands.
Start your journey today and know The Universe Has Your Back.
This is what writing is all about for me... it's a journey into yourself.
So make a choice for YOU.
You can write any book.
Or you can bleed your soul onto the pages and emerge new.