Self-Publishing: A Picture Says a Thousand Words

The Last Thursday Ritual in Little Piddlington - Maggie Shaw - Eregendal

One of the fun parts about self-publishing is designing the cover of a book. The cover is the flagship launching your precious opus out into the wilds of the internet and beyond in the hunt for readers. The design needs to be eye-catching, informative, and distinctive even when reduced to a website thumbnail.

Most authors like to employ a professional designer to create their cover artwork. A good cover can make a great difference to the number of sales, but a good cover designer doesn’t come cheap. One of the advantages of using someone who generates all their income from cover design is that they will usually be aware of all the artistic trends which will attract the right readers to click on a book in a particular genre. Places like Goodreads are great for finding that sort of support.

Eregendal has a non-standard house style when it comes to covers. We like using photographic images rather than drawings to make the book seem more real, even if the work is fantasy. This was a bit of a challenge for our absurdist comedy The Last Thursday Ritual in Little Piddlington, published in 2021. It took much brain-storming to come up with three cover concepts to try out with potential readers, face to face and through social media.

Our three cover concepts were:

A typical UK village green scene complete with Morris dancers battling a brass band;

A Sea King helicopter nose-diving into a chocolate gateau against a garish background, representing the WI ladies’ attempt to steal a helicopter by bribing the air force personnel with cake; and

A bare arm beckoning from a leafy hedge, as one of the key female characters tries to lure several male characters into a trap.

As you can see, the bare arm won the most votes – simple, easy to see even in a thumbnail, and a curious enough image to tempt a potential reader to find out more.

Happy self-publishing.



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